WASHINGTON, D.C. (April 20, 2021)—Stephanie Rood of Long Beach, CA, graduated from the Blind Leaders Development Program at the American Foundation for the Blind’s (AFB) virtual commencement ceremony on April 20, 2021.
Launched in 2020, the Blind Leaders Development Program was created by AFB to increase upward mobility and create meaningful leadership experiences for individuals who are blind or low vision, who are already employed and in the beginning stages of their careers.
While in the program, Stephanie and her fellow graduates received extensive training in leadership, networking, communication, and other key skills for advancing in their careers and improving their effectiveness as they achieve higher levels of authority and influence. Other facets of the program included following the Leadership Challenge curriculum, attending a series of webinars, and being paired with a successful blind or low vision mentor who could provide honest advice and feedback about what it takes to succeed in the workforce. That Stephanie successfully completed this rigorous program during the height of the coronavirus pandemic only makes her accomplishment all the more noteworthy.
Stephanie is currently the supervisor of Computer Access Training at the Long Beach BA Blind Rehabilitation Center, overseeing seven instructors. She is also the president of the California Council of the Blind East Los Angeles chapter and holds a board position for the Southern California Resource Center for Independent Living. She holds a Master of Science in Assistive Technology and Human Services from California State University, Northridge.
“These fifteen professionals, including Stephanie, have honed their knowledge and skills to take on greater authority and responsibilities in their professional fields,” said Kirk Adams, Ph.D., AFB president and CEO. “Thanks to their hard work and the work of their mentors, for whom we are all grateful, Stephanie and her fellow graduates now have the imperative to create and sustain a more inclusive workforce. Their accomplishments augur well for both their own careers and the world at large.”
For more information, visit AFB.org/BLDP.