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AFBAmerican Foundation®
for the Blind

Expanding possibilities for people with vision loss

Blog Posts by Katy Lewis

Meet Will Ursprung: Visually Impaired Collage Artist

Have you ever wondered how someone who is blind or visually impaired could find success as a working artist? Are there really accommodations out there that can turn this visual field into a realistic employment option for someone without sight? The answer is "Yes". Meet Will Ursprung. Will is one of our many visually impaired artists who have found employment success. He works with different pieces to create something new and intriguing. Read his process as a

Meet Jasmyn Polite: An Aspiring Teacher Living with Glaucoma

Born with bilateral cataracts and diagnosed with glaucoma as a child, Jasmyn Polite has faced her fair share of adversity, but she hasn't let a visual impairment stop her from working toward her dream of being a teacher. Jasmyn has created an educational plan, found volunteer and work experience, and connected with a mentor to help further develop her skills. She is well on her way to accomplishing her goals. Aside from teaching, Jasmyn is also interested in becoming an artist and published author. This 22-year-old has big ambitions.

CareerConnect at the Movies: Employment Advice Adapted from Film for Job Seekers Who Are Blind or Visually Impaired

If you're looking for the perfect mix of holiday festivities and practical career-related advice, you've come to the right place. Over the years, we have celebrated the holiday season by providing you with the job search advice and career resource skills you need to land your next job. And this year is no different! From the creators that brought you The Twelve Days of CareerConnect and

Where Are They Now? Alexis Read's Forensic Science Adventure

Are you a fan of CSI or NCIS? Have you ever wondered how law enforcement determines whether a crime has been committed? Perhaps you have a taste for forensic science! If so, you are not alone. Remember CareerConnect mentor, Alexis Read? A few years ago she shared her CSI Experience in her Our Stories article, Exploring Forensic Science As a Person Who Is Blind or Visually Impaired. Well, she's back at it again! Alexis recently

Meet Blessing Offor: Visually Impaired Contestant from NBC's "The Voice"

All month long we have been talking about National Disability Employment Awareness Month and how #InclusionWorks in the workplace. We’ve covered resources for finding a job, the use and importance of the white mobility cane, steps in the employment process, and what employers need to know about

Thank You, Mentor! Happy National Disability Mentoring Day

It’s National Disability Mentoring Day! Established by the American Association of People with Disabilities in 1999, this day of recognition and appreciation has become a year-round initiative. But today, we are especially excited to acknowledge the support, guidance, and advice our mentors provide. We are thankful for our AFB CareerConnect mentors who have dedicated their time and expertise to helping job seekers who are blind or visually impaired find gainful employment. Mentors, you have provided us with so much. You have offered us: Insight from your first-hand experience in the workforce Knowledge of workplace accommodations and assistive technology Advice during the disclosure process Clarification by answering our

White Cane Safety Day Is October 15!

White Cane Safety Day, or White Cane Day, is this Saturday! It’s hard to believe we are already in the middle of October (and National Disability Employment Awareness Month). Before you know it, it will be Halloween and then the holiday season! Because I’ve been so busy lately, I thought the best way to celebrate this year’s White Cane Day would be to slow it down with a Throwback Thursday of my favorite posts about the famous white mobility cane.

Meet Casey Harris, Visually Impaired Keyboardist for
X Ambassadors

by Neva Fairchild If you haven’t heard of the X Ambassadors, you are missing out. In the last couple of months, the indie rock band has had several hits including Renegades and Unsteady that have put them in the spotlight. But one member of the band has really caught our attention. Not only is Casey Harris the keyboardist for the X Ambassadors, but he is an ambassador for musicians conquering disability in the image-conscious world of alternative rock. Despite having to confront ignorance and prejudice in his early days, Casey has never refused to let visual impairment deny him a career in

Let Your Voice Be Heard: New Survey for Adults Who Are Blind or Visually Impaired

