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ERIC Number: EJ1017630
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2013
Pages: 8
Abstractor: ERIC
ISSN: ISSN-0145-482X
Maine's Employability Skills Program
McMahon, John M.; Wolffe, Karen E.; Wolfe, Judy; Brooker, Carrie
Journal of Visual Impairment & Blindness, v107 n6 p515-522 Nov-Dec 2013
This Practice Report describes the development and implementation of the "Maine Employability Skills Program," a model employment program developed by the Maine Division for the Blind and Visually Impaired (DBVI). The program was designed to support the efforts of the chronically unemployed or underemployed. These consumers were either "job ready" (reported that they were ready to work in their desired profession) and "not job ready" (reported that they recognized that they did not have the necessary skills to begin working at their desired job). A core team of DBVI staff members developed a one-week intensive course, and once the structure for the employability skills program was created, all the adult blindness system staff members at the Maine DBVI, which consisted of approximately 70 professional and support staff members, gathered for two days of training to learn what roles they could play in helping to deliver this new program. All attendees became familiar with the program's components so they could integrate their specific discipline's perspective into it. A week-long employment training was structured for participants with individual and group learning activities designed to help consumers with visual impairments identify and address barriers to employment, resolve discrepancies between perceived ability and measured ability with respect to their own job skills, set career goals, explore vocational options, develop or refine job-seeking skills, and practice interviewing. In addition, the training offered participants the opportunity to learn several blindness-specific employment skills. Participants worked with co-facilitators during the day on self-awareness, career exploration, and their employability skills. In the evenings, they attended networking sessions with panels of successful employees with visual impairments, employers and human resources personnel, DBVI staff members, and vendors who specialized in technology and training opportunities specifically for visually impaired participants. There was evidence from the evaluations that participants improved their job-seeking skills and applied what they learned more consistently than they had done prior to their participation in the employment program.
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Maine
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A