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2024 Summer EmployAbility Program

Pre-EmployAbility Weekend

April 5, 4:00 pm through April 6, 2024, 4:00 pm

EmployAbility Banner Photo Collage

Pre-EmployAbility Weekend

Dates for the 2024 Summer EmployAbility Program are as follows. Please note that all students who wish to participate in this summer program will be required to attend the Pre-EmployAbility weekend.

April 5, 4:00 pm through April 6, 2024, 4:00 pm

The Pre-EmployAbility program is a weekend to assess students in regard to their skills related to employment.  Participation in this portion is mandatory for all students who will attend the 2024 Summer EmployAbility Program.  The dates for this program are Friday, April 5 with an arrival time of 4 pm through Saturday, April 6 with a student pick-up time of 4 pm. 

The weekend will consist of activities for program staff to get to know the students’ abilities, strengths and areas of need as they relate to competencies of employment.  The weekend will include assessments and observations in the areas of employment, orientation and mobility, independent living, assistive technology and social emotional skills. There will also be discussion of job placements for the summer program. Students will access WCBVI laptops to determine keyboarding, email and internet access skills.  Students will stay in the dorm at WCBVI where the five-week Summer EmployAbility Program will take place. Students will become familiar with the WCBVI campus and will receive an introduction to the Janesville Transit System (JTS). 

The result of the pre-EmployAbility weekend will be a report highlighting the students’ abilities, strengths and areas of need as they relate to the competencies of employment, Orientation and Mobility (O&M) and Independent Living Skills (ILS). The report will help guide staff in determining whether a student will work in the community or onsite at WCBVI.

This program is for students ages 16-21 who are enrolled in school in Wisconsin and who are receiving services from a Teacher of the Visually Impaired through an IEP. It is designed for students who plan to work in the community after completion of high school.

Summer EmployAbility Program

Dates for the Summer EmployAbility Program are June 17-28, 2024 for two weeks of on-campus classes and July 8-26, 2024 for three weeks of paid employment. As Limited Term Employees (LTE’s) with the State of Wisconsin, students will work up to 20 hours per week in their assigned jobs.


The focus of the summer program will be on developing employment skills that lead to employment in the community. Students will have two weeks of classes in Employment Skills, Orientation and Mobility and Independent Living Skills. 

Employment Skills class includes researching jobs, creating a resume, learning to complete job applications and interview, communicating with employers and coworkers, learning about requirements of various jobs and what type of qualities employers are seeking in a candidate. 

Instruction in Orientation and Mobility (O&M) will include learning about community safety, safe travel to and from your place of employment, exposure to the Janesville Transit System and shared ride services. It is expected that students will have basic cane skills upon arrival to the program.

Independent Living Skills (ILS) includes use of basic kitchen items such as microwave, stovetop and oven, learning about healthy lunch options and preparing simple meals.

Who Will Benefit?

This program will benefit students who plan to live independently, work with no or minimal support, and/or attend a university, private, or technical college. This program is not part of a student’s IEP, nor any local district programming.


Students who are 16-21 years of age, who are blind or visually impaired and have attended high school in Wisconsin for the 2023-2024 school year, are eligible to participate. Students will become state of Wisconsin Limited Term Employees and must satisfy all hiring requirements. All students who sign up for the program will receive a certificate upon successful completion. The program is limited to eight students.

Program Requirements

In order to participate in the program, students must commit to the April 5-6 Pre-EmployAbility weekend and the full five-week summer program. Students must provide their own transportation to and from the Wisconsin Center for the Blind and Visually Impaired campus in Janesville.

Podcast Interview

David Ballmann was interviewed about the EmployAbility program on episode 35 of the Badger News Podcast. You can listen to the interview here or find Badger News on your favorite podcast app.