Career Day is such a great opportunity to share our love for our chosen career. Career exploration is an essential part of the curriculum that helps students discover different vocations and helps them to connect the importance of their academics to their future. In addition, it is a great Expanded Core Curriculum activity for our students with visual impairments.
Many of us have opportunities to work with students in a variety of settings, and this is an exciting way to introduce students and educate general education teachers about our unique work during a “fun day.”
Ideally, check with the schools you serve in advance and “talk up” your Career as a TVI. Your enthusiasm and energy will motivate your school counselors or vocational teachers to include you. This is a perfect opportunity to be seen and for others to better understand the importance of our role in education.
- Introduction of TVI
- Ice Breaker – Stand behind the class and using the Sound Ball or Sound Shaker Cans to make sounds, walk back and forth. Have the students raise their hands to try to follow the sound. Ask the students to tell which of the Sound Shaker Cans are louder, softer, etc.
- Provide Braille Activity Sheet and/or Braille Alphabet and Numbers Cards. These are available from APH for a very affordable $8.00 per 100 (not available with quota funds).
- Blind Maze Activity - this partner or group activity is way for students to understand some of the challenges of not being able to see. One student closes his or her eyes and the partner or group members verbally guide them through the maze using directional terms.
- Simulated Braille Puzzle – Ask the teacher ahead of time to share some personal clues, like favorite color, food or song. Answer the questions in simulated Braille and have the students solve the uncontracted simulated Braille.
- Share about Louis Braille (coloring pages are available online)
- Tactile Exploration Activity – Give the students an opportunity explore materials brought including, Braille books, tactile communication cards, Braille peg slate, abacus, tactile graphics, etc.
I personally bring a rolling cart full of exciting materials, including a Perkins Brailler (and paper), Sound Ball, Sound Shaker Cans, Tactile Communication Board, Braille Peg Slate, Braille Alphabet and Numbers Cards, Seedlings Braille books (that have text and Braille), Blind Maze Activity Sheets, Your Name in Braille Activity Sheets, tactile drawings and tactile graphics.
The Braille Activity Sheets have a choice of three:
- Career Day – Braille Lesson (copy paper/no brailling)
- Career Day - Braille with space to Braille alphabet (Braille paper/brailling)
- Career Day - Braille with space to Braille NAME (uncontracted Braille of students’ name)
As an itinerant TVI, I offer Career Day participation in schools that I serve. As a bonus, I encourage my students with visual impairments to join me for portions of the presentation.
Please know that these are optional topics to cover. You may be as detailed or as vague you would like. Feel free to share items or make demonstrations. The goal is for the students to walk away thinking “That was neat” or “I could see myself doing do that.” The students positively influenced and easily entertained. You will be making a HUGE difference in their day and lives.
- Where are you from? Tell them a little about where you graduated from high school, especially if it is a local school.
- What sparked your interest to enter your career field?
- What training or education is required to work in your career?
- If you attended college, what school did you attend? What was your major? Please tell them about any scholarships or awards that you received.
- Did you encounter any struggles or boundaries? Please speak with them about any hardships or issues that you overcame during college and in your career.
- What do you do each day? Please walk them through a day in your shoes.
- What is the coolest part of your job?
Conclude with words of advice and encouragement. Let the students know that anyone from any background can be anything that he or she desires if they are willing to work hard. Our goal should be to raise up some future TVIs.