- Blind and Visually Impaired
Training and Adjustment Classes
The Training & Adjustment Services (TAS) program helps students achieve greater independence through it’s core values of infusion of hope, mastery of skills, blending into society, and emotional adjustment.
Classes offered include Cane Travel, Braille Literacy, Computers and Adaptive Technology, Home Management, Wood Shop and Needle Arts. Classes are offered between 8:00 a.m. and 4:00 p.m., Monday through Friday. Students master skills through completing course curriculum. The TAS program holds weekly group discussions on topics to assist in emotional adjustment. Activities are arranged to give opportunities for students to build confidence; to share new experiences and to blend into society.
Students are evaluated and allowed to progress at their own pace. On average, students require approximately six to nine months of formal instruction in order to obtain an adequate proficiency to pursue education, employment, and integrate into society. There is no cost to students in order to attend classes at DSBVI. Classes are taught at 250 North 1950 West, Suite B, Salt Lake City, Utah.
To be eligible to participate in the Training and Adjustment Services Program, students must be able to meet the physical and mental requirements. Students must be free from encumbrances that may impede attendance and delay their progress in the training program. For additional information, please call Laura Hathaway at (801) 323-4348 or Adam Rushforth at (801) 323-4347. A general description and requirements of each class are listed below:
Kara Campbell, Instructor
Instruction is given in reading and writing of uncontracted Braille and contracted Braille. Students use Brailed instructional material, a slate and stylus, and a Perkins Braillewriter. Classes consist of reading aloud and/or to oneself. Students participate in timed reading and writing exercises and drills. Students are given homework in the form of reading and writing assignments. Completion of the Braille class usually includes reading an entire novel in Braille. Students are sitting for the duration of the class and must be able to feel with their fingertips. Braille class is one hour in length.
Feng Yang and Jennifer Kennedy, Instructors
Cane Travel provides instruction in the use of the long white cane techniques for independent travel. Students learn how to use various forms of public transportation, safely cross streets with or without a light, and locate addresses in commercial and residential areas. Students work on stairs, both ascending and descending, long and short stairways, walk for extended periods and extended distances to various pre-determined locations. Students must have the ability to walk and stand for a period of two hours or longer.
Cindi Vega and Quinnten Price, Instructors
Assistive Technology includes training in the use of a computer. Instruction is provided on basic computer keyboarding skills; an introduction to JAWS, a screen reading software; navigation and use of the internet and email; and practice with Microsoft Word, Excel, and PowerPoint. Adaptive Technology also provides optional training on devices such as the Apple iPhone; Victor Reader Stream; digital book player from the National Library Service for the Blind; note-takers, and additional adaptive software and equipment.
Jim Reed and Barbie Elliott, Instructors
Home Management consists of instruction in techniques that will help students live independently. Students learn meal planning and food preparation, personal care and hygiene. Students are taught how to go shopping, money identification and management, communication and problem solving skills. Housekeeping skills include sweeping, vacuuming and sanitation of all household surfaces. Students must have the ability to walk and stand for a period of two hours or longer.
Ray Wright, Instructor
Students are given instruction in the basics of woodworking skills and techniques. Students are introduced to alternative methods of measuring and cutting. Tools students learn to use include (but are not limited to) the click rule, table saw, compound miter saw, jointer, planer, the shaper/router, air sander and electric sanders, and lathe. Students must have the ability to stand for a period of one or more hours.
Vickie Hathaway, Instructor
Needle Arts offers introduction and instruction in knitting, crocheting, sewing and quilting. Students will learn proper use of measuring devices for accuracy of projects, reading patterns, selecting correct yarn or fabric, and finishing and displaying projects. Students are in a sitting position for the duration of the class.
Once a week, TAS staff and students meet together for a two-hour discussion. Topics for discussion are based on the emotional adjustment to and a positive attitude about blindness. Guests speakers are sometimes brought in to discuss and/or demonstrate issues related to blindness. Students sit for the duration of the class.
On activity days, ordinary classes are replaced by activities designed to provide students with integrating experiences in the community, exposure to organizations and agencies for the blind, and confidence-building activities in which students may use and apply the skills they have learned. Students must have the ability to walk and stand for a period of two hours or longer.
Course curriculums intertwine, and are designed to incorporate the use of developing skills. This is achieved through overlapping skills learned in one class to accomplish a task in a different class. Students are strongly encouraged to consider training as if it were a job.
Students with any light perception must wear training shades (blindfolds) at all times during training classes and activities. The use of training shades throughout training provides a total immersion experience that develops excellent self-confidence, and a belief in the alternative techniques of blindness that are essential for success.