Department of Services for the Blind serves children and youth who are blind or have low vision from birth through age 21.
We provide services towards building the foundation of a productive, independent and successful childhood, youth, and adulthood.
Resources for Families
DSB helps young people and their families as they transition to employment as adults. For students, ages 14 through age 21, DSB offers:
- Career counseling.
- Assessments to help students determine their interests for their future careers.
- For ages 14 to 15, summer programs for youth who would want to explore careers and complete community service.
- For ages 16 through age 21, summer programs for youth who would like paid-work experience*.
- For high-school youth or recent graduates of high school, summer programs to explore learning at a university.
DSB also works with services providers by offering technical consultative services to schools, Birth-through-3 centers, and other community organizations who work with blind or low vision children and youth.
What are the parents and students’ responsibilities?
Until the student is 18 years old, a parent or legal guardian will sign to authorize services. Parental involvement and support is very important, especially in the early part of the process. Our goal is to move the student toward greater independence. Parents and students attend meetings with the DSB counselor and school staff to work in collaboration on post-school activities.
All DSB services are free of charge.
When questions arise on how a blind or low vision child might participate in some activity, we can offer ideas on how it can be possible. To learn more, contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Youth Programs & Workshops
In 2014, Title IV of the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act - or WIOA for short - amended Title I of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973. WIOA is designed to strengthen and improve the nation’s public workforce development system by helping Americans with barriers to employment, including individuals with disabilities, achieve high quality careers and helping employers hire and retain skilled workers. WIOA also added additional guidelines to provide youth with expanded Pre-Employment Transition Services (Pre-ETS) to help them move towards successful careers.
To provide students with the benefits of WIOA, DSB Youth Services Specialists host a variety of fun and educational Pre-ETS programs and workshops across the state throughout the school year. These workshops provide youth ages nine through 21 with opportunities to:
- Define their strengths and goals.
- Learn about educational and career paths.
- Strengthen daily living skills.
- Meet others and have fun!
All of the upcoming Youth Programs & Workshops are announced on the DSB Events page.
School to Work Transition
As a student approaches the time to leave high school, it is important that preparations for adult life are well underway. For early transition planning and active participation in decision making to occur for students with disabilities, members of the planning team need to be well informed about the student’s abilities, needs, and available services. DSB School-to-Work Transition helps students, as young as age 14, and their families think about and plan for life after high school.
DSB counselors assist with transition by:
- Consulting on the student’s vocational activities including part-time employment and internships*
- Participating in Individual Education Plan meetings
- Providing information regarding our services for adults
- Working in collaboration with students, parents, and school staff on post-school activities
There is no set time limit for students receiving services; it varies depending on the individual needs of the participant and the services provided. Once the student turns 21, Washington residents can continue to receive DSB services as a Vocational Rehabilitation participant.
* Students must be eligible to work in the U.S. to participate in programs providing paid work experience.