Florida DOE announces first of its kind apprenticeship program for the blind

The Florida Department of Education Division of Blind Services announced the first in the nation job apprenticeship program.

The apprenticeship program was implemented to create employment opportunities for blind and visually impaired individuals, training them to enhance website accessibility for internet users with all disabilities.

According to a news release, the department’s new Web Accessibility Specialist Registered Apprenticeship Program combines on-the-job training with educational instruction to progressively increase workers’ skill levels, wages, and career options.

“We are proud of the work DBS is doing every day for the blind and visually impaired community,” said Commissioner Manny Diaz, Jr. “Today’s announcement doubles down on their daily efforts by creating the first internship of its kind in the nation. I look forward to seeing the new apprentices in action!”

Graduates will also receive internationally recognized portable credentials, and their training may be applied toward further post-secondary education.

“This is a significant advancement for DBS clients,” said Senior Chancellor Henry Mack. “It provides the benefit of being employed while also allowing participants to gain valuable skills that will enable them to make the web more accessible for themselves and their peers. We are very excited to launch this program.”

Apprentices selected into the program will serve as DBS employees and receive training at the DBS Rehabilitation Center for the Blind and Visually Impaired.

The competency-based apprenticeship is approximately 12 months.