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Posts Tagged ‘Employment’
Congratulations LightHouse Employment Immersion Client Lily Esteban, Hired by Diversified Mortgage GroupMay 2, 2013
Lily Wang Esteban grew up in China and Hong Kong and moved to Hawaii at age 17. She finished high school and studied Business Administration and Gerontology at the University of Hawaii before marrying and starting a family. In her 20’s she began working for a bank, and for the next 35 years, which included a move to San Francisco in 1983, she dedicated herself to her work as a mortgage loan officer.
Then everything stopped. It began when she started having trouble reading street signs. “One evening in September 2007, while I was in the car with my husband, I asked him why they had put Christmas lights up so early; I said ‘Look they’re all over the place’. He didn’t know what I was talking about.” Lily realized that what she was seeing was the blurred lights of streetlamps, appearing like holiday lights. She went to see an ophthalmologist who diagnosed her with myopic degeneration and told her it was unlikely she would gain much vision back.
It became harder and harder for her to see, and Lily finally gave up the career she had built for four decades. She was the primary breadwinner in the family and as their finances became more precarious, she became more and more depressed. That’s when her sister encouraged her to come to LightHouse.
She went, and it changed her life.
At first Lily enrolled in the LightHouse’s Changing Vision class where she learned an array of tricks, tools and resources for the visually impaired. A LightHouse social worker connected her with the Department of Rehabilitation counselor John Grote, who introduced her to adaptive equipment such as a CCTV to enlarge printed material and a computer with ZoomText software. “The world began opening up again, and this meant that maybe I could get back to work and improve our financial situation. I enrolled in the LightHouse’s Employment Immersion Program. But I was sure I couldn’t do loans anymore – that I would have to do more simple office work such as answering phones.
“Kate Williams encouraged me not to settle, and to reach up to my dream. Kate is very inspiring – I thought I was too old to change but I look at her, she is also older and low vision. And there were other people in the class my age. I’m actually glad I lost my vision – it led me to a place where I have a brand new perspective on aging. Why be limited? You’re only as old as you feel. Kate showed me how to write a resume, how to put a cover letter together and how to present myself in an interview. But what she really did was teach me how to sell myself to employers while not selling myself short!”
After graduating from the Employment Immersion class, Lily learned that new government regulations required her to be licensed in order to work as a loan officer. Eager to return to the job scene, and with the help of her new adaptive equipment, she crammed several months’ worth of study into an accelerated online course. “I never studied so hard in my life – I finished in two weeks and then took both the state and federal exams in the same day. I wouldn’t advise anyone to do both in one day, but I was impatient. Fortunately I passed the exams and got my license.”
With license in hand, Lily was hired as a loan officer in November 2012 by Diversified Mortgage Group in Fremont, California. She went through a seven-week training and has just begun closing loans. She’s thrilled and says, “If you are interested in going back to work, I strongly encourage you to take the Employment Immersion class. You’ll learn so much about yourself and your capabilities. Kate will point out what you’re really good at, give encouragement and show you how to open doors. Then you just need to get in there and prove you can do it.”
Is it time for you to re-enter the job market? Follow Lily’s lead and join us for the next session of the 2013 Employment Immersion Program which begins Tuesday, May 28 at the LightHouse’s office at the Ed Roberts Campus in Berkeley. For more information, call Kate Williams at 415-694-7324 or email her at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Do you have a special skill you’d like to share, while enjoying time spent in the beautiful outdoors? Would you like to teach a sport or an art class or take a group of campers out hiking? Enchanted Hills Camp is looking for volunteers for this summer’s camp sessions.
Enchanted Hills Camp volunteers bring their already acquired skills to camp to help staff create an enriching and vital camp experience, while maintaining a fun, supportive, and safe environment.
