Identifying Resources for Job Seekers and Tools for Employers 

an office with long, narrow desks


The AFB and the NRTC provide outstanding resources for job seekers, human resource professionals, and employers. Learn about a few of the resources below. Then, join us for Employment Connections, where the following individuals will discuss AFB and NRTC resources further. 

Dr. Arielle Silverman 

Dr. Arielle Silverman is the Director of Research for the AFB. She joined AFB as a Research Specialist in September 2021 after having previously served as an independent contractor contributing to several AFB research projects, including studies related to Workplace Tech, Blind Leaders’ Development, and Guide Dogs for the Blind. In 2022, she was promoted to Director of Research at AFB. 

Before joining AFB, Dr. Silverman was an independent research and training consultant specializing in disability research and inclusion training. She has also worked as a technical writer for the National Rehabilitation Information Center and as a postdoctoral fellow and research scientist at the University of Washington Department of Rehabilitation Medicine.  

Karma Marshall 

Karma Marshall is the Outreach and Training Coordinator for the NRTC at Mississippi State University.  

Karma holds a master’s in Rehabilitation Counseling from the University of South Carolina and is a Certified Rehabilitation Counselor (CRC). She also holds a Vision Specialist in Vocational Rehabilitation Graduate Certificate from Mississippi State University. Before working with the NRTC, she worked for South Carolina’s general VR agency, serving the Deaf and hard of hearing, and at the South Carolina Commission for the Blind in multiple roles, lastly serving as Consumer Services Director.  

Q&A with the NRTC 

The NRTC is the only federally funded center that conducts research and generates knowledge to support improvements in employment outcomes for individuals who are blind or low vision (B/LV).  

The following is a Q&A with the NRTC. 

Q: What are the most successful workshops you offer to student consumers?   

A: The National Research and Training Center on Blindness and Low Vision (NRTC) offers training and technical assistance to agencies and service providers, employers, and individuals who are blind and low vision and their families.   

  • Putting Your Best Foot Forward is a two-day train-the-trainer workshop that prepares service providers to deliver a robust forty-hour curriculum in job search training skills to transition-age youth.  
  • We offer a customizable workshop, Improving Business Development for Vocational Rehabilitation Professionals. This workshop builds confidence and skills to support job placement for consumers.  

Q: What are the most successful workshops you offer to employers?  

A: The NRTC can provide customized Awareness training workshops for employers designed to address bias in hiring. Our research finds that knowledge of how individuals who are blind or have low vision can complete workplace tasks can positively impact hiring managers’ attitudes. We can customize workshops based on employers’ requests.  

Q: What are some of your lesser-known resources?  

A: The 4to24 App is a free resource for parents of children and youth who are blind or low vision. It focuses on building independence and helps young people prepare for employment.  

  • We also offer a Portal for Professionals that provides access to the app’s information and topic areas but isn’t restricted to a specific app account. We would love to see more professional service providers use this portal. 
  • We provide Plain Language article summaries of our peer-reviewed publications. These summaries cut through research jargon and complex concepts to explain our research in everyday language. The summaries focus on the practical takeaways to ensure readers can easily find what they need. 
  • We offer a new resource, “How to Host an Adapted Sports Outreach Event.” This free, comprehensive resource aims to assist organizations, professionals, or anyone interested in adapted sports in fostering inclusive recreation for people with blindness or low vision.  

Expanding Skills, Diversity, and Access in the Workplace with the AFB 

During the upcoming webinar presentation, Dr. Silverman will introduce the purpose of the AFB Steps to Success HR Manager Inclusion Toolkit.  

The toolkit is a comprehensive, collaborative guide created with the data collected from the 2022 Workplace Technology study.  

According to the information on the AFB website, the Steps for Success chapters are available in downloadable PDF documents and video modules. Topics include: 

  • technology and accommodations in the workplace 
  • insights and recommendations for human resources and hiring managers,  
  • recruitment, application, and interviewing onboarding  
  • supporting and retaining talent 
  • accessibility  

Employment Connections 

Join us on May 16, 2024, at 5:00 p.m. Eastern to learn more about what the AFB and the NRTC have to offer job seekers and employers. Register here.