While attending the 2010 international conference of the Association for Education and Rehabilitation of the Blind and Visually Impaired, the director of the Maine DBVI attended a session that described an employment program being implemented in the United Kingdom by the Royal National Institute of Blind People (RNIB).
Working in tandem with the primary author of the Pre-Employment Programme Trainer's Manual (Wolffe, 2011), a core team of DBVI staff members developed a one-week intensive course, the Maine Employability Skills Program.
Once the structure for the employability skills program was created, all the adult blindness system staff members at the Maine DBVI, which consisted of approximately 70 professional and support staff members, gathered for two days of training to learn what roles they could play in helping to deliver this new program.
In the evenings, they attended networking sessions with panels of successful employees with visual impairments, employers and human resources personnel, DBVI staff members, and vendors who specialized in technology and training opportunities specifically for visually impaired participants.
Maine DBVI offered the week-long employability skills program, using the same basic curriculum, on two occasions: the initial session was held in 2011, and the second one was conducted in 2012.