Youth Transition Program

Five young men in our First Jobs program stand together


The Youth Transition Program is designed to help teens who are blind or visually impaired successfully develop into independent, confident and capable young adults. Programming incorporates individual and group activities that address personal, vocational, social and educational aspects of the transition process. Whenever possible, participants will have the opportunity to meet blind or visually impaired adults who have developed successful careers in a variety of professions. See our schedule of upcoming seminars, which includes the following sessions *(more to come):

  • Scholarships and Money
    Saturday, December 9, 2017
    Your start to financial independence. Led by Maureen Reid, Job Placement Counselor & Scholarship Coordinator for Employment Services at The Chicago Lighthouse.
  • Lions District 1J 36th Annual Ski for Sight
    January 26-28, 2018
    Individuals who are visually impaired will have the chance to cross country ski, bowl, play bingo and socialize with people from throughout the region!
  • College Weekend
    Spring 2018
    Learn about college life first hand with a trip to ISU for the weekend.
    *Transportation provided
  • 3rd Annual Career Fair
    Friday, March 16, 2018
    Learn from business leaders and hear the compelling stories from many successful blind and visually impaired people.
  • First Jobs Training Week
    Summer 2018
    Unique vocational program offering one week of intensive training followed by opportunities for paid internships or competitive employment.
  • Summer in the City
    Summer 2018
    A residential program held at UIC Polk Street Residence in Chicago offering social, technology, daily living, and mobility experiences throughout the city with experienced staff.


Apply online for the Youth Transition Program. If you are a first time applicant, please complete the following new participant application:

If you are a returning applicant, please complete the abbreviated returning participant application:

First Jobs Program
Coming Summer 2018

This unique vocational program combines classroom learning, on-site orientation and paid work experience for students who are blind or visually impaired ages 15-24. For the first week, students attend morning classes on resume writing, career planning, disability disclosure, nonverbal communication skills, self-advocacy, conflict resolution and mock interviewing. Students spend afternoons orienting to and exploring job sites. For the next eight weeks, students work at their designated sites for 20 hours each week as paid intern employees, with the possibility for competitive employment.

Enrollment for 2018 will open in January. In addition to completing the Youth Transition Program general application, please complete the pre-assessment form for the First Jobs Program (under construction):


Summer in the City (SitCity)
Summer 2018

This residential program, held in Chicago, offers a six-night explorative experience. Students attend daily classes in technology, mobility, communication and daily living skills. In the afternoons and evenings, students explore all the excitement that Chicago has to offer including theater, boating, sports venues, restaurants and more.

Enrollment for 2018 will open in January. In addition to completing the Youth Transition Program general application, please complete the pre-assessment form for the Summer in the City Program (under construction):



For more information, please contact:

Shelle Hamer
Manager, Youth Transition Program
(847) 510-2055
Email Shelle