You’ve got something to say, so let’s hear it! Help our friends at the Professional Development and Research Institute on Blindness (PDRIB) at Louisiana Tech University gain a better understanding of your experiences in education, employment, training, and vocational rehabilitation as a blind or visually impaired adult. If you complete their new survey, Adult Rehabilitation and Employment, not only will you share valuable information, but you will be entered in a drawing to win a $100 VISA gift card. There will be 5 winners in total! So, if you are at least 18 years old, live in the United States, and are blind or visually impaired, you can access the survey online. Questions or concerns about this

Meet Belo Cipriani: Visually Impaired Author, Teacher, and Freelance Journalist

Beaten and robbed of his sight by childhood friends, Belo Cipriani was unexpectedly thrown into the world of blindness. He suddenly found himself learning how to walk, cook, and even date in the dark at age 26. But instead of letting vision loss defeat him, Belo has triumphed in his new world of contemporary blindness as an author, teacher, and freelance journalist. When Belo first lost his sight, he struggled to find stories similar to his for encouragement and advice. He suffered from depression, anxiety, and PTSD because of his attack, so his therapist suggested he journal to help him cope. And it worked! As a result, Belo released a book, Blindness:

Where Were You 26 Years Ago?

By Neva Fairchild It may be hard to remember where you were personally on July 26, 1990 and perhaps you weren’t even born yet, but to identify where people with disabilities were prior to the signing of the American’s with Disabilities Act is fairly easy to do. There were few protections for access to public services such as cabs, restaurants, or stores. Elevators didn’t have braille, apartment complexes

Home Safety Tips That Work at Work for Blind and Visually Impaired Employees

By Neva Fairchild The same principles for safety and ease of access that you employ at home can go with you into the workplace, and yet how many of us have really taken a look around the office with safety and efficiency in mind? Here are some work safety tips to get you started: If you have any usable vision, contrast, lighting, and other

Why Should Blind or Visually Impaired Individuals Practice Orientation and Mobility Skills?

By Neva Fairchild Are you thinking, “What’s the Point? I’m not in school, and I don’t have a job. Where do I need to go, anyway?” Has your Orientation and Mobility (O&M) instructor asked you to practice what you have learned between lessons? Do you have trouble thinking of reasons to get out or places to go? Are you reluctant to grab your cane and be adventurous? Well, there’s an

Where Are They Now? Visually Impaired Nurse and Blogger, Audrey Demmitt

If you are a frequent follower of AFB blogs, you probably have heard of Audrey Demmitt, VisionAware peer advisor and blogger extraordinaire. But did you know that Audrey worked as a nurse for 30 years before she became a writer? Better yet, did you know that Audrey is also a mentor of AFB CareerConnect? In honor of the upcoming National Nurses Week, we decided to take some time this month to learn more about Audrey to see how she is inspiring others through her continued workplace and personal success. Check out this preview of

Top 3 Ways to Find Gainful Employment As an Older Worker with Vision Loss

Are you an older job seeker looking to return to work? Deciding if you want to continue or return to work after vision loss is a great first step to regaining your independence. You can earn additional income, learn new skills, and develop a sense of accomplishment. In fact, there are many reasons why older workers can benefit from reentering the work force. But after deciding you are ready to get back to work, you have to go through the process of finding the right job for you. So how can you find gainful

Before We Spring Forward, We Must Look Back: Aaron Preece’s Inspiring Employment Story for Job Seekers with Vision Loss

My commute to the office the last couple of days has been surprisingly pleasant. The sun has been shining, the birds have been singing, and the temperature has reached a refreshing 55 degrees. I am starting to think Punxsutawney Phil had the right idea; an early spring seems to be upon us. Regardless of the accuracy of his prediction, I am looking forward to a few extra hours of sunlight and warmer weather. But before we spring forward, I think we should take a look back. Despite my eagerness to fast forward the seasons, I do find value in reflecting on the past. It is nice to see all that we have accomplished, the challenges we have overcome, and

Why Older Workers Who Are Blind or Visually Impaired Should Continue to Pursue Employment Opportunities

What drives someone to want to find gainful employment? Is it the financial return, the contribution to society, or finding success in meaningful work? There are millions of reasons we should want to pursue employment, but there are also many obstacles that can stand in our way, including age-related vision loss. As an older worker, you should not let your age or vision loss prevent you from pursuing gainful employment. There are tons of reasons why you should continue to work and there are tons of reasons

