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JR Summer Academy for Students who are Blind or Visually Impaired: Access=Success


Kutztown University
Kutztown, Pennsylvania

June 21, 2017 to June 25, 2017

The Office of Vocational Rehabilitation/Bureau of Blindness and Visual Services (BBVS) in partnership with Department of Education/Bureau of Special Education, Pennsylvania Training and Technical Assistance Network (PaTTAN) and Kutztown University are pleased to offer the JR Summer Academy for Students who are Blind or Visually Impaired: Access=Success. Please note: The 2017 session is already filled, please check back for more information on future sessions.

Junior Summer Academy is an opportunity to interact with peers with visual impairments, create lasting friendships, get to know yourself, and explore your capabilities in a fun and educational setting.

The academy features five days filled with exciting and engaging experiences on a college campus designed to promote access and utilization of assistive technology as it relates to your daily life, travel, school and future employment.

Eligible students must be active customers of BBVS.

  • Available at no cost to eligible students currently enrolled in 6th, 7th, or 8th grade in the 2016-2017 school year.
  • Focus areas include: assistive technology, vision rehabilitation therapy, orientation and mobility, vocational development, low vision rehabilitation, social work/counseling and guidance, teambuilding and recreation.
  • Students reside at Kutztown University – stay in a dormitory room shared with another student and eat at a campus dining hall.

Program Content:

  • Assistive Technology
    • Explore new ways to stay connected with friends
    • Discover new and exciting apps
  • Orientation and Mobility
    • Use technology to explore the world around you
    • Feel confident traveling with friends
  • Vision Rehabilitation Therapy
    • Personal care
    • Organizational skills
  • Social Work/Counseling and Guidance
    • Self-advocacy: Effectively communicate your needs
    • Social media dos and don’ts: How to stay safe
  • Career exploration
    • Dare to dream: the world is yours
    • What is BBVS and what do they do
  • Low Vision Rehabilitation
    • Become the expert: know your visual impairment
    • Maximize your functional vision
  • Recreation/Teambuilding
    • Team up with your peers to explore adapted sports
    • Try fun and exciting activities to connect with new friends

Application Criteria:

  • Be currently enrolled in 6th, 7th, or 8th grade in the 2016-2017 school year.
  • Be an active participant with the Bureau of Blindness and Visual Services.
  • Be medically stable and understand your medication needs.
  • Have the ability to independently learn how to use assistive technology for note taking/word processing, web browsing, and keyboarding.
  • Demonstrate a basic level of self-care with a potential for gaining independence.
  • Demonstrate basic independent travel skills.
  • Have a desire and willingness to participate in all activities at the JR Summer Academy.

If you have program questions or are interested in receiving information about future JR Summer Academy sessions, please contact:

Shelly Faust-Jones (Program Director)
Bureau of Blindness & Visual Services (BBVS)
1521 North Sixth Street
Harrisburg, PA 17102
Phone: 717-787-5735 Fax: 717-787-3210

Karen Walsh-Emma (Assistant Program Director)
Bureau of Blindness & Visual Services (BBVS)
300 G Laird Street
Wilkes-Barre, PA 18702
Phone: 570-826-2011 ext. 146 Fax: 570-826-2538

Or your local BBVS District Office Vocational Rehabilitation Counselor:

Altoona: 866-695-7673
Erie: 866-521-5073
Harrisburg: 866-375-8264
Philadelphia: 866-631-3892
Pittsburgh: 866-412-4072
Wilkes-Barre: 866-227-4163

Or your local PaTTAN office:

Lynn Fox, Pittsburgh:
800-446-5607 x6843

Doug Williams, Harrisburg:

Jennifer Edgar, PaTTAN East: