Thursday, October 21, 2010

New Massachusetts center to train blind people for communication jobs

From The Patriot Ledger in Mass.:

BOSTON — There is a new training program for blind men and women interested in pursuing careers in communications.

The Marshfield-based Talking Information Center, a non-profit radio station for blind listeners, has partnered with the Massachusetts Commission for the Blind to give visually impaired residents the skills needed to succeed in communications.

“It’s very difficult to convince an employer that a blind person can do the same job as a sighted employee,” said Ron Bersani, executive director of the Talking Information Center. “This is the kind of program that can provide the skills and training that will allow them to level the playing field.”

The program, called Vocational Opportunities in Communication Education, began its first session last month at a new studio built at the Commission for the Blind offices in Boston. The studio is expected to be officially opened this week.

Four people can be accommodated in each 12-week session, which involves 24 hours of training per week. The program is open to Massachusetts residents of employment age, Bersani said.

Participants learn interviewing, editing, writing and broadcasting skills while using adaptive technology to produce radio, video and printed projects, Bersani said.

Many of the radio projects will be broadcast by the Talking Information Center, he said.

The Boston studio was built with about $240,000 in stimulus funding.