Getting to Know the Next President and CEO of the American Foundation for the Blind: Meet Kirk Adams

Did you know that Kirk Adams, President of the Seattle Lighthouse for the Blind, will be AFB’s new president and CEO? If you are a frequent follower of all things AFB, I am sure you have heard the news. But did you know that Kirk Adams is no stranger to CareerConnect? In fact, he has his very own success story! Back when CareerConnect first interviewed Mr. Adams, he told us that persistence pays off

Leap Day Means Extra Resources for Job Seekers Who Are Blind or Visually Impaired with Multiple Disabilities

It’s Leap Day! That magical day that only comes along every four years. It’s the time for following the old Irish legend of women proposing to men and everyone having fun with frog and leaping puns. And while February 29 doesn’t call for much celebration, it does give us an opportunity to share some resources for job seekers who are blind or visually impaired with multiple disabilities. If you are a teacher of the visually impaired or a parent of a child with multiple disabilities, it can be difficult preparing your teen for employment. Make the most out of February by utilizing these free resources: Employment and Multiple Disabilities

Where Are They Now? Preview of Visually Impaired Doctor, Joe Fontenot

You might remember him as the successful cardiologist or maybe you know him as the Medical Director of Community Services for Vision Rehabilitation in Mobile, Alabama, but did you know that Dr. Joe Fontenot is also a long time mentor of AFB CareerConnect? We decided to take some time this month to reconnect with our friend and mentor, Dr. Joe Fontenot, M.D., CLVT, to see how he is continuing to achieve workplace success. Dr. Fontenot started his career as a medical doctor almost 50 years ago, and while he explained to us that he is semi-retired, we know that his work is never finished. After working as a cardiologist for years, Dr. Fontenot decided to transition into

February Is Low Vision Awareness Month: Don’t Let Your Vision Loss Put Your Life On Hold

All over the world millions of people are experiencing vision loss, becoming overwhelmed by their changing vision, and struggling to find ways to maintain their independence. They are becoming discouraged that they cannot achieve personal or workplace success simply because of their visual impairment. Whether you have experienced vision loss all of your life or if you have recently developed low vision, there are tons of ways to learn to live independently and achieve your goals. So, what

National Mentoring Month: Get Involved As an Individual Who Is Blind or Visually Impaired

Happy National Mentoring Month! With self-improvement goals in the air, January is the perfect time to get involved in a mentoring program. Join us for the next two weeks as we celebrate our CareerConnect mentors, encourage students and professionals to get involved, and share the benefits of developing a meaningful mentorship! But in case you didn’t know that January is National Mentoring Month, I will let you in on a little secret. Mentoring truly can make a world of difference in all aspects of your life. Whether you are a student, young adult, or a working professional, mentoring is linked to improved academic, social,

New Year, New Challenges: Dealing with Vision Loss on the Job

Every year we are faced with new, unexpected challenges. Whether we are struggling with our resolutions, finding a new job, or going back to school, we can never quite know what the year will hold for us. This is especially true if you are experiencing vision loss. Imagine you go for your usual eye exam and the doctor tells you that you have lost 40 percent of your vision. Where did it go?

Universal Expectation for Employees with Vision Loss: The Importance of Improving Your Braille Literacy Skills

When you think about the “Top 10” skills employers look for, what comes to mind? What about communication, teamwork, and problem-solving skills? Maybe even time management or leadership ability. While all of these skills are important to employers, there is one universal skill that is necessary for all employees-to-be regardless of the position. Can you guess what it is? What skill set do you think that all employers expect in a potential employee? Literacy skills! Literacy skills help you gain the knowledge and know-how to perform your job, and while this means reading print and using media and technology for your sighted peers,

That’s a Wrap: Recap of the Top 10 AFB Holiday Hits for Career-Minded Job Seekers Who Are Blind or Visually Impaired

