S.O.A.R. Program at Webster University
Synopsis: Young Adults who are legally blind learn to cook, do laundry, clean house and manage money in summer residential program at Webster University. Nearly 70 percent of people who are blind are not employed. S.O.A.R. helps change this scenario for the better by building skill sets needed to live independently while encouraging the pursuit of educational, career and family interests. Our emphasis on independence also fosters expectations for independent travel skills, interpersonal relationships, post-secondary transition, organizational skills and career exploration.
Twelve young adults who are legally blind - including many away from home for the first time - are participating in a summer residential program to learn to live independently, seek competitive employment, and attend college or vocational training programs.
The Summer Orientation & Mobility and Adapted Living Resource program (S.O.A.R.) administered by Lighthouse for the Blind-Saint Louis is now in session in apartments at residential halls at Webster University.
Participants are undergoing three weeks of intense training in adapted living techniques that include cooking, kitchen management, self-care, clothing management, money management, home maintenance and sex education.
S.O.A.R. participant Marcus Boyer, who attended the program last year and is back this year, says, "I now know what I have to do to become more independent to live my life."
Nineteen specialists from Lighthouse for the Blind-Saint Louis are working in the day and night-time program, which includes mock employment interviews, skills for campus navigation, community access, public transportation, plus a dating seminar weekend. The specialists include Adapted Living Specialists, Orientation & Mobility Instructors, and college-age peers.
S.O.A.R. Program Director Kevin Hollinger says, "Our emphasis on independence also fosters expectations for independent travel skills, interpersonal relationships, post-secondary transition, organizational skills and career exploration." A number of S.O.A.R. graduates from previous years are now working in good jobs or as interns for St. Louis-based companies such as Nestle-Purina and the St. Louis Community Credit Union, says Hollinger.
"Lighthouse for the Blind-Saint Louis provides continuing opportunities for participant and family training and follow-up consultations as part of the Lighthouse commitment to S.O.A.R. program success," says Hollinger. "Our S.O.A.R. graduates will continue to build awareness of skill sets needed to live independently while pursuing educational, career and family interests."
The Lighthouse rents apartments, residential halls and common areas from Webster University to administer the three-week S.O.A.R. program, which the Lighthouse originated in 2007. Katie Knetzer, Webster's Director of the Community Center, says:
"The Lighthouse has always been a delight to work with, and is very good at communicating with us."
Nearly 70 percent of people who are blind are not employed. S.O.A.R. helps change this scenario for the better by building skill sets needed to live independently while encouraging the pursuit of educational, career and family interests.
Founded in 1933, LHB is a non-profit 501(c)3 organization that helps children and adults who are visually impaired maintain dignity and independence by offering employment, education and many support services.
Today and for many years LHB and its employees have manufactured, assembled, warehoused and sold high-quality products to customers nationwide including emergency survival kits , first aid kits, medical kits, catheters, aerosol and liquid paints, aerosol and liquid cleaning products, eco-friendly products and many others.
All sales revenues directly support Lighthouse programs including;
- The Summer Orientation & Mobility and Adapted Living Resource Program;
- Professional Career Development;
- Summer Jobs for Students;
- Continuing Education;
- Arts & Entertainment Accessibility;
- Low Vision Aid;
- Others available for individuals who are legally blind and visually impaired in Missouri and Southwestern Illinois.
This quality-reviewed article relating to our Disability Press Releases section was selected for publishing by the editors of Disabled World due to its likely interest to our disability community readers. Though the content may have been edited for style, clarity, or length, the article "S.O.A.R. Program at Webster University" was originally written by Lighthouse for the Blind-Saint Louis, and published by Disabled-World.com on 2014/06/13 (Updated: 2021/11/29). Should you require further information or clarification, Lighthouse for the Blind-Saint Louis can be contacted at lhbindustries.com. Disabled World makes no warranties or representations in connection therewith.
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Cite This Page (APA): Lighthouse for the Blind-Saint Louis. (2014, June 13). S.O.A.R. Program at Webster University. Disabled World. Retrieved November 28, 2023 from www.disabled-world.com/news/pressreleases/soar-program.php
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