Each summer we utilize over 50 volunteers to assist in these areas and more:
- Arts and Crafts: ceramics, painting, jewelry, and weaving
- Nature/Science: hiking, ecology, Native American history, gardening
- Sports and recreation: archery, goalball, soccer, beep baseball, bowling, boating, yoga, horseback riding and swimming
- Enrichment: acting, dance, music and journalism
- Staff assistance: cooking, office work, maintenance, driving, and reception work
If you’ve got a skill or two to share, are a team player and enjoy working and living in the community atmosphere of camp, this volunteer opportunity is for you. You’ll need to be able to work a 12-hour day and travel independently. You’ll be asked to demonstrate emotional maturity, sensitivity to blindness and the ability to accept people as they are. Most of all, you must share the desire of the LightHouse to promote the independence, equality and self-reliance of people who are blind or visually impaired.
For more information contact Camp Director Tony Fletcher at 415-694-7319 or email@example.com.
This three-day symposium and workshop aims to:
- promote universal and inclusive design principles to current and future students;
- support the recruitment of people with disabilities into design careers;
- and, promote interaction and understanding.
The symposium will be a public event that will include keynote addresses and panel discussions from leading design professionals, disability advocates, agencies, and organizations in the SF Bay Area and beyond. The workshop will include presentations, activities and exercises for the student participants centered around an inclusive design overview and assessment of the recently renovated SF State Library and the West Campus Green Park scheduled to open in March 2013. Enrollment in pre-workshop orientation and workshop is limited to prospective and current students. Priority consideration will be given to students with disabilities. Please contact ricGomes@sfsu.edu if you would like to register as an observer/non-participant.
When: Thursday April 11 through Saturday April 13
To find out more or to register, click here.
The National Federation of the Blind (NFB) has a number of programs and services to directly assist blind veterans, including:
- Fast, easy access to services and resources
- A nationwide network of blind mentors
- Thirty scholarships for higher education offered annually, generally ranging from $3,000 to $12,000
- Eligibility for financial assistance to attend the convention of the National Federation of the Blind in Orlando on July 1-6
- NFB-NEWSLINE®, the largest on-demand audio newspaper service in the world
- Free advice on finding the right assistive or mainstream technology to meet your needs
- Training and employment opportunities with the federal government
- Effective advocacy on issues important to blind veterans, including access to the military Space Available program
- The opportunity to join in advocacy and fellowship with like-minded blind veterans through the National Association of Blind Veterans, a division of the National Federation of the Blind (http://www.nabv.org)
- A positive philosophy of blindness emphasizing the normality of the blind and our ability to compete on terms of equality with our sighted peers
For more information on NFB programs for blind veterans, please contact Dr. Joanne Wilson by phone at (410) 659-9314, extension 2335, or by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Are you attracted to helping blind youth and adults grow in their abilities, skill and self-confidence? Perhaps you attended camp, and have experienced the life-changing power of Enchanted Hills firsthand? Then perhaps this summer you might want to join our spirited camp in the rolling Napa foothills and have some fun while doing a whole lot of good.
For 63 years Enchanted Hills Camp for the Blind has hosted hundreds of blind California youth and adults in summertime camp sessions. Sprawling across 311 idyllic acres on Mt. Veeder in Napa, Enchanted Hills Camp is a place for blind children to explore and create, gain courage, try new things, learn about the environment and make lifelong friends. The wooded camp offers all the usual summertime activities from swimming to horseback riding, from sports to art. But beyond the summertime fun is a powerful agenda – to increase the self-confidence and self-respect of campers who may often have no other time in the year to meet blind friends
and role models who are successful and living an actualized life. Your job will be to make sure campers grow in their own potential while at the same time have a summer experience which is powerfully fun and engaging.
We’re looking for people who know how to build camp spirit and contagiously involve all campers in trying new activities, sports and blindness techniques. You are not required to know much about blindness when you start, but we expect that you will quickly learn much about the can-do spirit and techniques which all successful blind people use. Or you may be blind or visually impaired yourself. So whether your background or interest is in education, psychology, rehabilitation, crafts or sports, if you think you can bring your spirit and knowledge to bear on inventing the best camp ever, we want to hear from you.