That’s all folks! We have finished our Top 10 AFB Holiday Hits countdown! We hope you enjoyed our favorite pieces of career-related advice paired with our favorite holiday songs. Missed one you say? Don’t want it to end? Here is a recap of our holiday hits! Check out any of these links to lighten your spirit and improve your job and career-related skills. Holiday Hit #1: It’s the Most Wonderful Time of the Year to Step Up Your Job Search: Advice

It’s Beginning to Look a Lot Like Time to Sharpen Your Social Media Skills As a Job Seeker with Vision Loss

Continuing with the Top 10 Holiday Hits, I present to you my favorite holiday song paired with my favorite “reputation” advice! You’ve heard it a million times…no, not the song, but that your social media presence matters! Whether you never post on any networking site or forum or if you are a social media guru, there is always room for improvement. Looking for a new job? Trying to grow your professional network? This much and more can be accomplished online by creating the right type of profile. Check out my latest favorite social media “rules” to sharpen your skills this season: Rule #1: Stay

These Cover Letter Secrets [Jingle Bell] Rock! Get Your Resume Noticed As a Job Seeker Who Is Blind or Visually Impaired

Do you struggle with writing a “noticeable” cover letter? I do! I always spend forever writing my cover letter. I struggle to find the balance between interesting and on topic. I mean, how do I show that I am a good fit for the job and that I am not a stick in the mud? How do I portray myself as a unique asset to the company in just a few short paragraphs? I am sure we have all been there. We have the skills, education, and work experience, but somehow, our cover letters just don’t measure up. It’s time for that to change! It is time for you vamp up your cover letter and land that interview. After researching through the

Baby, It’s Cold Outside; Warm Up With These Hot Jobs for Individuals Who Are Blind or Visually Impaired

Whether you have known what you wanted to do since you were a child or if you are just now exploring your options, deciding on what career path to pursue can be a life-changing decision. Before making your choice, it is important to explore your options. Be sure to weigh the pros and cons, determine the future prospects of the field, and figure out if this line of work is really right for you. Once you have given it some thoughtful consideration, you should begin your job search. But what if you aren’t sure on what career to pursue? Or what if you are not sure where to begin? Simple! Start by exploring growing careers that

AFB Holiday Hits: Top 10 Pieces of Career Advice for Job Seekers Who Are Blind or Visually Impaired

Here at AFB CareerConnect, we love the holiday season! It is a great time to reflect on your past and learn to better your future. In fact, it’s a great time to gear up your job search and improve your career resource skills! But the chaos of buying all those presents, cooking that big dinner, and going to party after party can leave you without any time to better yourself. So this year, CareerConnect invites you to take a little time to simply sit back, relax, and brush up on your skills while singing along to our favorite holiday songs with “AFB CareerConnect Holiday Hits!” For the next two weeks, we will be posting our most

Do Young Adults Have Role Models? Qualities to Look for in an Inspirational Role Model As an Individual Who Is Blind or Visually Impaired

As a child I can remember writing about my role model in grade school. I can remember describing how I wanted to be just like… you guessed it, my mom. Cheesy? Yes, but I can remember how I wanted to be smart and successful like her. I can recall how I wanted to be a teacher just like she was. While I might not have become a teacher, I know that my life was influenced by many role models I developed throughout the years. But the big question is: do we stop having role models when we “grow up”? Can adults still have inspirational role models? Although I have “grown up” and graduated college, there are still people I look up to. There are

Our Stories Interview with Statewide Assistive Technologist, Laine Amoureux

Are you interested in the latest inspirational and educational workplace success stories? Are you looking for career advice from someone who is blind or visually impaired who knows what it takes to be gainfully employed? Meet Laine Amoureux, a vivacious, energetic woman who uses technology and time management to live a well-balanced life of work and play, and how this balance makes her a better employee who happens to be visually impaired. We couldn’t have picked a better candidate to feature in the Our Stories section for National Disability Employment

What to Expect for Your New Job As an Individual Who Is Blind or Visually Impaired

Everyone loves that phone call, email, or handshake with the wonderful phrase, “You’re hired!” But now what? Now that you have landed your new job, what should you expect in the coming months? How will you be able to succeed in your position? A simple way to stay employed is to meet your employer’s expectations. As you grow in your position, your job responsibilities and your employer’s expectations will change. Make sure you have a clear understanding of your progress to ensure that you will not only keep your job for the years to come but land a promotion. What to Expect During the First Week:

