Educational and Entertaining Activities for Youth
The Department of Services for the Blind serves children and youth across the state who are blind or have low vision from birth through high school age 21.
We provide services geared towards building the foundation of a productive, independent, and successful childhood, youth, and adulthood.
DSB workshops are great for youth who are blind or have low vision. Our workshops give opportunities for youth to:
- Define their strengths and goals.
- Learn about educational and career paths.
- Strengthen daily living skills.
- Obtain paid and unpaid work experience.
- Meet others and have fun!
Evidence shows that young people who have had work experience prior to entering the labor market have a higher likelihood of defining their vocational goals and securing employment. Our programs provide hands-on experiences, building strong foundations for our youth.
All DSB workshops are open to all Washington students, regardless of workshop location or student city of residency. If you have ideas for workshops that will help students with visual impairments reach their goals, please let us know. Your input is valued and welcomed!
DSB workshops are planned throughout the year. We are constantly updating our event calendar.
Check our website to learn when these workshops will next be offered. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, in person workshops are on hold for the time being. More virtual workshops will be announced soon.
Youth Workshops will be listed on our Events Page as they are announced.
Travel and Mobility
Students learn to navigate different modes of transportation in all-day workshops that enhance independent travel skills. Students will have opportunities to travel on various forms of public transportation such as light rail, buses, or ferries.
Opportunities will be provided to discuss public transit services for people with disabilities. Students and families will have a chance to explore and learn commuting tips.
Blind and Low Vision students and their families will learn about different fields of work through fun hands-on activities at a variety of sites. Past activities include:
- Zookeeper for a Day - In this working program you will assist in maintaining safe and hygienic living conditions for the animals, learn how to prep their food, and perform enrichment activities behind the scenes at Point Defiance Zoo and Aquarium
- Exploring STEM - exploring careers in the field of science with hands-on science activity and interaction with Science Technology Engineering & Math (STEM) exhibits at Mobius Science Center.
- iFly STEM - Highly trained STEM educators guide participants through an interactive presentation and lab activity before being trained by a flight instructor to experience their own flight! Students will learn about real world applications of STEM and careers in STEM fields.
Students will practice using self-advocacy and other skills necessary for moving forward and navigating their futures. Families can learn more about the after-graduation programs and opportunities available for their children.
Interaction with peers can be helpful in learning how to navigate the complexities of the social norms of their schools and communities.
Students work on social skills, social behaviors, and peer interactions in a group setting, learning the “who, what, when, where, and how” of social skills.
Independent Living Skills
Students are given instruction in orientation and mobility, money management, self-advocacy, and mealtime skills. Many opportunities for independence and social interaction with peers is provided. Activities include cooking classes, where supervision and instruction is given for cutting, chopping, and peeling; exploring measuring tools like cups and spoons; and oven and stove-top exploration and proper use.
Students learn to use technology outside of the classroom, practice the variety of apps for community and home use, and practice the use of technology and apps to:
- Navigate the environment (Blindsquare, MoveIt, and One Bus Away)
- Identify and read objects and products (Money Reader, KNFB Reader, and Seeing AI)
- Schedule events and invite attendees
- Record and organize notes and memos
Whether to get refresher or start fresh with iOS devices (iPhone, iPad, or iPod Touch), hands-on training is a great way to learn the basics and discover helpful tips and tricks.