In previous manufacturing school and education resource blogs, we have mentioned Workshops for Warriors for military veterans, as well as discussed manufacturing apprentice positions and the Cardinal Manufacturing program. Now, we want to highlight our MFG School of the Month by mentioning both WSBVI (Wisconsin School for the Blind and Visually Impaired) and Beyond Vision.
WSBVI describes their services on their main site stating they have “students with varying degrees of visual impairment enrolled full time, with other students receiving short-term educational services. WSBVI offers state-standard K-12 education, as well as an early childhood program, college and career readiness program, extracurricular activities, meals, on-campus housing, and the latest in assistive technology to our students.”
The school has many resources and programs for students, including events such as the Braille Olympics and a YouTube channel with videos that highlight their students’ achievements, and even tutorials on how to use social media more easily with screen readers. What we also want to talk about is the amazing possibility that those with visual impairments in Wisconsin have to go on and seek out manufacturing jobs.
Those who graduate from WSBVI, or any other school for those who are blind or otherwise visually impaired, should inquire with an organization called Beyond Vision (AKA the Wisconsin Workshop for the Blind). These individuals work tirelessly to gain meaningful employment for those who are blind or visually impaired. One of Beyond Vision’s services is a machine shop where they employ individuals who are 70 percent or more visually impaired.
“They perform call-center work, assemble and package products, and distribute office supplies at military bases,” states Tim Heston, who wrote about Beyond Vision for The Fabricator. “Perhaps most surprisingly, it also has an eight-employee machine shop that recently delved into metal fabrication with a 40-ton press brake and a single-station punch press.”
“We’re not-for-profit, but we’re not for loss either,” James Kerlin, President and CEO of Beyond Vision explained in The Fabricator. “We have a little saying around here: no margin, no mission. Ninety-nine percent of funding comes from work we do for other companies.”
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