Services for Children & Youth

Blind youth face many of the same problems as their sighted peers – substance abuse, teen pregnancy, adapting to physical changes, fitting in with other kids – and they are blind.

VISIONS provides a wealth of opportunities to help teens make the transition to college and employment careers.

After School and Summer Program for New York City High School Youth with Legal Blindness or Vision Loss

The program includes paid employment, academic support and supervised activities located at VISIONS at Selis Manor 135 W. 23rd Street, NY, NY. Activities include paid work experience in a snack bar, adapted computer center and bowling, dance, drama, photography, poetry, etc. Must be able to travel independently or use Access-a-ride.

For More Information, Contact:                                                         Melissa Phipps (646) 486-4444 Ext. 212 Email:

After School and summer paid work experience training for legally blind high school students, graduates and college youth funded by the New York State Commission for the Blind and Visually Handicapped in worksites throughout New York City.

Pre-vocational training for legally blind youth age 14 and older. Overnight residential training is offered at VISIONS Center on Blindness (VCB) during February, April and a June session funded by the NYS Commission for the Blind and Visually Handicapped.

For More Information, Contact:                                                         Natasha DeLeon (646) 486-4444 Ext. 213                                     or email:    

Lisa Senior (646) 486-4444 Ext. 224                                                 or email

Snack Bar After School Program – October 2015 through June 2016

A work experience training (WET) program for high school students located at VISIONS at Selis Manor. Participants learn how to run a snack bar using a talking cash register, sell a variety of labeled snacks, use a microwave and serve hot beverages. In addition to the prevocational skills, there are rehabilitation lessons too. A Certified Vision Rehabilitation Therapist (CVRT) provides weekly group sessions on skills such as cleaning, using small appliances, clothing maintenance, personal care and money management.

Prevocational Day Program at VISIONS at Selis Manor – February 16 – 18, 2016

The day time prevocational program is specifically for participants unable to attend a residential session. The curriculum is geared for students unable to attend a residential session (i.e. developmental delay, medical concerns). The focus of the session is career exploration, interview skills, volunteering, and creating résumés. There are also sessions with a Certified Vision Rehabilitation Therapist (CVRT) including lessons on meal management, budgeting, and business attire.

Prevocational Training at VISIONS VCB – April 25 – 28, 2016

The residential prevocational program at VISIONS VCB is for high school students. The curriculum contains information on interview skills, team building, budgeting, communication, mock interviews and career exploration. There are also sessions with a Certified Vision Rehabilitation Therapist (CVRT) including lessons on meal management, clothing maintenance, and personal care.

Precollege Program at Manhattanville College – July 9 – August 5, 2016

The goal of the Pre-College Program is to provide high school juniors and seniors the opportunity to refine their academic, social and independent living skills before commencing full time college studies. All students reside in college dormitories, eat in dining halls and visit the library on campus. They participate in a non-credit "Introduction to College Life" course and an online Developmental Writing/Technology Seminar. Students focus on developing internet skills, and a number of skill building writing exercises.

Summer Transition Program at Queens College – July 10 – August 5, 2016

The Summer Transition Program is designed to build students' skills for independence, college and employment in a residential program at Queens College.  Students will refine their skills for college and work readiness, including use of technology, orientation & mobility, social interaction, fitness and recreation on Queens College campus as well as around New York City.  Self-Advocacy and strategies for access will be promoted throughout the program.

Summer Work Experience Training Program – July and August 2016

Internships for high school students are provided at VISIONS at Selis Manor, VISIONS VCB (over age 18), and in a variety of community settings including senior centers, day cares, and offices. Participants receive a financial reimbursement to cover the cost of transportation, lunch and other expenses. There is a 3 day prevocational training at VISIONS at Selis Manor before participants go to their worksites.

All programs are sponsored by the New York State Commission for the Blind (NYSCB). All programs are for participants age 14 through 21.

For more information, please contact Melissa Phipps, Senior Director of Youth Services at (646) 486 - 4444, ext. 212 or

Family Services at VISIONS Center on Blindness (VCB) during selected weekends from October through June and during four summer sessions. Blind or visually impaired children of all ages including those with multiple disabilities attend VCB with their siblings and parents/guardians. For children who are legally blind, funding is provided by the New York State Commission for the Blind and Visually Handicapped.

For More Information, Contact:                                                         Carmen Thorne (212) 625-1616 Ext. 107 Email:

Children's vision rehabilitation services at home or in the community funded by the NYS Commission for the Blind and Visually Handicapped for legally blind children. Funded by private grants for children with low vision who also have other disabilities. Service in all five boroughs may include vision rehabilitation therapy, orientation and mobility, occupational therapy and adapted equipment.

For More Information, Contact:                                                         Bill Hixson (212) 625-1616 Ext. 145 Email:

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