Become the “Perfect Worker” As an Individual Who Is Blind or Visually Impaired

In today’s job market all employers seem to be looking for similar qualities in potential job candidates. They are always on the lookout for the “perfect worker,” that one employee who exhibits all of the best workplace qualities. Do you know what qualities employers value most? Better yet, do you exhibit the qualities that will help you get hired or advance in your career? Employees who are hired, maintain their new job, and go on to advance in their careers exhibit the following qualities: Punctuality Showing up on time every day speaks volume about your reliability, your commitment to your new company, and

Is It Possible to Find Real Workplace Advice in The Office?

I have recently been re-watching one of the funniest shows ever, The Office. I know there are people who don’t particularly find this show as hilarious as I do, but you must admit it, wouldn’t it be fun to have just one day at your job be like the “old school” days at Dunder Mifflin? Wouldn’t it be entertaining to experience one of Michael’s ridiculous meetings, watch Jim’s prank on Dwight unfold, and sing along with Andy while he punches a hole in the wall? You know it would be great! But how long would that really last before someone lost their job? Although I enjoy the characters and chaos of the Scranton

Cue the Applause: Celebrating Our Mentors on Disability Mentoring Day

Thank you mentors! Today we celebrate our AFB CareerConnect mentors for their dedication and continued support in the e-mentoring program! We couldn’t do it without you! You have provided guidance, advice, and inspiration for students and job seekers who are blind or visually impaired. You have made us realize that we too can find gainful employment and succeed at work. When I first started my internship at AFB CareerConnect, I was amazed at how many mentors in over 300 different fields were offering their time and expertise to help job seekers. It has been a pleasure to talk with you over the phone, read your success stories,

Overcoming Failure: It’s What You Do With It That Matters

I tend to look at everything in my life as black or white, a success or a failure. If I accomplish my goals, I am on top of the world. I feel empowered, self-confident, and ready to take on anything. But when I don’t succeed, I feel overwhelmingly disappointed in myself. I convince myself that I will never succeed. I tell myself that I am not good enough or smart enough to accomplish my goals. Some might say I don’t cut myself enough slack, and my blood pressure would agree with them, but it is hard to pull yourself out of that cycle. It is difficult to tell yourself that this one failure does not determine who you are or your

Where Are They Now? David Block, Blind Documentary Producer and Director

Whether you have watched one of his inspirational documentaries or have read one of his articles in the New York Times, you can’t forget about David Block! As a blind documentary producer, director and freelance journalist, David is always hard at work on something new and exciting. Get the inside scoop on David’s latest projects with AFB CareerConnect! He is at it again! For the last few years, David Block has been working on his seventh documentary, Mirror of the Soul! Following the words of the late Winston Churchill, “there is something about the outside of a horse that is good for the inside of a man,” David’s new film focuses on

Ending August Artist Appreciation Month: Celebrating Blind and Visually Impaired Artists

When you think of art what comes to mind? For many people, they think of the bright colors or textures that they can see with their eyes, but what about artists or art enthusiasts who are blind or visually impaired? Art is more than something you can see. It can be something you feel and experience without sight. Art is also something that individuals with vision loss are turning into a career. John Bramblitt and Jeff Owen Hanson are just two examples of blind or visually impaired artists who are making a career out of painting. John Bramblitt is a blind American artist living in Denton, Texas who has been featured on CBS Evening News, ABC, NBC, FOX, Discovery Channel, and BBC Radio and TV. His art has received much recognition including the “Most Inspirational Video

Can Happiness Happen at Work for Someone Who Is Blind or Visually Impaired?

