Transitions: From Legacy to Legendary: Thrive with APH CareerConnect

Headshot of Richard Rueda

Did you know that APH ConnectCenter For Careers (formerly APH CareerConnect) was around before the days of Facebook, Twitter, TikTok, Instagram, and the definition of “social media?”  Did you know that we started out in the mid-1990s as a resource database to connect job seekers to employed mentors and role models?  Did you know that originally most of the infrastructure and data was backed up on floppy disks?  All this is to say, that at the dawn of the internet revolution, APH ConnectCenter For Careers was at the forefront of social media and forging lifelong career connections for blind and low vision job seekers.

Over the past three decades, APH ConnectCenter For Careers expanded and evolved to serve thousands of job seekers, working professionals, rehabilitation staff, teachers of the visually impaired, and employers as they learn and engage with job seekers who are blind/ low vision.  With this bit of history, we kindly ask you, our readers and site visitors, what is your connection to and or first impression of APH ConnectCenter For Families?

As we plan and strategize for the future, we would love to hear from you. Over the course of the next few months, we will be hosting APH ConnectCenter open house hours on zoom. Together with APH ConnectCenter staff, we want to listen, learn, and engage with you, our audience, to build out the APH ConnectCenter For Careers and site resources of the future.  We want to remain your go to source for information for interested job seekers, family members seeking timely and reliable information and more.

While we begin to plan for the APH ConnectCenter For Families that will provide for the modern-day blind and low vision career explorer, we also 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].

While you are here at APH ConnectCenter for Careers, take a deep dive into our resources, The Job Seekers Toolkit, Transition Activity Guide, Succeed at Work / Video Success Stories, and blogs. We’d love to know what resonates with you and what features you’re excited to see or the topics you want to learn more about.

As career exploration and active job searching can be timely and at times challenging, APH ConnectCenter For Careers addresses employment possibilities to both the career curious and employers eager to find ways to best engage and recruit blind employees. To that end, APH ConnectCenter For Families, our Advisory Committee, countless blind, and low-vision professionals, and job seekers themselves are working to make your APH ConnectCenter experience a meaningful and empowering one.

Introducing APH ConnectCenter’s Digital Content Manager, Richard Rueda

The APH ConnectCenter staff values everyone’s feedback and insights. We are thrilled to introduce our new Digital Content Manager, Richard Rueda.  Richard has over 21 years of direct service as a rehabilitation counselor and transition specialist collaborating with blind young adults and active job seekers.  As a vocational rehabilitation counselor himself, Richard has experienced APH ConnectCenter For Families as both a consumer and as a rehabilitation counselor guiding others along their job preparation journeys.  With an abundance of passion for the value of APH ConnectCenter establishing authentic networks, Richard wants to hear from you! Reach out to APH ConnectCenter and let us know what’s working for you (and/or your students or clients) and what resources you are still looking for.  You might even want to share your personal experience as a blog!

APH ConnectCenter For Careers Highlights

From the start of the pandemic APH ConnectCenter, like so many other organizations, pivoted and provided online webinars. Early on we shifted our National Transition Conversation to a virtual platform and in the summer we partnered with the California School for the Blind to host our virtual Coding Symposium. In late spring 2020, APH ConnectCenter For Careers brought together well-respected and celebrity blind professionals from all occupations creating a series of short powerful video messages honoring the graduating class of 2020. Beyond that, these videos regularly are motivating and empowering young people including mid-career change and elderly job seekers to thrive to their greatest potential.  All of these resources are available to you and your clients, students, and their families.  All APH ConnectCenter resources are free.

In many ways, the pandemic empowered our users to invite APH ConnectCenter into their homes, classrooms, and virtual conventions.  Looking ahead, we are eager to return to in-person learning but recognize the power hybrid learning models offer for access and accessibility.  With this in mind have exciting new initiatives planned. Career Conversations will unveil as one more platform for both transition-age youth and adult job seekers to hear from and meet working professionals who are blind/ low vision.  Career Conversations will highlight jobs as well as the people holding those jobs.  The format will provide a short interview and then open up the discussion for audience questions. Using our accessible Zoom platform, Career Conversations is yet one more way to fill in gaps and empower our audience to think big and ask questions.

As you browse APH ConnectCenter For Families, 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.


Twitter: @APHConnect


 About Richard Rueda

Richard Rueda began his career in 2001 with the State of California’s Department of Rehabilitation as a vocational Rehabilitation Counselor. Since 2010, Richard has worked in leadership roles directing Transition / PRE ETS programs across California with leading nonprofits. In 2020, Richard joined the APH ConnectCenter managing CareerConnect, a well-respected interactive resource for job seekers. As Assistant Director, he works with a team of dedicated professionals promoting critical life changing tools and supports.