“LOYO” Program Empowers Teens with Visual Impairments
Brunswick, ME – Attending a summer sleep-away camp is a rite of passage for many kids, but it wasn’t always an option for children with visual impairments in Maine, until now.
LOYO, an acronym for Living On Your Own, is a new collaborative program for Maine teens with visual impairments to do just that in a safe, supportive and fun environment.
The program attendees will stay overnight at Bowdoin College through Thursday, July 19 and participate in guided living experiences and hands-on classes in practical skills. “LOYO allows teens to have fun in a social environment while also teaching skills in independence and confidence that can be carried into work, social situations, and everyday life on their own,” notes Nancy Moulton, Director of Education Services for Blind and Visually Impaired Children at Catholic Charities Maine.
Among other skills, the teens will gain experience in first aid and medication management, fire safety and shopping for and cooking their own meals. They will also be taking a self-defense class designed specifically for people with visual impairment. The week also includes plenty of social activities, including bowling, beach trips and other outings they choose as a group.
The LOYO program is funded through Maine’s Division for the Blind and Visually Impaired (DBVI) and is a collaborative effort between Catholic Charities Maine’s Education Services for Blind and Visually Impaired Children (ESBVIC), the Iris Network and DBVI.
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