SSB News, Notices and Reports


News

SSB is on Audioboom

Share! Connect! Succeed!

What’s Audioboom, you’re wondering?

It’s an app and social networking site that connects people through everything audio: podcasts, audio clips, voice messages, personal recordings and more. The content that SSB is putting up on Audioboom is also available as a text transcript.

What’s Available

You can check us out on one of our three channels:

BATeencast is a place where Minnesota young adults who are blind, DeafBlind, or experiencing vision loss can come together to share ideas, tell their stories, and download podcasts on everything from landing that first summer internship to figuring out the world of assistive tech. You’ll also find interviews with Minnesotans who are blind, DeafBlind, or who have low vision and how they’ve managed the world of work or school. It’s a place to connect, to learn, and to be heard!

RTB features the podcasts produced by the folks at the Radio Talking Book. It’s our curated collection of articles on finding a job, building your career, and navigating the world of work and school with a vision loss. Many of these podcasts share the stories of people who are blind, DeafBlind or visually impaired who are out achieving their goals. You’ll also find plenty of podcasts there that speak directly to the experience of being a young adult.

Blind Abilities is an open mic for social and thought provoking conversations by Adults, Teens, and Teachers of the Blind and visually impaired. It is based in Minnesota and has a global reach. Oh, and it’s also a place to have a bit of fun along the way.

How Does it Work?

You can download the Audioboom app on your Apple or Android device, or go to the website at Audioboom.com.

From your app, or online, fill out the registration info, and then do a search for BATeencast, RTB, and Blind Abilities. Then select the follow button to keep up-to-date with new content. Direct links to each of these Audioboom channels are below.

Get Heard!

The BATeencast Channel is the spot for Minnesota’s community of young adults who are blind, DeafBlind, or who are losing vision to make their own voices heard. If you’d like to be a contributor, just send an email to BATeencast@comcast.net letting us know you’re interested. We’ll help you out from there. All content will be reviewed for posting. We want to make this a safe, exciting, engaging, practical and fun place to figure out the world of school, work and life.

Check us out!

Access the Blind Abilities Channel.

Individual links to each channel:

Download the app from the iTunes store. Or download the app from Google Play.


Teen and Young Adult Summer Enrichment

Summer camps, educational programs and skills-building opportunities for blind, visually impaired, and DeafBlind teens and young adults...here are many options for summer 2015.

AccessNorth

With offices in Hibbing, Duluth, Brainerd and Walker, the Center for Independent Living of Northeastern Minnesota provides a variety of programs.

Boys and Girls Club 

Programs focus on leadership, education and career development, health and life skills with the goal of paving the way toward academic success, good character and citizenship, and healthy lifestyles.

Conservation Corps – Minnesota

Conservation Corps provides hands-on environmental stewardship and service-learning opportunities to youth and young adults while accomplishing conservation, natural resource management and emergency response work.

Courage Center 

Offers adaptive sports and recreation opportunities, aquatics, fitness and wellness, as well as vocational and independent living services.

Helen Keller National Center For Deaf-Blind Youths and Adults

How Far Can You Go?
Dates: July 27-August 7, 2015 at HKNC – 141 Middle Neck Road, Sands Point, NY
Cost: $2,600.00 for two weeks – includes tuition, room and board

Intermediate School District 917 Vision Program Extended School Year Expanded Core Curriculum
Two week program focusing on skills in the areas of independent living, daily living skills, recreation and leisure, social interaction, career education, and orientation and mobility for students who are blind/visually impaired.
Dates: August 3-13, 2015

Leader Dog for the Blind Summer Experience

This program is a free, one-week camp experience for 16- and 17-year-olds that is all about fun, learning new things, challenging yourself and making new friends. The camp is held from June 26-July 3, 2015, and is held in Rochester Hills, Michigan. Application deadline is: April 1, 2015.

Minnesota Life College Summer Internship Program

Session 1: June 7-26, 2015.    Session 2: July 5-24, 2015.
Cost: $5,000
Students will have the opportunity to experience the real world, by living in an apartment-setting with roommates, working and engaging in community life with new friends.
The Summer Internship Program is a hands-on learning, taught by MLC instructors and job coaches. This opportunity will provide students the chance to develop

  • Social skills and participate in fun community activities
  • Work skills through an internship experience, with a student stipend at the end of the three weeks
  • Independent living skills including: organization, budgeting, healthy choices and safety
Minnesota State Academy for the Blind's Independence 101

The Independence 101 Summer Program will offer opportunities for both middle school and high school age students. Each group of students will participate in activities encompassing the three areas of transition (post-secondary, employment, and independent living).
Focusing on increasing functional learning skills, this program is designed to create an active learning environment for students entering grades 7-12.
For more information, call 507-384-6700 or 800-657-3634.

