Vision Impairment Programs for Kids and Families

Whether your child is getting ready to find a job, go to college, or somewhere in between, there are many programs available.

Government agencies and nonprofits may even be able to help offset the cost of these programs for the vision-impaired.

At the Vision Enhancement Center, we've listed some transition programs and summer camps for kids with vision impairments and their families.

The Perkins School for the Blind offers tips for choosing the best programs for your child with visual impairments.

Transition Programs for Vision-Impaired Children

Summer Academy for Students Who Are Blind or Visually Impaired is a three-week program for college-bound high school students.

Run by the Bureau of Blindness and Visual Services, the academy focuses on:

  • Daily living skills
  • Travel skills
  • Self-advocacy and networking skills
  • Career awareness
  • Social skills
  • Assistive technology skills
  • Low-vision rehab

Students of the program:

  • Live in dorms at Penn State University’s University Park campus.
  • Eat meals in the campus dining hall.
  • Enjoy other pursuits that reflect college life.

The IDEAL (Individual Development Through Experience, Assessment, and Learning) Transition Program

This summer residential program offers full days of classes and activities in group and one-on-one settings. Students may choose a college oriented or employment directed course of study.

The program takes place at the Center for the Blind and Visually Impaired in Chester, Pa.

Transition programs from Blind and Vision Rehabilitation Services of Pittsburgh include:

The Employment Opportunities Project pairs students with a successful adult mentor with vision impairment and offers:

  • Job readiness classes
  • On-the-job training
  • Job coaching
  • Follow-up services

The Career and Community Adjustment Program is an individualized program with rehabilitation and work components.

It allows students to gain independent living skills and earn a paycheck while:

  • Exploring vocations.
  • Learning strategies for promoting wellness.
  • Enjoying recreational activities.

Summer Fun for Kids with Vision Impairment

Pennsylvania Lions Beacon Lodge Camp is a summer camp for children and adults with special needs.

The camp sits on over 500 acres in the woodlands of central Pa. and offers programs and activities in:

  • Music
  • Drama
  • Art
  • Nature
  • Games
  • Swimming
  • Boating
  • Fishing

The VIP Sports Summer Camp at Slippery Rock University is for children with visual impairment, ages 5 to 18.

It gives kids the chance to take part in specially adapted sports and recreation, such as:

  • Archery
  • Biking
  • Goalball
  • Horseback riding
  • Ice hockey
  • Judo
  • Kayaking
  • Paddle boarding
  • Rock climbing
  • Soccer
  • Swimming
  • Track and field

BELL (Braille Enrichment for Literacy and Learning) Academy is a summer program for kids, ages 4 to 12.

The program, from the National Federation of the Blind, teaches Braille through fun, hands-on learning including:

  • Crafts
  • Games
  • Other engaging projects

Camp Abilities PA @ West Chester University is an overnight camp for youth, ages 7-17, who are blind or have low vision.

The purpose of this educational sports camp is to:

  • Empower kids to be physically active.
  • Help them gain confidence and self-esteem through sport and physical activity.
  • Teach them to make food choices that support an active lifestyle.
  • Improve their overall health and wellness.

The Braillebeats Fine Arts Program in Michigan is a summer residential program for kids, ages 9 through young adulthood.

It focuses on:

  • Music
  • Art
  • Movement
  • Independence skills

Need help choosing a program?

Find tips for choosing the best vision impairment programs for your child from the Perkins School for the Blind.