our guest on Blind Abilities today is Sheila Koenig, Transition Services Coordinator for State Services for the Blind of Minnesota (SSB). Sheila talks about a variety of opportunities available to Transition Age students. Learn about the programs such as the Summer Transition Program (STP), Chill and Chat, Peer Educators, Blind and Socially Savvy and the Learning Ally College Success Program. There is something for everyone!
Sheila also discusses the Spectacle Newsletter, where you can find all of the programs, events and connecting opportunities that you do not want to miss. .
Jeff and Sheila also chat about the upcoming conventions, with NFB, ACB and others, once again holding their events virtually. They pointed out that even virtual conventions offer excellent opportunities for attendees to socialize and network, meet others, problem-solve, and juts interact with peers who share common interests, ideas and solutions.
Sheila’s overarching message to students is to “”get involved and do some programs during the summer”, recognizing that they will probably be virtual, but pointing out that this is still a great way to meet and network with peer students who are also on their educational journey with a Blindness perspective.
Parents and students are invited to reach out to Sheila Koenig with any questions, ideas or suggestions for summer programs or activities. You can contact her directly via email at Sheila.Koenig@State.Mn.US
Here are some tidbits from the March 2021, Spectacle Newsletter:
Chill & Chat
We are excited to offer informal Zoom meet ups for students to connect with peers, problem solve, and support each other. Meet ups happen the first Tuesday of every month at 4pm. Email Sheila.firstname.lastname@example.org for details and for the Zoom link.
This workshop will be conducted in ASL. Captioning and voice interpreting will be provided. Streamtext will be available. A separate room will have access to CDIs. Registration is $25. For more information & registration. Visit www.dbsan.org/.
SSB’s College Shadow is similar to a job shadow. High school students can virtually tour a college, talk with college students, and sometimes attend a college class. Email Sheila.email@example.com if you’d like to participate.
SSB Communication Center
The Communication Center is here to put your books into accessible formats that work for you. Custom audio, e-text, DAISY markup, and Braille – we can do it! The Communication Center is Minnesota’s Accessible Reading Source – we’re here for you. Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org
Year-Round Programs for Students
BLIND, Incorporated, Duluth Center for Vital Living, and Vision Loss Resources offer opportunities for students to build skills and connect with peers throughout the school year. Contact Sheila.email@example.com with any questions.
Helen Keller National Center-Summer Youth Programs
In a time when distance learning ensures your safety, HKNC has adapted our New York programs to online so that you still have the opportunity to learn from other deaf-blind individuals and our experienced professionals. To learn more go to https://www.helenkeller.org/hknc/youth-programs
Be sure to check out the entire March 2021 Spectacle Newsletter and stay up to date with all the latest news and information from State Services for the Blind.
Contact Your State Services
If you reside in Minnesota, and you would like to know more about Transition Services from State Services contact Transition Coordinator Sheila Koenig by email or contact her via phone at 651-539-2361.
Check out the Blind Abilities Communityon Facebook, the Blind Abilities Page, and the Career Resources for the Blind and Visually Impaired group