The Adult Comprehensive Program maximizes one’s ability to live independently and provides services for clients who are on a pathway to higher education, to retain a job, or to attain employment for the first time. The program offers various classes including technology, braille, career exploration, orientation and mobility and activities of daily living.

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A man reads a label on a package using assistive technologyThe concepts in technology will enable individuals to apply what each learn to the distinct goal of a college education, to retain the current employment, or to find a career in another field. As concepts connect, students will build on their previous knowledge and strengthen what they’ve already learned by applying it in different ways.

As you already know, the world runs on technology more and more every day. In our technology course, we seek to make that world accessible. We explore in detail the basic parts of a computer and complete tasks using assistive technology. In this course, students will develop the ability to compose properly formatted documents, prepare professional presentations, create and maintain a budget within the Microsoft Office suite, as well as manage the Outlook application including email, calendar, tasks, and contacts. Students will be taught file management skills and basic software problem solving and use of the internet.

While we’ll be dealing with many keystrokes to navigate, complete tasks, and solicit feedback from the screen reader, students may also find that they may remember keystrokes not by their actual names, but by the shape of their hand on the keyboard. Since learning is individualized, these and many other personal techniques will be relayed.

At the end of this course, students will have a full understanding of the concepts required to navigate and complete tasks using:

  • Screen Readers such as Jaws for Windows: including learning what to listen for, how to
    solicit spoken feedback for visual concepts, and other ear-training exercises

  • Magnifier Readers such as ZoomText: including learning to change visual enhancements such as magnification, color, pointer, and focus as well as reading commands

  • Microsoft Windows: including file manipulation and the Windows environment as a whole

  • The Office Suite: including lessons in Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and Outlook including email, calendar appointments and meeting requests, task management, and creating and editing contacts

  • Internet and webmail: including web site navigation, and additional relevant concepts for daily living functions such as on line banking, bill pay, shopping, college and university web sites, and social media

  • Optical Character Recognition (OCR) using software such as OpenBook with the Pearl Camera/Scanner for use scanning and reading documents

  • SMART Phones such as iPhones or Androids: including email, time management, appointments, and contacts using accessible features such as Zoom,Mmagnifier, VoiceOver, or Talkback

  • Alternative Format Players such as the Victor Reader Stream: including use for college, employment, and leisure to record as well as listen to books and podcasts.

Students will learn how to:

  • Use correct computer terms to ask properly-worded questions they may have in future technology discussions
  • Apply knowledge in multiple practical situations to accomplish technology-related goals
  • Present properly formatted documents
  • Interact with others in online settings, and conduct online communications in a professional manner

Students will be able to:

  • Manage appointments and e-mail inbox
  • Research topics on the internet, fill out forms, and order products
  • download digital book content
  • Navigate university and online class web interfaces or job-related sites
  • Create professional-looking documents which are well edited

Students will understand:

  • The physical orientation and layout of technology equipment
  • How to problem solve, with many keystrokes to accomplish tasks in several different ways
  • Where to go, using the internet, to find answers for additional material and concepts students may encounter after completion of this course

If recommended, students may be provided:

  • Necessary equipment to accomplish the individual’s goal, whether it’s college preparation or job readiness
  • Physical orientation to this equipment, along with related software
  • Assignments, such as internet research or document preparation, to practice in-class skills, which can be done during lab
  • Tailored lessons, particularly on the internet and Microsoft Word, which match the stated education and/or career goal
  • Several workbooks covering the Office suite, which will reinforce in-class concepts, as well as demonstrate those which may not be covered during individual lessons

Fingers touch braille bumps on a pageBraille has been described as a modern method of literacy. We all understand the importance of literacy in today’s society. For many, braille is the way to regain independence. Once students train their fingers to sense the dots by touch, it will open up a new world of possibilities.

In this course, students will learn:

  • The benefits of braille usage
  • Uncontracted and contracted braille, including the recently added Unified English Braille (UEB)
  • How to decode and interpret braille signs and symbols
  • How to build reading skills and reading speed
  • How to use a braillewriter and slate and stylus to create braille

Students will be provided:

  • A braille book
  • Pop-A-Cell, a large-scale braille cell

If a student decides that braille will be beneficial, the student will be asked to read twenty minutes of braille each day. The more an individual practices, the easier and more enjoyable reading braille will become.

Being diagnosed with a visual impairment or blindness is a life-altering experience for many individuals. During orientation and adjustment sessions, an instructor is available for resource support and one on one conversation. Additionally, a family support counselor and a social worker are on staff or independently contracted for further resource and adjustment discussions.

In this course, students will learn to:

  • Build self-esteem after vision loss
  • Set goals and learn how to reach them
  • Develop self-advocacy skills to obtain services, personal rights, and respect
  • Cope effectively with vision loss and related life situations
  • Develop independent problem-solving skills
  • Build positive social skills
  • Explore alternative transportation resources
  • Pursue community and other resources
  • Identify consumer organizations and services
  • Explore recreational opportunities

To enhance growth, each student will also be expected to complete an autobiography, personal mission statement, and a book report. Finally, participants will learn to identify their elected representatives.

