Resources for Employment and Training
By John Zamora, M.S., CDMS There are a number of helpful resources available, in addition to the services you receive from your Vocational Rehabilitation Counselor, state or local community-based vision rehabilitation agency, and other employment, educational, and training organizations:
- The AARP Five-Step Toolkit for Job Seekers is an online employment guide that covers the entire job search process from start to finish: set work goals, organize job search activities, conduct a career exploration, and increase job-finding success.
- APH CareerConnect® offers helpful employment-related services, including resources for job seekers and employers.
- The American Council of the Blind (ACB) provides information about their local chapters, including connections with working individuals who are blind and have low vision. The ACB Job Connection provides a range of job opportunities and other employment-related information.
- National Industries for the Blind’s Business Leaders Program prepares individuals who are blind for careers in business. By providing educational and employment opportunities, this program encourages professional development and transforms high-potential employees and participants into successful business people and future business leaders.
- The Hadley School for the Blind offers free online and distance education courses that can be useful in preparing for employment. Hadley’s Professional Studies Program includes courses in braille, access technology, and independent living.
- Hire Disability Solutions promotes the inclusion of people with disabilities in the workforce and provides job leads and workplace solutions for employers and job seekers.
- The Job Accommodation Network (JAN) is a free service provided by the Office of Disability Employment Policy of the U.S. Department of Labor. JAN provides a free consulting service designed to increase the employability of people with disabilities and links to assist with finding employment.
- World Services for the Blind offers job-specific training programs for the Internal Revenue Service, as well as the following vocational courses: Assistive Technology Instructor, Bicycle Assembly and Repair, Clerical Skills, Customer Service, Horticulture, Microsoft Computer Systems Engineer, Small Business Management, Small Engine Repair, and Word Processing.
- The National Federation of the Blind (NFB) provides information about their local chapters, including connections with working individuals who are blind and have low vision. NFB also sponsors the National Center for Mentoring Excellence and provides comprehensive literature on employment issues.
- The Rehabilitation Research and Training Center on Blindness and Low Vision (RRTC) at Mississippi State University provides training, education, and research to enhance employment and independent living outcomes for individuals who are blind or have low vision. The RRTC also provides information on the Business Enterprise Program, a job training and entrepreneurial program that teaches individuals who are blind or have low vision to manage and run vending operations, including snack bars and cafeterias in schools, corporate offices, and Federal and state facilities.
- Monster.com provides a broad range of job-related information, including getting a job, posting a resume, information about job fairs, and career advice.