Below is a list of summer opportunities geared for students ages 14 – 21, though some programs may also be appropriate for older and younger students as well. Programs are listed chronologically, with ongoing and flexible-date programs at the end. Wherever possible, program descriptions are taken from the website or the promotional materials of the program sponsors. This list represents programs that have come to the attention of SSB staff members and is by no means exhaustive. SSB counselors and staff are available to answer questions and help you explore which programs might work best for you.
Led by Northeast Metro School District 916, the Summer Transition Program (STP) is a comprehensive residential transition program. STP provides experiences to address the specific transition needs of students who are blind, visually impaired, or deafblind. Participants stay in student apartments on the campus of the University of St. Thomas in Saint Paul, Minnesota. There, they will receive instruction and participate in experiences, supported by staff and surrounded by peers, designed to address these unique transition needs. STP complements each student's core curriculum by providing individualized opportunities in the areas of transition identified in the Individualized Education Program (IEP). (Registration process must be initiated with school student attends.)
This free program combines fun activities with exploring mobility options like guide dog travel, discovering leadership skills and building friendships with peers facing similar challenges. Campers receive a free HumanWare GPS to help increase their travel independence. They also can learn about living and working with a guide dog. Applications due March 31, 2023.
3-week program where high school age students live in residence halls and travel to national conference in Houston, Tx. Prep Program empowers blind youth as they learn alternative techniques of blindness and develop self-confidence needed to become successful adults. 2023 info will be online shortly, details from 2022.
Week-long camp for young adults features O & M, Tech, TDL, plus soft skills of workplace readiness. Registration will open in late March. Registration info will come soon. Interest form available on website.
4 days a week Monday through Thursday for 3 weeks. Skills and activities will be determined closer to the time and will be based on IEP requirement.
HKNC, a team of experts including facilitators and mentors who are DeafBlind will help you to examine your strengths and challenges. You will receive the latest information about assistive technology and other available resources. HKNC's M~POWER Program offers Pre- Employment Transition Services (Pre-ETS) and introduces job exploration counseling, work-based learning experiences, counseling on post-secondary educational opportunities, workplace readiness training and self-advocacy.
Guide Dogs for the Blind recognizes that the human-animal bond is unique; we want to give teens with visual impairments the opportunity to experience its life-changing potential. At Camp GDB, participants will explore the companionship, independence, and responsibility of having a guide dog. Campers will experience hands-on fun and unique activities with dogs, and learn why orientation and mobility (O&M) skills are so important for a successful partnership with a guide dog. Participants will also make new friends, and just have a whole lot of camp fun, including outings, activities, and fireside s'mores (of course)! Open to teens ages 14-17 who are blind or low vision. Cost is free for the program (however travel to Oregon is not covered by GDB). The program will be held at the Hull Foundation & Learning Center in Sandy, Oregon, which is roughly seven miles from Guide Dogs for the Blind's Oregon campus.
*Tentative dates-will finalize in March, pending college conflicts. (O & M, Tech, TDL, plus Martial Arts and Personal safety). Registration info will come soon. Interest form available on website.
1-day canoe trip led by Wilderness Inquiry staff whose background specializes in providing equitable access to the outdoors for people of all backgrounds and abilities.
Leap program offers remote Online Instruction: six weeks, 15 hours per week. Learn, Earn, and Prosper (LEAP) provides blind or visually impaired youth the opportunity to gain the skills needed to become independent, confident, and productive with the outcome of increased employability.
Training is offered through in-house SSB staff or three separate ATB training centers in Minnesota: Blind Inc. in Minneapolis, the Lighthouse Center for Vital Living in Duluth, or Vision Loss Resources in Little Canada. ATB instruction can include training in the use of assistive technology and computer applications, training in activities of daily living such as cooking or other household activities, orientation and mobility lessons, braille instruction, and other tasks important for independence and success. Please reach out to your SSB counselor or representative if you would like to learn more!