Youth Services

Collage of young people with visual impairments walking down street, studying, and working in commercial kitchen.

 

The Department of Services for the Blind (DSB) serves children and students who are blind or have low vision. Our services are focused on building the foundation of a productive, independent, and successful childhood, youth, and adulthood.

Children's Services

DSB offers resources and information for families with infants and small children who are blind or have low vision, and technical consultative services to schools, Birth-through-3 centers, and other community organizations who work with blind or low vision children.  

When questions arise on how a blind or low vision child might overcome obstacles to participate in activities, we offer ideas, resources, and support on how it can be done. We provide:

  • Information and referral to the appropriate community resources.
  • Training in understanding the specialized developmental needs and parenting techniques for a child who is blind or has low vision.
  • Assistance in understanding the nature and potential impact of the child's visual disability.
  • Counseling towards building the foundation of a productive, independent, and successful childhood, youth, and adulthood.
  • Assistance in advocating for access needs through the K-through-12 school system.
  • Training for the child and their family with daily living skills to help the child become more independent.

Our goal is to help children achieve greater independence and a successful educational and employment career. 

Parental involvement and support are very important, especially in the early part of the process. DSB Youth Service specialists are available to attend meetings with parents and school staff to collaborate on services and training available for their child. 

Until the child is 18 years old, a parent or legal guardian must sign to authorize services.

Return to top

Pre-Employment Transition Services

Pre-Employment Transition Services refers to the workshops, programs, and activities provided by DSB under the guidelines of Title IV of the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA)

WIOA seeks to provide young people with the skills to help them achieve future careers by providing: 

  • Job exploration counseling
  • Work based learning experiences to explore careers
  • Counseling on enrollment for comprehensive transition and post-secondary transition opportunities
  • Instruction in Self-Advocacy

Learn more about Pre-Employment Transitions Services for youth and students. 

Return to top

Workshops and Programs

To provide students with the benefits of the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA), DSB Youth Services Specialists host a variety of educational and fun Pre-ETS Workshops and Programs across the state throughout the school year. These workshops provide young people with opportunities to:

  • Define their strengths and goals.
  • Learn about educational and career paths.
  • Strengthen daily living skills.
  • Meet others and have fun!

Learn more about DSB Workshops and Programs

Return to top

External Resources

Washington State School for the Blind (WSSB)

WSSB is a valuable resource for families looking for educational resources for students who are blind or visually impaired. DSB partners with WSSB on programs, workshops, and the Learning Independence For Today and Tomorrow (LIFFT) program
Visit the Washington State School for the Blind

PAVE - Partnerships for Action | Voices for Empowerment

PAVE provides support, training, information, and resources to empower and give voice to individuals, youth, and families impacted by disabilities. 
Visit PAVE.

National Federation of the Blind of Washington - Parents Group

The NFBW sponsors a Parents Group to support both parents of blind children and blind parents. Contact Jennifer Gandarias at gandarias1217@gmail.com for more information.

 

Request DSB services for children, youth, or students online. Or contact us at 800-552-7103 or info@dsb.wa.gov for more information.

 

Return to top

*  Students must be eligible to work in the U.S. to participate in programs providing paid work experience.