Temporary Summer Youth Counselors will support the mission, vision and values of the Iowa Department for the Blind. Counselors will mentor youth ages 14-21 during IDB’s two-month residential summer program. Roles will be assigned based on staff skills and student needs, but will include teaching alternative techniques of blindness through daily classes such as braille, cane travel, access technology, home and personal management, as well as teaching alternative techniques of blindness through assisting students in their apartments and during evening and weekend activities.
Strong candidates will possess solid communication skills, maturity, the ability to follow directions and ask questions as needed, as well as a strong belief in the abilities of blind persons and a commitment to helping students grow toward their potential. Housing is available for employees who live outside the Des Moines area.
- Support student learning through braille, technology, personal management, cane travel, and money management instruction.
- Provide instruction in social skills, appropriate etiquette and self-advocacy.
- Reinforce blindness skills learning through assisting students with daily living tasks, meal planning and preparation, grocery shopping, laundry, and cleaning and organizing apartments.
- Assist students in traveling to and participating in activities in the community such as eating at restaurants, bowling and rock climbing.
- Reinforce proper cane technique and other nonvisual skills during these activities.
- Serve as a role model for students in the use of nonvisual techniques and problem-solving skills.
- Ensure safety of students by monitoring student behavior and the student living areas.
- Communicate with other summer program staff regarding student needs and progress. Document student progress including written student reports at the end of the summer.
Essential functions of this position:
- Demonstrate and promote a positive philosophy of blindness
- Actively monitor student behavior and living areas
- Communicate regularly with program leaders regarding student needs and concerns
- Document student progress through detailed written reports
- Demonstrate proper use of the long white cane
- Read and write braille to support students in developing their braille skills
- Actively participate in all summer program activities
- Initial staff training will be held via Zoom the weekend of March 25-27.
- Additional remote training will be scheduled with employees during April and May.
- The primary time of employment, in person in Des Moines, will be June 1– August 19, 2021.
- Summer youth counselors may consistently work significantly more than forty hours per week, based on the number of students enrolled and those students’ needs.