Summer Youth Program
Each summer we offer the sixteen to twenty Rhode Island youth the opportunity to participate in a wide range of activities that test their knowledge and skills of appropriate orientation and mobility skills.
This program is by invitation only. Students who are interested should discuss with their orientation and mobility specialist whether this experience would be of benefit to them. Applications are available through a student's orientation and mobility specialist.
Led by three Certified Orientation and Mobility Specialists (COMS) as well as certified vision rehabilitation staff we seek out a set of unique experiences that put the participants in situations that push the limits of their
The activities in our 2016 program included:
- An adapted dance class that included clear verbal instructions allowing the students to learn a multi-step dance routine which they performed as a group.
- Rhode Island lighthouse tour including a narrated guided boat tour of Narragansett Bay and Newport harbor.
- Rock climbing at a local indoor climbing facility which required the participants to use tactile cures to maneuver up the wall.
- Two day trips to Boston which included a fully narrated duck boat tour of the city, a guided tactile tour of the Museum of Fine Arts and a tour of the Museum of Science with the opportunity for a wide range of hands on activities.
- A hike along the Newport Cliff Walk, a visit to First Beach, and a narrated ride on the Newport ice cream train.
- A day trip to the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute which included a presentation by a blind oceanographer, a tour of the facility, and the opportunity to ride on a research vessel and touch a variety of small sea life.
- A presentation from Guiding Eyes for the Blind about dog guides.
- A fully narrated tour on the Blackstone Valley Explorer.
- The opportunity to learn goal ball, a game designed specifically for people who are blind, with several physical education students at Rhode Island College.
- A search and rescue exercise with members of the Rhode Island Correctional Officers search team. The presentation included what to do and not do when you are lost and how a search team goes about finding someone. The participants then practiced by “getting lost” in the woods and being searched for.
We are planning similar activities this year as well as some new experiences. We are hoping, for instance, to take the teen group on an overnight trip to Boston which would allow us additional time to practice using various forms of public transportation including the commuter rail to navigate to our destinations. We are also planning a sailing class in collaboration with the Community Boating Center in Providence as well as a full day marine science cruise with Save the Bay.