Are You Ready for the Adventure of Your LIFE?

("Learning Independence, Feeling Empowered")

Save the Date
July 9, 2023 – August 4, 2023

It is never too early to mark your calendar for the 2023 LIFE program!

What is LIFE?

LIFE is a four week residential training program for students between the ages of 14-18 years old who are returning to a high school academic program in the fall of 2023.  It includes three components:  skills of blindness training (all students), confidence-building activities (all students), and a two-week paid work-based learning experience (for students between the ages of 16-18.)


What does LIFE provide?:

  • basic training in the skills of blindness and advocacy skills
  • expectations that students will take personal responsibility
  • employment and college exploration
  • real world work experience or additional skills of blindness training
  • physical fitness and confidence building activities
  • successful mentors who are blind or vision-impaired
  • positive strategies for dealing with misconceptions about blindness
  • daily opportunities to have LOTS of fun!

Important Dates for LIFE:

  • Application Deadline: midnight, Monday, May 8, 2023
  • Program Begins: Sunday, July 9, 2023 - check-in - 1:00 - 4:00 p.m.
  • Program Ends: Friday, August 4, 2023 - 12:00 p.m.
  • Graduation Ceremony: Friday, August 4, 2023 - 11:00 a.m.
  • Student/parent meetings with staff via Zoom: Monday – Thursday, August 7-10, 2023 (times will be scheduled)


  • Braille
  • Personal and Home Management (cooking, cleaning, budgeting, and organizing)
  • Travel skills using a long white cane
  • Keyboarding/Computers
  • Access Technology
  • Job Readiness
  • Conversations about Blindness

Confidence Building Activities:

  • Improvisation Training
  • Formal Dinner/Dance
  • Rock Climbing
  • Drivers Education Experience
  • Movies
  • Grilling
  • Business and Social Networking Skills
  • Whitewater Rafting
  • Swimming
  • And much more!

Paid Work Experience:

  • Eligible students (ages 16–18) work part-time in a community-based setting during the last two weeks of the LIFE program.
  • In some instances, staff will recommend that a student continue to focus on blindness skills (Travel skills, Braille, Access Technology, and Cooking) during the last two weeks of the program. 

Requirements for LIFE:

Students must:

  • Actively participate in all four weeks of the program.
  • Be between the ages of 14 and 18 and returning to a high school academic program in the fall of 2023 (must be 14 years old on or before July 9, 2023 and must not turn 19 years old before August 4, 2023)
  • Be blind or vision impaired and interested in acquiring blindness skills
  • Be able to participate in a group structured program and require no individual/one-on-one instruction
  • Be able to take care of personal care needs independently, including managing and self-administering medications
  • Have a valid government issued photo ID card at the time of check-in (July 9, 2023)
  • Have an open or be willing to open a Vocational Rehabilitation case with DBVI

What is the application process for LIFE? 

Information coming soon!
Be on the lookout after the first of the year about the LIFE application process.

In the meantime, if you have any questions about the LIFE program, please contact:

Amy Phelps, CRC, NOMC
Assistant Director for Instruction
Virginia Rehabilitation Center for the Blind and Vision Impaired
401 Azalea Avenue, Richmond, Virginia 23227
(804) 371-3052

For additional information about the LIFE Program, please contact:
Greg Chittum
Coordinator for Community Engagement
Virginia Rehabilitation Center for the Blind and Vision Impaired
401 Azalea Avenue, Richmond, Virginia 23227
(804) 371-3204

*Subject to change due to COVID protocols