“Vision Quest” Students Prepare for College 

Blind and visually impaired students are getting a feel for college life at the University of Maine.

6 students are enjoying their final days on the Orono campus as part of Vision Quest.

The 5-week program, sponsored by the Department of Labor’s Division for the Blind and Visually Impaired, aims to strengthen skills such as self-advocacy, test taking, and time management.

The students stay in the dorms, attend class, eat in the cafeteria, and participate in learning labs.

They also volunteer off-campus.

Students say the safe environment allows them to learn at their own pace and with the help of friends.

Skyelynn Patten, a student in the program, says, “With connecting through something like visual impairment you already feel like you guys are friends or family and that is how I feel about each one of the people in this program.”

Britany Douglass is an RA, she says, “In the future it would be great to have more kids do it because it is just a great crash course into learning what college is really like.”

Students also spent time volunteering off-campus at places like the Old Town Orono YMCA, the Bangor Humane Society, and the Ronald McDonald House.

They’ll have the opportunity to return next year as RA’s.

The program ends on Friday.