Imagine this: You are working overtime for the third week in a row, and you are having difficulty completing your latest project. No one is helping you met your quickly approaching deadline, and you feel extremely overwhelmed. You have missed your favorite TV show, your best friend’s birthday, and your weekly R&R all week because of this one task at work. You are frustrated and ready to give up. So, is it possible to turn it around? Can you make happiness happen at work despite all of the chaos? Can you manage to find ways to be positive and stay focused during the busiest week yet? I bet you can! We have all

Dr. Lauren Lieberman Can Teach Us a Few Things About Empowering Children Who Are Blind or Visually Impaired

I always enjoy reading about athletes who have overcome some life obstacle, whether that is vision loss or something else completely. But why are people so surprised that the athlete is in fact capable of doing these great things? Don’t get me wrong. It is a triumph for anyone to kayak a raging river, compete in a triathlon, or participate in any other extreme sporting event. But I believe that anyone can accomplish their goals as long as they are empowered with the right tools and mindset. Many children who are blind or visually impaired do not have access to the necessary tools they need to succeed in sports. They might be discouraged by fellow

Social Media Struggles: Clean It Up Before It’s Too Late

We all use it. We all upload, post, share, and comment with it every day. But do we truly realize the impact our social media sites have on our ability to get that new job? Now more than ever employers are researching their potential employees online. They are searching for us on Google and looking through months of Tweets, Instagram selfies, and Facebook rants. And you better believe they will find that one post you don’t want them to find. Once they discover that undesirable post, you might as well fill out a new job application because employers are rejecting more potential employees than ever

The Americans with Disabilities Act: 25 Years of Celebration

This month marks the 25th anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA)! This great accomplishment has helped people all across the country in employment, housing, health care, education, public transportation, and parks & recreation. Although ADA covers many aspects, I am especially excited to celebrate how Title 1 of ADA has helped blind and visually impaired job seekers achieve gainful employment. Since it was signed on July 26, 1990, ADA has helped calm the concerns of employers and employees when it comes to addressing a disability or accommodations in the workplace. So in honor of this landmark anniversary, I am encouraging you to find a way to

Where Are They Now, Jim Koval

Are you and your family prepared for an unexpected disease or virus? Family Preparedness Coordinator and Local Liaison, Jim Koval, has your back. Whether it is a concern about the flu or a foodborne illness, Jim has been serving the communities in Michigan for more than 20 years. But with continuously evolving public health concerns, what has he been working on since his Our Stories profile? Although Jim continues to provide assistance to local health departments andmaintain the family preparedness system for the Office of Public HealthPreparedness (OPHP), he has managed to implement new programs for hisoffice as well as the

Summer Challenge: Get Mentally Fit As a Person With a Disability

Being healthy can mean a lot of different things. It can mean exercising regularly, cutting out the sugary drinks, eating three square salads a day, or even getting enough sleep. When you really think about it, we do a lot to improve our physical health, but what are we doing about our overall well-being? What are we doing to become mentally fit? When work becomes overwhelming and life gets stressful, what are you doing to overcome these obstacles? This week we are challenging you to discover what makes you mentally fit to succeed in any aspect of life. Mental fitness is about keeping your brain and emotional health in the best possible shape. This could

Summer Challenge: Get Physically Fit

Summer is a great time to get back in shape. After being inside for months and eating more than we should, the warm weather is the best encouragement to get outside and get physical. Being physically fit can help improve your overall quality of life. By staying active and eating well, you can improve your heart health, build strong bones, and start to look and feel better all around. And believe or not, but a healthy lifestyle can also improve how you feel at work! People who are in shape report having more energy, improved self-esteem, and can better manage

Counting Down to Graduation: April, Getting a Job, Part 2

Question: How can you prepare for your “first” job interview? Your resume gets you in the door, but your interview can get you the job. Whether you are the nervous type or not, job interviews can be very stressful. That one moment can determine what you might be doing for the next couple of years, so it is important to come prepared and wow your interviewer. The best way to overcome any trepidation or nervousness is to be well prepared. Job seekers who have researched the company, prepared any disclosure information, and practiced their interviewing skills tend to perform better than those who do

Counting Down to Graduation: April, Getting a Job

Question: How can you get that “first” job? There is a light at the end of the tunnel! With graduation just a few short weeks away, it is time to hit the pavement and get that new job. Whether it is your first job out of high school or a new job after college, finding gainful employment can be a challenge. The best place to start when finding a new job is with your resume. Resumes are essential in the job seeking process. Although there are many different types, all resumes provide your potential employer with your education, work experience, credentials, and accomplishments related to a specific job. Even when a