National Federation of the Blind (NFB) Youth Slam

Four-day STEM academy in Baltimore, Maryland Focuses on Science, Technology, Engineering and Math.
Northern Plains Vision of Sport Camp
Visually impaired and blind children from MN participate in an annual sport and recreation camp.
Contact Dr. James Mastro at: 218-755-3772

PREP Program at BLIND Inc. in Minneapolis

An eight-week summer program designed to prepare blind high school students for academic, employment, and social success.
Dates: June 14-August 7, 2015

Right Track

Right Track is Saint Paul's pipeline for youth career development and building a diverse future workforce. Important partners are joining forces to ensure Saint Paul youth are on the right track to future success. The Right Track Initiative brings together the City of Saint Paul, Saint Paul Public Schools, businesses, and community-based organizations to provide work readiness and employment opportunities for youth.

STEP-UP Summer Jobs Program

For Minneapolis youth ages 14-21. Youth must complete a competitive application process and work readiness training to be considered for a position with the STEP-UP program. Youth ages 14-21 are offered a paid internship experience and matched with positions at local businesses. For more information, contact Tammy Dickinson at (612) 673-5041.

Summer Transition Program

Dates: June 13 – 25, 2015, at the University of St. Thomas.
The program focuses on employment, post-secondary education and independent living. STP must be in the transition student’s IEP.  Costs are split between student’s school district and SSB.

Tree Trust Summer Youth Employment Program

Youth spend their summer working hard throughout the Twin Cities seven-county metro area. Whether they're working as a team to build a staircase at a local park or working by themselves to help a local organization catch up on data entry, participants earn wages, develop pride in their abilities and gain transferable skills to take to future jobs. The community benefits, too. Residents see improvements in their parks and recreation areas, and businesses get to draw from a competent, experienced workforce of young people.

Wolf Ridge Environmental Learning Center

Classes focus on the local, natural, and cultural history of Minnesota. Designed to incorporate many different learning styles.

Yes Duluth – Youth Employment Service

Program provides education and employment services for youth 16 to 21 years old, with a focus on: 

  • Individualized tutoring to help participants earn a GED or high school diploma
  • Paid work experience opportunities
  • Funding for training
  • Help with college enrollment
  • Career guidance
  • Job search skills (resume writing, cover letters, interviewing and follow-up)

Summer Jobs Program offers short-term summer employment and work experience with local employers. For more information, call 218-302-8400 and ask for a YES Duluth Youth Specialist.

Notices

Openings on State Rehabilitation Council for the Blind

Are you interested in helping State Services for the Blind shape its work and goals? Consider applying for a position on the State Rehabilitation Council for the Blind. Council members are appointed by the governor, and represent various constituencies. Current vacancies include:

  • One DeafBlind Community Representative 
  • One PACER Representative

For more information or to apply, visit the Secretary of State's webpage.Openings on SRC-B Committees and Recurring Task Forces

The State Rehabilitation Council for the Blind (SRC-B) is a council of consumers and constituents who help guide the work and mission of SSB. The SRC-B is looking for individuals who are interested in strengthening the work we do by serving on one of our sub-committees. In order to fairly represent our consumers and constituents, we are seeking individuals from various communities and backgrounds. We are currently accepting applications for committee membership for the 2015-2016 year. Terms begin in August. This SRC-B Committees and Recurring Task Forces document will give you an overview of our committees and open positions. To apply, please send an email with your information, qualifications, and positions you are interested in by July 15 to Samantha.Fischer@state.mn.us.

Openings on SRC-B Committees and Recurring Task Forces

The State Rehabilitation Council for the Blind (SRC-B) is a council of consumers and constituents who help guide the work and mission of SSB. The SRC-B is looking for individuals who are interested in strengthening the work we do by serving on one of our sub-committees. In order to fairly represent our consumers and constituents, we are seeking individuals from various communities and backgrounds. We are currently accepting applications for committee membership for the 2015-2016 year. Terms begin in August. This SRC-B Committees and Recurring Task Forces document will give you an overview of our committees and open positions. To apply, please send an email with your information, qualifications, and positions you are interested in by July 15 to Samantha.Fischer@state.mn.us.

SSB Phone Numbers

  • Our toll free number is (800) 652-9000.
  • Our general number for our front desk is: (651) 539-2300.

Here is a list of phone numbers for all SSB staff and all special phone numbers: 

Deaf or hard of hearing customers, please call in using your preferred relay system. 

Changes in Relay Services

Effective 11/14/2014, Purple stopped providing IP Relay service. Sprint Relay is now the only remaining provider of IP Relay service in the U.S. Register for Sprint IP Relay service. For more information, email Sprint.

Report comments or concerns about the relay service

Reports

SSB Reports