Orientation Center Classes
The Orientation Center is an important stop on the road to competitive employment and independent living. In the center, blind and visually impaired adults learn:
- Non-visual techniques for accomplishing tasks and for solving problems they may encounter
- More self-confidence and a new, positive way to view their vision loss
- How to overcome the misconceptions they and the public have about their blindness
Students take each of the following classes, which are designed to meet their individual needs:
Students learn to read and write uncontracted and contracted Braille. They make Braille an important tool in their lives by using it to take notes, jot down a phone number, label items and read books.
After mastering the keyboard, students learn to access the computer with a screen-reading program and with refreshable Braille. They become familiar with Microsoft Office Word, Outlook and Internet Explorer. Some also decide to learn how to access scanners, electronic books and note takers.
- Home and Personal Management
In this class, students learn non-visual ways to cook, clean, mend clothes and do laundry. They write recipes and grocery lists in Braille and travel to the supermarket to purchase ingredients. They use the organizational and measuring skills they develop here for the rest of their lives.
- Travel with the Long White Cane
With the long white Iowa cane in hand, students learn to walk confidently, cross streets, locate businesses and use public transportation. They soon discover that their vision loss need not prevent them from going anywhere whenever they want. Read one former student's account of learning to travel around "home block."
- Industrial Arts
Here, students learn tactile methods for measuring and for operating power tools. They develop tremendous self-confidence and trust in nonvisual techniques by making a picture frame and then a large project of their choice. Past students have made such items as desks, clocks, entertainment centers and game tables.
- The Business of Blindness
In this discussion-based class, students learn how to deal with the problems they encounter because of their vision loss. Topics range from developing nonvisual methods for handling everyday tasks to dealing with negative attitudes family members, employers, and the genral public may have about blindness.