Academy Information


Applications are no longer being accepted for

Summer Academy.  Thank you!

Summer Academy for Students who are Blind or Visually Impaired: Enhancing Independence Skills for Students Transitioning to Post-Secondary Education

Penn State University

University Park, Pennsylvania

July 7, 2020 to July 16, 2020

Apply to Summer Academy

The Office of Vocational Rehabilitation, Bureau of Blindness and Visual Services (BBVS) in partnership with Department of Special Education (BSE)/Pennsylvania Training and Technical Assistance Network (PaTTAN) and Pennsylvania State University are pleased to offer the 2020 Summer Academy.

Academy Details:

  • Build on current student skills and enhance independence skills for students transitioning to post-secondary education
  • Available at no cost to eligible students currently enrolled in 9th, 10th, 11th or 12th grade in the 2019-2020 school year who anticipate attending a two/four year college or technical/trade school after graduation from high school *charges may apply to out-of-state students
  • Focus areas include: daily living activities, travel skills, self-advocacy and networking skills, career awareness, social skills and enhancing access technology skills
  • Students reside at Penn State University in a dormitory, sharing a room with another student, and eat at a campus dining hall

Program content will include:

  • Enhancement of access technology skills
  • Orientation and mobility instruction to enhance necessary independent travel skills
  • Adaptive sports and team building activities
  • Development of self-advocacy skills and social skills
  • Career exploration to define students’ vocational direction
  • Vision rehabilitation therapy to develop and enhance independent living skills
  • College level classes, presentations and hands on experiences within the STEM fields as well as many other professional areas

Application Criteria:

Eligible applicants need to:

  1. Be currently enrolled in 9th, 10th, 11th or 12th grade in the 2019-2020 school year.
  2. Have an identified post-secondary goal of enrolling in a post-secondary education program and a course of study preparing for that goal.
  3. Be an active participant with the Bureau of Blindness and Visual Services.
  4. Be medically stable and able to independently maintain dietary restrictions or medication needs.
  5. Have basic skills in using access technology for note taking/word processing, web browsing and keyboarding.
  6. Demonstrate a basic level of self-care with a potential for gaining independence.
  7. Demonstrate basic independent travel skills.
  8. Have a desire and willingness to participate in all activities at the Summer Academy.

Application Details:

  • First review for selection of students is January 7, 2020.
  • A maximum of 30 students will be accepted into the program.
  • Students will be notified of acceptance by April 1, 2020.
  • Please complete the online application at:  Apply to Summer Academy
  • If you are unable to submit an online application, please mail or fax to the address listed below.

Autumn Spotts, Program Manager
Penn State Conferences and Institutes
225 The Penn Stater Conference Center Hotel
University Park, PA 16802