Camp counselors are part of a 20-person counseling team. Camp runs from June 14 through August 18. If you are interested in having a fun filled summer at a storied camp, applications are now available. Let us hear from you soon. Our application period closes on March 30, 2013. For further information contact Tony Fletcher, Enchanted Hills Camp Director at (415) 694-7319 or email@example.com.
The LightHouse is proud to present the second installment of its Future Leaders series with Transition Summit 2013.
In adhering to our 4T philosophy: THINK, TRAIN, TRANSFORM, and THRIVE, the LightHouse Youth Services Program is offering this intensive three day workshop to blind and low vision youth between the ages of 16-25 who are enrolled with the Department of Rehabilitation.
Building upon skills and concepts introduced at Transition Summit 2012, this exciting three day workshop at our beautiful Enchanted Hills Camp promises to be another enriching and educational experience for anyone interested in learning the skills necessary for vocational, academic, and personal success. Participants will explore, discuss, and engage in a wide variety of fun yet meaningful interactive activities covering such topics as: cultivating and maintaining a positive attitude in the workplace; the importance of job enthusiasm; professionalism: what it is and what it is not; identifying and understanding workplace etiquette and boundaries; developing strong interpersonal skills; creative problem-solving and critical thinking; non-confrontational conflict resolution, leadership skills, and more.
Transition Summit 2013 will be a fun-filled event you won’t want to miss!
When: Friday, April 19 through Sunday, April 21, 2013
Where: Enchanted Hills Camp Napa, California
Cost: There is no cost to apply for the summit, however; a referral and authorization from your Department of Rehabilitation counselor will need to be submitted with your application. Individuals who are not Department of Rehabilitation clients may apply for a scholarship.
**Space is limited to 20 Participants. Priority will be given to those folks who attended Transition Summit 2012.
For more information please contact Jamey Gump, Youth Services Coordinator at firstname.lastname@example.org, (415) 694-7372 or John Liang, Director of Community Services at email@example.com, (415) 694-7334.
Blind Nurse Colleen Collins, a LightHouse Employment Immersion Client, Lands a Job at American Care QuestFebruary 28, 2013
Even over the phone, Colleen Collins radiates a calm energy that makes you feel like you are the center of her world, for that moment. It’s no surprise that she has been in the business of caring for people, in one way or another, throughout her career. “I worked in Pediatric Intensive Care at Kaiser for 14 years.” She loved the work, and became adept at both assessing and providing medical care for her patients.
Then Colleen started having trouble with her vision. “I began knocking things over, and I also had episodes of night blindness,” she said. Eventually Colleen was diagnosed with Retinitis Pigmentosa. After a stint working at a plastic surgeon’s office, she decided that because of her decreasing vision she would need to stop working directly with patients and look for another way to make a living.
At the recommendation of a friend, Colleen took a right turn career-wise that turned out to be an excellent fit for her engaging personality. She became a successful mortgage banker, helping her clients get the best loans to fulfill their particular needs. But as the real estate market went from boom to bust, concurrently, Colleen’s vision got dramatically worse. This made it difficult to do the driving and sales work required for the job. “I had to stop driving and start facing reality. That’s when a friend told me about the Department of Rehabilitation.” She signed up for services through DOR and went back to school.
In 2012 Colleen got her degree to qualify to work as a Nurse Administrator. The eight-year gap since she was last employed in a medical capacity made it hard for her to compete against nurses who had been working steadily. Meanwhile her DOR counselor referred her to the LightHouse to learn travel skills and use of a white cane. A positive experience led her to enroll in the LightHouse’s Employment Immersion program.