Where Are They Now, Preview: Amy Bower, Oceanographer

Do you remember Dr. Amy Bower? Whether you recognize her from her research, awards, or her volunteer work, Amy continues to impress AFB CareerConnect. Amy has continued to achieve success as Senior Scientist in the Department of Physical Oceanography at Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, but what does she hope to achieve this year in her work life and personal life? On the work front, Amy has continued to expand her horizons by accepting and graduating her first Ph. D. student, advising her first post-doctoral intern, and undertaking new research projects. She also led oceanographic

Counting Down to Graduation: March, Furthering Your Education

Question: Do your career goals require additional education? Do you have a personal goal to go to college? Does your “dream job” require additional education? You are not alone! Millions of students each year are flooding college campuses in pursuit of furthering their education and increasing their job opportunities, but going back to school is a tough decision. It is a serious financial and time-consuming commitment that should be given thoughtful consideration. You will need to study for standardized tests such as the ACT or SAT, write college essays, fill out applications, prepare for college

Counting Down to Graduation: February: Finding the Right Job, Part 2

Question: Is there anyone who can give me advice about finding the right job for me? So you’ve started your career search, but you want something more than numbers and stories. Why not connect with a mentor? Why not try networking?! Networking is an excellent way to open up new opportunities, but it can also help you figure out if the career you are interested in is really what you had in mind. Sometimes the best way to learn about a career is to talk to someone who is currently working in that field. This is where having a mentor comes in handy. Mentors have firsthand knowledge of what it takes

Counting Down to Graduation: February, Finding the Right Job

Question: How do you find the right job? It seems as if I have been in school for forever. I have had math, science, literature classes, you name it, but I haven’t had a class that taught me what I was supposed to do after I move my tassel from right to left. So how am I supposed to prepare myself for getting a job after graduation if I don’t know what the right job is for me? I have a clear understanding of the different options available to me, but I am still unsure of what specific job I should pursue. This is all too common for any student after graduation, but my time at

Counting Down to Graduation: January, Understanding Your Options

Question: What are your personal goals? Can you believe it is 2015? I can’t. To be honest, I thought this year would never come, but I’m glad it did. Like many other students out there, I am graduating in just a few short months, and I couldn’t be happier! Whether you have a plan set in stone or don’t quite know what you are doing, graduation is an exciting and stressful time. Many students will ask themselves, “What am I supposed to do next?” It is important to weigh your options. Although there are many to consider, the most common options are either finding a job or furthering your education. By now, you

The Second Day of AFB CareerConnect: 2 Ways to Connect with a Mentor Who Is Blind or Visually Impaired

As the 12 Days of AFB CareerConnect continues with the second day of tips and advice. With the holidays quickly approaching, everyone is excited to spend time with their friends and family, but don’t forget to make time for your mentors. Mentors often play a bigger role in a job seeker’s life than they realize. It is important to thank your mentors for offering their guidance and knowledge of the field. It is even more important to maintain these relationships as we enter into the New Year. Having a mentor can make all of the difference when looking for a new job, but how do you connect with a

The Third Day of AFB CareerConnect: 3 Free Resources for Job Seekers Who Are Blind or Visually Impaired

Can you believe it? Our holiday countdown is almost over, but don’t worry, we aren’t finished spreading holiday cheer! AFB CareerConnect has provided helpful advice, tips, and ways to improve your job search and work-life, but we haven’t given out any presents! So as we continue to celebrate the 12 Days to Christmas, the holiday season, and the New Year, here are a few free resources just for you from AFB CareerConnect! Job Seeker’s Toolkit. This gift is perfect for any job seeker!

