Envision Invites Students Nationwide to Level Up with Annual Program | Envision News

Envision Invites Students Nationwide to Level Up with Annual Program

By Envision Marketing • Apr 26, 2024

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Envision, one of the nation’s largest service providers and employers of people who are blind or visually impaired, has opened registration for its 2024 Level Up Program designed to equip students with vision loss with academic, professional and interpersonal skills needed for college, career and beyond. This year there will be a Level Up Session One Program, which hosts students ages 16-22, and a Level Up Session Two Program, which hosts students ages 12-15. Both sessions will be hosted at Wichita State University, who has partnered with Envision over the years in many capacities. 

“Our weeklong residential programs provide an immersive hands-on experience for students from across the United States,” says Hannah Christenson, Director of Community Services at Envision. “The Level Up Program works to promote academic success by developing independence, success skills and leadership, while students learn more about assistive technology. We offer two sessions to provide tailored age-appropriate experiences to students.” 

Session One is designed to provide additional support for students from across the United States as they begin the transition to college or career. Students gain independence and confidence to set and achieve their goals, setting the stage for their success in the world today. Concluding with a College and Career Expo, students take what they have learned about professional etiquette and interpersonal communication throughout the week and apply it directly. In partnership with the Wichita business community and institutes of higher education, students can learn about the wide range of options available to them once they transition out of high school.  

Level Up Session One is also hosting a special guest speaker for 2024, Joe Strechay, a well-known film producer and consultant! With nearly a decade in the film industry, Strechay gives his insight and direction on projects involving depictions of a person with blindness or disability. His work includes Netflix TV series “All the Light We Cannot See”, a series recently released that depicts the story of a young woman (played by Aria Loberti, a blind actress) who is blind living in France in the middle of World War II. Strechay was an associate producer and blindness consultant for the show and was a main point of reference and input, along with Loberti, for the show's accurate depictions of blindness. Other projects of Strechay's include “The OA”, Marvel’s “Daredevil”; Apple TV Plus’ “SEE” and casting for numerous streaming networks and entertainment companies. Strechay is blind and grew up with a learning disability and is passionate about mental health and helping people who are blind or visually impaired access employment opportunities.  

Session Two focuses on providing critical mentorships and encouragement to build independence. In addition to offering sessions that increase technological literacy and access technology skills, students engage in activities to improve interpersonal communication, leadership and success skills. This session works with students, their families and teachers to ensure students have the tools they need to be successful in the classroom and beyond. 

All nine core areas of Expanded Core Curriculum are covered within both weeklong Level Up events, and the exploration of potential career fields support the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA) and Pre-Employment Transition Services (Pre-ETS). 

Developed in 2006 to address the learning gap between students who are blind and visually impaired and their sighted peers, the Level Up Program partners with teachers, families, assistive technology professionals, community professionals, colleges and universities to guide students as they set goals and achieve success. This comprehensive national program provides access to ongoing support and resources for students who are blind or visually impaired at every stage of their education. Participants learn the value of self-expression, critical thinking, discovery and exploration through hands-on accessible activities with support from Envision staff, peers, educators and community professionals. 

We encourage students to contact their vocational rehabilitation transition counselors or local agency to ask about assistance to attend Level Up. For more information about Level Up or to register, visit envisionus.com/level-up or contact programs@envisionus.com.  

About Envision: Envision promotes advocacy and independence for people 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

Media Contact: Holly Herring, Marketing Manager 

Office: 316-440-1531 | Email: media@envisionus.com