At our Daytona Beach campus, students learn functional daily living skills and receive vocational training in both our on-site workshop and through work experience placements in local businesses. Just as importantly, they develop social skills necessary for community living. The Conklin Center takes great pride that more than 80% of students who complete our training program each year become gainfully employed, graduate to further academic or vocational training, or gain sufficient skills to be more self-reliant.

Training

Our instructors develop a personalized training program for each student based on their abilities, needs, interests and goals. Because a person who is deaf and blind doesn’t learn in the same way as someone who is developmentally delayed and blind, most teaching is one instructor to one student at a time. Classes include: Activities of Daily Living, Adult Basic Education (including money management), Orientation and Mobility (travel), Assistive Technology, Low Vision/Braille and Job Readiness. During training, students live on campus in the Center’s dormitory.

Employment

Employment for adult Floridians with significant disabilities is our ultimate goal… it is the fulfillment of the promise that begins with training at the Conklin Center. Job Readiness training begins in our workshop at the Center. Then our Supported Employment team matches students’ skills with the needs of local employers. When the student is hired, an Employment Specialist will provide on-site training to the industry’s standards and will provide ongoing support for any job related issues for both client and employer.

Graduation

Each student completes training at their own pace. Students graduate when they and their instructors are confident they have mastered the skills needed to live on their own. We have a special ceremony for every graduate to celebrate their unique success. Typically, by this time they are employed or have decided to continue their education, have made friends in the area and are successfully living on their own. Some graduates elect to return to their home communities where our staff will put them in touch with appropriate services.

In the Community

Even after completing our intensive training program, because of their significant disabilities, some graduates need low-intensity, ongoing assistance to maintain the active, independent lifestyle they worked hard to achieve.

The Supported Employment Program provides assistance and guidance to both client and employer for as long as needed. If the client is promoted to a new position, an Employment Specialist will provide on-site training. When a client needs to find a new job, the Employment Specialist assists with the job search, placement and job training at the new place of employment.

Supported Living Coaches assist graduates in their home and in the community with activities that might be routine to a person with sight, but present a challenge for one who is blind. These are things such as reading mail and paying bills, shopping and then labelling food to be able to identify it later when needed.

Supported Employment and Supported Living services are provided at no cost to the client for as long as needed.

Continuing Life Skills Education

In collaboration with Daytona State College, the Conklin Center provides access to lifelong learning and recreational activities. The purpose of the Life Skills Education Program is to increase our clients’ participation in community life, reduce the isolation that is common among adults with sensory disabilities, and improve their quality of life.

Students identify their area of interest, such as personal fitness, computers or cooking, and set goals. The majority of training is provided on an individual basis, however, seminars or workshops are held for general topics that are requested by a number of program participants.

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