YES 2

A young woman working on a computer in an office.

Youth Employment Solutions 2

Providing experience, opportunity, career preparation, and internships for Washington’s blind and visually impaired youth. 

The Youth Employment Solutions (YES) programs are multi-week summer programs focused on career preparation. 

 

Why Youth Employment Solutions? 

Statistics indicate that more than 70% of blind adults are either unemployed or under-employed, in jobs unequal to their education. However, evidence also indicates that blind individuals who have work experience prior to entering the labor market are more likely to be successful at defining, achieving, and maintaining their vocational goals.

Internships are an ideal way for students to gain work experience, as well as develop interpersonal, communication, and teamwork skills valued in the workplace. YES-2 - located in Seattle, Washington - is designed to provide valuable work experience and learning to high school students. 

 

A teenager carries a large pot in a commercial kitchen. Another teen is preparing food on the counter behind them.

Program Highlights

Accepted candidates are provided five weeks of paid work experience* at internships created for them in cooperation with Seattle-area businesses. Positions are assigned to students based on their interests, abilities, and experience. YES-2 students commute to their jobs independently. However, all students are “shadowed” to and from work sites by YES staff, until they have been cleared for independent travel by a Certified Orientation and Mobility Specialist.

In addition to the internships, participants spend their off-work hours experiencing residential living in the YES residence in Seattle. The YES-2 residential living experience provides students the opportunity to refine their daily living skills, such as planning, purchasing and preparing meals, and maintaining their own personal effects and common living quarters at the YES residence. Additionally, students learn skills in using public transportation techniques for travel to work sites. They are encouraged to participate in community social and recreational activities.

While a resident, students learn and practice their Alternative Skills of Daily Living to:

Several smiling YES-2 participants gather around a table in the YES residence in Seattle. The table is set for dinner.
  • Plan meals, make grocery lists, purchase supplies, and prepare meals;
  • Maintain clothing and personal effects and keep rooms clean;
  • Share the cleaning of common living spaces at the YES residence; and
  • Learn and practice personal finance and budgeting skills.

Students requiring extra instruction and / or assistance receive support from qualified YES staff members.

 

Eligibility

To participate in YES-2, students must: 

  • Be legally blind or visually impaired. 
  • Be able to independently meet their medical and personal needs. 
  • Possess Orientation and Mobility skills allowing safe and independent travel in familiar and unfamiliar indoor and outdoor environments. 
  • Be active clients of DSB’s Vocational Rehabilitation program. 

Acceptance is based on: 

  • YES application and interview
  • Input from the student’s TVI
  • Skills assessment with YES staff

 

Application materials will be available online in early January

 

A group of YES-2 interns with DSB Youth Services staffers pose in front of a gazebo during a trip to the Woodland Park Zoo

It’s Not All Work... 

Social and recreational experiences are an important part of YES-2. Students are visited by guest speakers; complete community service projects; work on creative and arts projects; and enjoy other recreational activities and field trips.

 

Costs

At this time, DSB does not charge any fees for participation in its summer programs. More details on YES student needs will be provided to enrolled students and families.

 

Past Employers

A YES intern tends the plants in the University of Washington greenhouse.

These Employers said “YES!” by providing internship opportunities to our students 

  • Alexis Hotel
  • Alpine Hut    
  • Animal Critical Care and Emergency Services
  • Café NOAA
  • Client Assistance Program
  • Dennis’s Snacks
  • King Country Water Waste Division
  • Li’l Anchor Child Care
  • Pacific Science Center
  • Seattle Lighthouse for the Blind
  • Seattle Public Library
  • Starbucks
  • The Barking Lounge
  • Third Ave. Café
  • University Botanical Gardens – Washington Park Arboretum
  • University of Washington Greenhouse
  • Value Village
  • Washington Talking Book and Braille Library
  • Zeke’s Pizza

DSB is always expanding the Employers who offer internships for YES 2 students. If your organization is interested in hosting a summer intern, please contact Janet George.

 

Application Information

Application materials will be available online in early January

Completed application packages are due January 21, 2022. Please contact Janet George with questions or for more information.

 

DSB is developing more programs for teens and young adults. Please check our Events page, to see if there are other programs of interest to you.

For more information on our summer programs and services for children and youth, please contact us, info@dsb.wa.gov or 800-552-7103.

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