Career awareness and career exploration are the earliest components of career education for students who are blind or visually impaired. Talking with others about the work that they do is a great way for individuals to build upon these skills. In informational interviews, students interview individuals who work in a career field of interest in order to learn what it is like to work in that field or industry. This activity is a stepping stone toward an informational interview that helps students develop an awareness of entry-level jobs in their communities. Because of the inability to visually observe, and often due to lack of exposure or experience, students with vision impairments or blindness are frequently unaware of the various job and career options in their communities. An awareness of entry-level jobs can be especially challenging. High school students with vision impairments often have the desire to work like their sighted peers who are getting weekend or summer jobs, but they don’t know where to start.
This activity helps students to learn about some of the entry-level jobs that exist in their communities and what these jobs involve. By interviewing peers who have various weekend, summer, or after-school jobs in their towns, students with vision impairments are not only building upon their social skills and making connections with peers, but also developing an understanding of why, how and where other teenagers work.