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WAYFINDER FAMILY SERVICES

OUR GRANT SUPPORTED Wayfinder’s workforce development series which provides transition services, assistive technology training, residential rehabilitation programming and employment services free of charge to young adults and adults who have vision loss in Los Angeles County. These programs provide the training and skill-building that research has found to be linked to higher rates of employment and salaries. By employing staff who are blind or visually impaired themselves, students are provided with excellent role models as they learn the skills to enter the workforce.

 

GRANT IMPACT Since partnering in July 2021, Wayfinder has served 104 persons with visual disabilities and hit the following milestones:

 

  1. Piloted “Putting Your Best Foot Forward” - a job search skills training program for transition-age youth at the Cal State University Los Angeles campus. Students were trained in topics such as preparing for an interview, disability disclosure, resume development, online job searches an improving self-presentation. They also visited potential employers and spoke with professionals who are visually impaired about their career pathways at major corporations.

  2. Post-COVID, adults 18 and up, returned to the Davison Program for Independence at the Wayfinder Los Angeles campus. This program teaches transition skills, leading people with visual impairments to a confident transition to an independent life, education or employment. Wayfinder offers extensive training on orientation and mobility, braille, independent living and assistive technology to its clients.

  3. Partnering with the Future Communities Institute at Akido Labs, another Fox Family Foundation grantee, Wayfinder piloted an Online Client Interaction Assessment Tool for their assistive technology training instructors. This platform allowed for aggregated data collection and creates a standardized and simple way to capture applicable skills for client service plans, helps determine the curriculum based on students needs and assess progress. Wayfinder will pilot this tool for instructors in their other departments moving forward.

HOW IT BREAKS THE LINK BETWEEN POVERTY & VISION LOSS Wayfinder empowers transition age youth and adults to find independence. The following impacts are being achieved:

  1. High school students who participated in their summer program have enrolled and been accepted into community college and want to continue their training in Wayfinder’s adult Davidson Program for Independence to develop further skills in braille, independent living and safe solo travel.

  2. Participants in Davidson Program are finding greater success in job training, applications and employment.

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