12 Days of AFB CareerConnect Tips and Advice for Job Seekers Who Are Blind or Visually Impaired

Most people are familiar with the song, the Twelve Days of Christmas, but what about twelve days of AFB CareerConnect? Give yourself the gift of being better prepared to get a great job by taking some time this holiday season to brush up on your career resource skills as we countdown to Christmas, the New Year, and the holiday season with a refresher on some of our past tips and advice. We will be posting 12 blog posts up until Christmas. The fact is that the job search is not over during the holiday season. As employers are still looking to fill positions and make decisions. Utilize our 12

Where Are They Now? Larry Johnson, Author and Presenter Extraordinaire Who is Blind

Remember Larry Johnson from his Our Stories profile? Last time AFB CareerConnect talked with Larry, he told us about his work as a disc jockey, human resources manager, author, and more! But what has Larry been up to recently? Aside from being an accomplished writer, Larry is still active in presentations and workshops. He was the recent keynote speaker at the state convention of the American Council of the Blind of Texas, and he just

The Exceptional Nurse Book Highlights Nurses with Disabilities and Visual Impairment

Exceptional nurses go out of their way to provide excellent care for their patients no matter the personal hurdles they must overcome. Whether that hurdle is a physical or mental disability, these nurses have found ways to conquer the odds and continue to provide the best care possible to those in need. In Donna Carol Maheady’s new book, The Exceptional Nurse: Tales from the trenches of truly resilient nurses working with disabilities, readers learn of nurses who overcame

Aaron Preece, Lessons From Employment Experience at the American Foundation for the Blind

Finding a job or selecting a career path can be a difficult challenge, but job seekers who are blind or visually impaired should not be discouraged. Anyone who is willing to work hard, find available opportunities, and make connections will achieve success. Although it may seem impossible at the time, it is important to remember that there are many other people just like you that have found career success. Internships Internships are an excellent way to gain work experience and make connections. They allow students to gain hands-on experience by working with professionals and provide students a chance to determine which line of work is best for

National Disability Employment Awareness Month Theme: Employ

Happy National Disability Employment Awareness Month (NDEAM)! As we continue to celebrate NDEAM, it is important to review the second element of this year’s theme, “Expect. Employ. Empower.” A huge part of why we have NDEAM is because of those employers that provide jobs and those employees who work hard to get hired. After searching through CareerConnect’s Career Clusters, deciding on a career path that is right for you, and seeking advice from mentors online, it is important to put those resources to work. But what if you are worried about your job interview? Or if you aren’t sure how to disclose your

Where Are They Now? Becka deHaan, Award Winning Recording Artist Who is Blind

Have you ever wondered what happened to the AFB CareerConnect mentors from the Our Stories section? After being gainfully employed and achieving success in the field, what is next for these individuals? Simple, more success! With AFB CareerConnect's new Where Are They Now series, you can catch up with all of your favorite mentors and see what they have been working on. The first mentor AFB CareerConnect checked in on was recording and performing

ODEP's 2014 National Disability Employment Awareness Month Theme is “Expect. Employ. Empower.”

It is finally October which means it is officially National Disability Employment Awareness Month (NDEAM)! This year's theme, decided by the United States Department of Labor for Disability Employment Policy, is "Expect. Employ. Empower," and each week CareerConnect is breaking down these elements and providing free resources for job seekers who are blind or visually impaired. This week we are focusing on "Expect." According to Kathy Martinez, the assistant secretary of labor for disability employment policy, this year's theme is about much more than just hiring. "It's about creating a continuum of inclusion. And the first step in this continuum is

A Valuable Lesson from Syed Hassan, AFB's Web Intern

I am not the most tech-savvy person in the world. I try my best to keep up-to-date on technology and to fix any problems that come up, but I don't handle it well when it doesn't work out. I usually end up getting into a duel of wits with my computer. Unfortunately, the computer always wins. After I admitted defeat this last time, I found CareerConnect's newest Our Stories piece about Syed Hassan. Syed is a computer science major and a Web intern

Why Do You Work for AFB?

Are you blind? No, sir; I am not. Oh... Why are you working at AFB then? Believe it or not, this is the most popular question I have been asked during my internship, but I still dont have a simple answer for it. My name is Katy Lewis, and I will be a senior at Marshall University in the fall. I am majoring in public relations and minoring in marketing and history, and I am an intern for the American Foundation for the Blinds (AFB) CareerConnect(r) program. I am not blind or visually impaired. But just because I am not blind, however, does not mean that I am not affected