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Division Policy 2.23




April 15, 2010


January 18, 2013


This policy will be reviewed and updated as needed.


Provide direction and guidance to the districts when utilizing interns.


The Division of Blind Services participates in non-paid internships/practicum. Interns must follow the procedures in place for ‘volunteers.’ The DBS office will contact the appropriate representative in the state office to set up the intern’s computer access with MIS.  The intern will be required to follow the background check and fingerprinting process and must follow all agency rules and regulations.   A copy of the intern’s academic requirements from the attending school must be submitted to DBS.  DBS staff will utilize the training outline attached to this policy.

  • Requirements:
  • Must be seeking a degree in a related field
  • Must be 18 years of age or older
  • Background check must meet Department standards
  • DBS Internship Training Plan must be completed

Signed by Joyce Hildreth, DBS Director, on April 15, 2010.

DBS Intern Training Plan

The following sections are intended to provide some guidance in the training of a DBS intern.  Trainers are expected to use their judgment in determining the details of the training necessary for their own intern’s specific needs and/or previous experience. It is assumed that the purpose of the internship is to provide an exposure to the services that are provided by the Division of Blind Services as well as the population served by DBS. Please ensure that any topic, in which training is provided, is initialed and dated by both intern and trainer upon completion. 


Purpose: To familiarize the intern with the Division of Blind Services, the work environment and performance expectations.

Completion time: First Day

Items to be addressed:

  • Orientation to assigned work area
  • Location of bathrooms, break room, other common areas.
  • Introduction to staff
  • Determination of Internship schedule
  • Miscellaneous local office information and dress code information
  • Confidentiality, data security, arrangement for intern to access data as needed for internship.
  • Review of University requirements pertaining to internship

Orientation will be provided by the District Administrator or Supervisor

Disability Etiquette

Purpose:  To provide the intern with the skills to interact with people who have blindness and/or other disabilities.

Completion time: First week

Material to be covered:

  • Provide the intern with DBS program videos to review in the office. Discuss same.
  • Introduction to sighted guide and practice of technique
  • Introduction to service animals and interaction with them
  • Introduction to the White Cane Law
  • Introduction and visit to local CRP

Training to be coordinated by District Administrator or Supervisor and will include qualified DBS or CRP staff.

Overview of DBS

Purpose: So the intern will understand the programs and services that DBS offers to participants.

Completion time:  Two weeks

Information to be covered:

  • Client services (VR, ILAP, CP, BB)
  • Structure of DBS within the Department of Education
  • The Talking Book Library
  • The Business Enterprise Program
  • The Orientation and Adjustment Program, including MTTL
  • Introduction to Assistive Technology tools and use
  • RSA and how it impacts DBS services

Training will be provided by the District Administrator or Supervisor

Observation and Counseling

Purpose: The intern will learn and practice case management and counseling skills that are required of DBS counselors.  It is hoped that the intern will have the opportunity to spend time with counselors in each of the programs that DBS offers in order to get a more complete exposure to the various skills each program requires.

Completion time:  Ongoing, for the duration of the Internship Program

The intern will observe and practice the following skills:

  • Review of basic applicant information
  • Conducting an Initial Interview
  • Report writing, to include Initial Interviews and case notes
  • Awareness of case management timelines
  • Referral for assessments as needed
  • Review of assessments and other reports
  • Eligibility determination and how to write the Certification of Eligibility   
  • Completion of Documentation of Significant Disability
  • Understanding of client rights and the principle of informed consent
  • Rehabilitation Ethics
  • Determining service needs and how to write the IPE
  • An understanding of the various “status” designations throughout the life of a case.
  • Monitoring participant progress while in “Service” status
  • Job development and job placement activities
  • Putting participants into “Employed” status and closing a file.
  • Other activities connected with specific requirements of the University the intern is attending.

Training to be coordinated by the Supervisor in conjunction with appropriate DBS staff who may be currently involved with the activities listed above.

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DISCLAIMER: Links on the Florida Division of Blind Services (DBS) website that are directed toward websites outside the DBS, provide additional information that may be useful or interesting and are being provided consistent with the intended purpose of the DBS website. DBS cannot attest to the accuracy of information provided by non-DBS websites. Further, providing links to a non-DBS website does not constitute an endorsement by DBS, the Florida Department of Education or any of its employees, of the sponsors of the non-DBS website or of the information or products presented on the non-DBS website.