TOLEDO – Motivated by a unique mission to empower independence and enrich the lives of people who are blind or visually impaired, The Sight Center of Northwest Ohio is pleased to announce a new resource for sight-impaired job seekers called the Blind Ambition Project.
Currently, the unemployment rate of people who are blind or visually impaired is over 60% in the United States. Furthermore, Cornell University’s 2017 US Disability Status Report found that people who are visually impaired, in particular when compared with sighted peers are more likely to be unemployed or underemployed, have lower annual earnings and are more likely to live in poverty.
Thanks to a grant from the Sisters of St. Francis (Sylvania) Foundation Donor Advised Fund of the Toledo Community Foundation, The Sight Center will be pilot-testing the new model starting on April 14.
This project, based on nationally recognized best practices, will empower people who live with vision loss to gain, advance or transition to meaningful employment that utilizes their skills, knowledge, interests and experience. This will be accomplished through a series of intensive workshops, personal mentoring, and ongoing group job club activities.
Through this program, participants will learn the necessary skills to give them the tools and confidence for economic and social empowerment.
“We want to empower people to find the kind of employment they really want and that they enjoy,” Interim Executive Director Dani Moran said.
This pilot project will serve working age adults who are blind or visually impaired who reside in the metropolitan Toledo area. Specifically, the focus will be on those who are seeking to become newly employed, those who are trying to transition from a sighted career to a sight-impaired career, and those seeking to gain meaningful part-time employment while retaining current disability benefits.
The Sight Center will host an intensive quarterly workshop series consisting of three weekly day-long workshops. Personal mentoring will be available for those completing the series. A post-workshop job club consisting of peers and professionals will serve as an ongoing support for those still in employment search mode.
Registration is free but space is limited. Attendance at all three sessions is required. Lunch will be provided, and transportation assistance is available. To register for the 3-session April series, complete the online form at www.sightcentertoledo.org/events/blind-ambition-session-1/ or call 419-720-3937.