Envision Acquires National Virtual Program that Helps Students Who are Blind or Visually Impaired Navigate Transition to Higher Education and Employment
Nation’s preeminent service provider to and employer of individuals who are blind, visually impaired, or have low vision adds College Success Program to portfolio
WICHITA, Kan. (Dec. 1, 2021) — As preparation for final exams hit college campuses, students across the country are gearing up for strenuous blocks of studying and reading, and are tapping into study groups, learning tools and devices to give themselves an edge. For students with visual impairments, however, traditional learning environments can be challenging. In 2015, the National Federation of the Blind estimated that less than 15% of individuals who are blind or visually impaired received a bachelor’s degree in higher education. Wichita-based Envision is making strides to improve that statistic.
Envision, which provides employment opportunities, programs and services to help people who are blind or visually impaired, is helping students tackle this extra layer of complexity with the acquisition of the College Success Program (CSP). The CSP is a one-of-a-kind virtual, national program designed to help support students with vision loss entering college and the workforce. The program will be housed under Envision’s Workforce Innovation Center.
“Envision’s acquisition of the College Success Program is a strong complement to the goals of our Workforce Innovation Center as we orient the next generation of students with vision loss toward a successful and accessible future,” said Karyn Page, Envision’s vice president of innovation.
The program was developed by Princeton-based Learning Ally and is based on three key research insights. First, students who are visually impaired need to arrive at school prepared to direct their own learning. Second, students are at risk of becoming socially separated from their peers and isolated in the classroom. And third, students who take charge of their education and embrace assistive technology are more likely to succeed and track with their sighted peers. The program is made possible by the Lavelle Fund for the Blind.
“We’re excited to see how the College Success Program grows with Envision,” said Mary Alexander, former national program director at Learning Ally, and now with Envision as the CSP senior director. “Envision’s specialty employment programs and services will truly help elevate this program and provide extended resources for students who are blind or visually impaired.”
Created to assist students in managing their support networks, the program is a resource both inside the classroom and out. The comprehensive system utilizes CSP Mentors who are recent graduates, in addition to other experts in the blindness field. Providing career services and resources from the start, Envision’s Workforce Innovation Center helps teach people who are blind or visually impaired meaningful job skills that can lead to full-time employment. It is well-known that a successful college experience is an essential step towards employment.
Members of the CSP also have access to robust on-demand resources that include specialized articles, webinars, and a community of peers and mentors. Designed with the highest accessibility standards in mind, the program ensures students of any ability are able to access the program’s resources.
The CSP acquisition is a part of Envision’s growth efforts, which also include its expansion to Dallas, Texas, and the additions of David Stupay as the executive director of Envision Dallas, Noreen Carrocci, Ph.D.as the new senior vice president for Envision’s Foundation and Mission Services, and Karyn Page as Envision’s vice president of innovation.
Learn more about Envision’s College Success Program by visiting the website www.collegesuccessbvi.org or by calling 214-420-6554.
About Envision: Envision promotes advocacy and independence for those who are blind or have low vision. Founded in 1933, Envision is one of the largest employers of individuals with vision loss in the nation. Headquartered in Wichita, Kansas, Envision’s mission is to improve the quality of life and provide inspiration and opportunity for people who are blind or visually impaired through employment, outreach, rehabilitation, education, and research. For more information, visit www.envisionus.com.