Editor’s note: October is National Disability Employment Awareness Month (NDEAM), a time we at the APH ConnectCenter focus on the important roles individuals who are blind or low vision possess in our workforce. If you are an older individual who is blind or low vision, your contributions to the workforce are valued! If you’re interested in re-entering the workforce or mentoring those in the workforce, we invite you to visit APHCareerConnect. Here’s your introduction to APH CareerConnect.
APH CareerConnect is an integral part of the APH ConnectCenter. The mission of the APH ConnectCenter is to empower people toward greater independence and lifelong success by providing curated information and resources to assist children, parents, job seekers, adults, and older people who are blind or low vision.
In 2018, CareerConnect and the catalog of web resources including FamilyConnect and VisionAware transitioned from the American Foundation for the Blind (AFB) to the American Printing House for the Blind (APH). Currently staffed by a dozen dedicated expert professionals, the APH ConnectCenter, with its host of tangible resources, including the Information and Referral line, Directory of Services, along with web resources for all populations of blind and low vision individuals, exists with a balance of peer and professionally vetted resources.
APH VisionAware family, APH Connect Center For Job Seekers and Employers is your resource if you are researching information on part-time or full-time employment, considering college as an older adult, exploring volunteer opportunities, or if you’re wanting to prepare to mentor younger individuals who are blind or low vision who may be interested in your career-field.
Diving into CareerConnect:
Over the decades, APH CareerConnect has expanded and evolved to serve thousands of career-curious explorers, working professionals, rehabilitation staff, teachers of students with visual impairments, and prospective employers. Visitors to APH CareerConnect have come to rely on the vast resources readily available including Transition and career exploration tools for teachers and Rehabilitation practitioners.
In 2022, APH CareerConnect continues to curate materials for job seekers of all ages and employers. From the moment you land on our homepage, you are greeted with featured blogs, stories of successful people at work who are blind or low vision, our new online Job Seekers Toolkit, video interviews, and more.
We partnered with NSITE to update the long-loved Job Seeker’s Toolkit, an accessible, self-paced, free online training course featuring five modules: Self-Awareness; Career Exploration: Methods & Resources; Finding Employment; The Interview; and Maintaining Employment- Advancing Your Career! You can jump into the Job Seekers Toolkit by visiting: https://communities.nonprofitleadershipalliance.org/nsitecommunity/home.
As the Toolkit was recently onboarded into a Learning management system, we want to hear from you and your students/clients interacting with the Job Seekers Toolkit.
CareerConversations and CollegeConversations
Also new this year is our CareerConversations series. On the first Thursday of the month, we bring on a working blind or low vision person who shares with us in the span of one hour how they are thriving and succeeding in their career. We’ve met with blind lawyers, licensed Psychologists, musicians, scientists, artists, and many others. The idea behind CareerConversations is to promote informational interviewing and networking. Within the first ten minutes of the call, we encourage viewers on this Zoom webinar to ask questions by way of the chat feature or to raise their hand to be acknowledged. Since January 2022, we have had over seven unique interviews. You can rewind back to our webinars page to view recent episodes and/or sign up for future conversations.
Similar in scope to CareerConversations, this past August we launched CollegeConversations. Working with our Student Advisory Committee, consisting of current and recent college graduates who are blind or low vision, we are bringing the conversation on how to prepare for college life to our webinar platform. Each CollegeConversation is built around a theme and our panel of college student experts share their experiences and provide authentic advice and tips as representatives of large universities, small private colleges, and community colleges. CollegeConversation’s focus is on advancing the dialogue on college and academia preparedness. To sign up for future CollegeConversations, register here.
Supporting our TVI and Rehabilitation practitioners, most all of our online webinars are ACVREP and CRCC eligible. Refer to the webinar registration page for individual events for further details.
Personal Employment Stories
In the Personal Employment Stories section we highlight ordinary to out-of-this-world careers held by people who are blind or low vision from all walks of life. Whether you are interested in finding out about a career in Information Technology, STEM, teaching, counseling, or something else, we’ve got your ticket to a front-row seat. Get ready to hear directly from blind and low-vision professionals from all walks of life as they share the ins and outs of getting a job, maintaining employment, and succeeding at work.
If you are career curious and interested in discovering how blind and low vision people succeed and thrive at work, this is your page!
In the CareerConnect Virtual Worksites: Accommodations for Workers Who Are Blind or Visually Impaired, we provide illustrations of workplaces with varying accommodations enabling individuals who are blind or low vision to access their worksites.
As an older adult who is blind or low vision, your contributions to the younger and less experienced workforce is invaluable.
The APH CareerConnect is continuing to evolve in order to provide for the modern-day blind and low vision career explorer. We want to remain your go-to source for interested job seekers and family members seeking timely and reliable information and more.
We encourage and welcome calls and emails to the APH ConnectCenter. To reach our toll-free line, simply call 800.232.5463. You can also contact us via email at [email protected]. As you browse APH CareerConnect, the APH ConnectCenter Transition Hub, and our family of APH ConnectCenter sites, let us know what resonates with you.
We are here for you. We are on social media, including Twitter and Facebook.