As you and your teen are likely well aware, blindness is a low incidence disability. Unfortunately, your teen may not know another individual with a visual impairment; alternatively, he may know only a handful of same-age peers with visual impairments from a summer transition program or a large number of young people with visual impairments if he attends a school for the blind.
But, does your child know adults with visual impairments? Does he know their success stories across a variety of career fields? Has he talked with them about what it takes to land a job with a visual impairment? Has he talked with them about what it takes to succeed in a career with a visual impairment?
No? It’s time to conduct a mentor search using AFB CareerConnect’s online tool.
I believe speaking with adults who are visually impaired, comfortable in their skin, and successfully employed gives your teen a healthy view of life when you happen to have a visual impairment.
Here is what a career mentor can provide:
- Your teen learns a visual impairment isn’t a roadblock.
- Hearing how useful a cane and assistive technology are in the workplace, your teen receives motivation to continue training.
- Your teen receives practical tips for transitioning from high school to adult life.
- Your teen learns recommended routes to a desired career field.
- Your teen gains knowledge learned from the mentor’s mistakes, failures, and successes.
- Your teen learns job-specific challenges, and how they are overcome with creative problem solving and specific assistive technology.
- Your teen learns how to negotiate assistance and accommodations.
- Your teen networks with the mentor and the mentor’s peers and sphere of influence.
Do these benefits and provisions of mentorship sound like a gold mine? Yes, I think so too. And that, my friends, is why your teen needs a career mentor.