In Career Exploration, students will be supported in developing the skills necessary to prepare for, acquire and maintain a job. Students will practice interview skills through a variety of different interviews, including individual and panel interviews which may be recorded for review and improvement. Also, students will prepare documents necessary to the job search, including a resume, cover letter and thank you note. Students will also create a personal data sheet for ease of completing an application. Next, students will explore suitable careers, which include “informational interviews,” or interviews with people in the chosen field. Additionally, students may have the opportunity to “job shadow” professionals. Finally, students will complete the Labor Market Survey, or LMS, which is required by Vocational Rehabilitation (VR).

While these are the major components of Career Exploration, focus is overall professional development. Coursework incorporates a variety of group sessions that allow individuals to grow in areas specific to employment: communication, literacy, advocacy as well as an understanding of various policies and procedures an individual may encounter. Whatever an individual’s career goal, Career Exploration will prepare the student to reach the objective.

In this course, students will learn:

  • How to create professional documents, including a resume, cover letter, and thank you note
  • How to succeed in the interview process
  • How to create a reference sheet for applications
  • How to present and behave as a professional
  • How to dress for success
  • How and when to disclose
  • How to appropriately advocate for any accommodations

Students will have the opportunity to:

  • Take and discuss various skills, personality, and vocational tests
  • Participate in individual and panel mock interviews with your instructor and others
  • Shadow professionals in the field
  • Interview professionals to discuss requirements and real experiences within the chosen field
  • Create a Labor Market Survey, which will provide a wealth of knowledge about the chosen career

Orientation and mobility training helps individuals who are blind or visually impaired know where they are, where they want to go (orientation), and how to move safely and independently in a variety of environments (mobility). Our Orientation and Mobility (O&M) curriculum is tailored to meet the individual needs of our students. Participants who complete this course will be able to:

  • Develop, improve, and maintain pre-cane and cane skills
  • Understand the relationships that exist between objects in the environment
  • Demonstrate effective residential travel skills
  • Demonstrate skills in commercial/downtown travel
  • Demonstrate skills in using public transit

Typically, the certified instructor first teaches basic human guide techniques that enable a visually impaired person to walk safely when being guided as well as sighted guide responsibilities. The instructor also teaches a number of basic skills involving learning to orient oneself to a new location indoors and how to travel independently indoors safely without using a cane.

After a student learns these skills, cane skills are introduced indoors followed by outdoor travel in familiar settings. Next, more advanced cane skills are taught leading to travel in malls, shopping centers, and more complex areas. Additionally, the student learns to travel in even more advanced areas such as parking lots, residential areas with intersections, and the crossing of streets at lighted intersections. 

Our Orientation and Mobility program highlights the use of public transit; therefore, all forms of bus, Light Rail, para transit, and cabs are taught. We also orient students to current basic technology used to gather and record information about travel routes to ensure personal safety when traveling alone.

Students will have the opportunity to:

  • Travel using public transportation including the bus and light rail
  • Travel through the airport using the Sky train
  • Travel through airport security
  • Assess for ADA Eligibility
  • Use a GPS app on a SMART phone

Upon completing FBC’s O&M program, students should be able to travel in the community to most locations independently, providing the student uses the O&M skills as taught. 

Activities of Daily Living (ADL) refers to all endeavors one may accomplish from awakening to going to sleep each day. In our activities of daily living class, students will be working through alternate ways of completing tasks that encompass daily life. Our certified staff will provide training and guidance in personal and home management. For example, students learn about food preparation, money management, clothing management, time management, and household maintenance. Numerous adaptive items will be demonstrated and taught. In fact, instruction will be individualized, to promote each student to become self-sufficient.

Students will learn how to prepare meals using:

  • Gas and/or electric oven and stove
  • Microwave
  • George Foreman Grill
  • Slow Cooker
  • Electric Skillet
  • Outdoor Grill (if desired)
  • Adaptive techniques and devices to label foods and spices, measure, pour, mix, turn and flip, cut, slice and dice

Students will be able to:

  • Manage appointments through large print or braille calendars and/or use of a SMART phone
  • Sign documents, complete checks, address an envelope, and write with stationary using handwriting templates
  • Keep necessary personal records through large print or braille ledgers or using a SMART phone
  • Use both a landline and cell phone
  • Complete laundry including washing, drying, sorting, ironing, and identifying colors and types of fabric as well as fabric care
  • Organize and label a kitchen for ease of use
  • Complete simple banking transactions and maintain records and a budget

Students will know how to use adaptive tools and techniques to:

  • Label food and medication including directions for use
  • Complete simple home maintenance projects such as hanging a picture or taking a measurement
  • Manage mail including bills
  • Identify cash and currency with and without technology
  • Complete daily grooming and hygiene needs such as shaving and make-up application

If recommended, students may be provided adaptive devices to:

  • Prepare meals
  • Maintain personal records and contacts
  • Manage time
  • Label miscellaneous items

Forum provides individuals the opportunity to discuss experiences and ask questions regarding vision loss in a safe place. In addition, guest speakers are common, and educational resources are routinely shared. Participation is encouraged to acquire the most from these groups.

Individuals will gain knowledge about health and fitness, exercising with a disability, coping and relaxation methods, self-defense, finances, and transportation options among other topics.

Women’s and Men’s Group

Separate men and women’s groups address various topics for personal discovery and development.

Activities and Labs

Other fun activities and labs (see Figure 1) that we provide include the following:

Chart of FBC adult Program activities