Training Internship Program (TIP)

The Training Internship Program (TIP) is a program offered by Columbia Lighthouse for the Blind. TIP was developed to mainstream individuals who are visually impaired into the workforce in a manner that benefits the visually impaired employee and the business community at large. The vision of TIP is to remove obstacles which prevent businesses, companies and organizations from hiring individuals who are visually impaired.

To fulfill that vision, TIP will:

  • Act as an agent and resource of employer education concerning the visually impaired.
  • Provide insight to employers surrounding the benefits and rewards that originate from employing the visually impaired.
  • Solidify beneficial and lasting employment relationships between the visually impaired community and the business community at

TIP is:

  • An avenueto introduce visually impaired individuals to potential employers.
  • tooldeveloped to bridge the existing gap between business communities and individuals who are visually impaired.
  • The mediatorand voicefor the visually impaired.
  • The doorthat opens the development of positive relationships between the visually impaired and business communities.
  • Designed for business communities to appreciate and recognize the value and significance of employing individuals who are blind or visually impaired.

Who Are Our Interns?

Our interns are job-ready individuals who are blind or visually impaired. Most interns bring with them previous work experience and are re-entering the workforce with their present visual impairment.

Our interns have been trained on assistive devices which enable them to work independently and perform their assigned tasks. Additionally, interns have attended workshops and career seminars specifically designed to prepare them for the necessary adjustments related to their entrance into the workforce.

Our interns possess a positive attitude, good work ethic and are highly motivated. They are eager to demonstrate their ability to make a significant and personal contribution within our community.

Our interns have been trained in the areas of:

  • Customer Service
  • Administrative Support
  • Telemarketing
  • Receptionist/Switchboard Operation
  • General Office Clerk Duties

Some interns hold professional degrees in areas such as accounting, the medical field, the legal field, human resources and computer applications.

Employer Benefits

The Training Internship Program (TIP) is provided at no cost to the employer or Training Source Site (TSS). The employer, or TSS, is not responsible for wages, benefits or placement fees. They are not obligated to hire the TIP intern at the conclusion of the internship. The TIP program time frame is seven weeks. During this period, the employer, or TSS, has an opportunity to make assessments of the intern in the following areas:

  • Productivity
  • Professionalism
  • Independence
  • Attitude
  • Performance
  • Attendance
  • Reliability
  • Environmental adjustment
  • Ability to work with others

Columbia Lighthouse for the Blind will provide a TIP Staffing Specialist to assist the trainees during the seven week program. Any assistive devices required for the intern to perform their job will be provided through TIP.

How to Participate Independence is Our Vision

Your participation in CLB’s Training Internship Program is welcome. Any business or organization may participate. Companies, businesses and organizations have the opportunity to allow TIP interns to contribute to their current workforce. Follow these easy steps:

Contact Columbia Lighthouse for the Blind’s Careers and Assistive Technology Services (CATS) Department at 240 737 5100:

1.     Identify and describe your company, business or organization.

2.     Schedule a date for the TIP staffing specialist to visit your location for a company profile and assessment of available positions.

3.     Designate an individual as the contact person who will review resumes of prospective candidates.

4.     Schedule a meeting and/or interview with prospective candidates and your TIP staffing specialist.

5.     Select your TIP intern candidate and arrange for a start date.

Any employer, regardless of the size or nature of their business, is able to participate. There is no cost to the employer. District, State and Federal Governments are encouraged to join TIP, as well as the private business sector.

For more information on TIP or other programs, please call 240 737 5100.