With self-deprecating laughter, Colleen said, “We think we know it all, we know how to find a job. But the Employment Immersion sessions really brought me up to date – I learned so much about what employers really want to see on a resume these days. And going over typical interview questions and practicing in front of the class and a video camera was invaluable. For example, one frequent question is ‘What do you consider a weakness?’ The pat answer is ‘I’m a perfectionist.’ Well, you know, that is just considered a cliché these days. Kate teaches you what works and what doesn’t! When you do an interview, you’re nervous enough, but when you’ve practiced and prepared you can quickly recollect answers you’ve been working on – it makes such a difference! Also, getting the feedback from Kate and from the class really helps build confidence.”
Colleen’s perseverance paid off and she was hired as an Intake and Scheduling Manager for the home health agency American Care Quest in San Francisco. “I talk to the departments at the various hospitals, gather information on new patients and decide which medical personnel (i.e., Skilled Nurses, Physical Therapists, Occupational Therapists) to send out. I’m working full time, ten to twelve hours a day. It’s great!”
Kate Williams said, “Colleen brought her undeniable energy and positivity to our Spring 2012 sessions. We helped her polish her resume and her presentation and she just went for it. She was dogged about identifying key decision makers and finding a way to get in touch with them. She knows what she wants and goes for it, but she is able to combine this tenacity with a warm and welcoming personality. Colleen positively lights up the room and I’m so pleased with her success!”
Are you looking to jumpstart your career like Colleen did? Are you looking for a job and need that extra little push to get that interview or take your resume to the next level so it rises to the top of the pile? The next session of the 2013 Employment Immersion Program will begin Tuesday, March 19 at the LightHouse’s office at the Ed Roberts Campus in Berkeley. For more information, call Kate Williams at 415-694-7324 or email her at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Ai Squared and LightHouse for the Blind and Visually Impaired are proud to announce ZoomText training in San Francisco.
What: Ai Squared ZoomText Training
When: Thursday, March 14, 2013 and Friday, March 15, 2013
Time: 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.
Where: LightHouse San Francisco Headquarters
If you are a teacher that needs to know how to use the latest screen magnification technology, an IT professional that needs to assist low-vision clients, a student or current ZoomText customer who needs to know how to get the most out of ZoomText; then this hands-on training is just for you.
What do you get when you sign up for ZoomText training? You get the following:
- Hands-on training with a Ai Squared Trainer
- How to use all of the advanced features of ZoomText 10
- Knowledge of Microsoft Office and using ZoomText effectively
- Knowledge of the Internet and how to use it to its full advantage with ZoomText
- Knowledge of how to customize your ZoomText for your specific preferences
Unlike other training courses that can cost up to $1,000 or more, ZoomText training is only $399 per student for a two-day class! Ai Squared accepts most major credit cards, checks, money orders, and almost all state authorizations.
To sign up for the training, please contact Kimberly Cline at Ai Squared 802-367-6152 or email@example.com or sign up for training here. For directions to the training location, please call (415) 431-1481.
Space is limited, so sign up soon!
Meet Angela Griffith, One of our Latest Placements.
We’re happy to announce that Angela Griffith, an August 2012 graduate of LightHouse’s Employment Immersion Program, has been hired as a Technical Support Specialist for Bookshare. After two and a half years of jobseeking, Angela landed a job with Bookshare, a non-profit based in Palo Alto that serve as a national repository for etexts of more than 160,000 books and periodicals. If you are interested in signing up for the service, please visit www.bookshare.org.
After being laid off in 2009, when her employer went out of business, Angela went back to school and became Microsoft Certified at Asher College. Concurrent with job seeking, Angela began contracting at the LightHouse for the Blind, maintaining computers in our tech lab. At the LightHouse, Angela learned about the Employment Immersion Program. She credits the program with helping her refurbish her resume and “brush up” on her interview skills. “It’s helpful to get feedback from a variety of people on how to [interview],” she said.
Program Leader Kate Williams said that Angela was especially gifted at providing advice to her peers. “Angela was very helpful to others in the class,” Kate said.
A career in technical support is an excellent match for her skills and personality. Blind since birth, Angela currently has a dog guide, Tasha. The only downside to Angela attaining a fantastic job is that the staff and clients of the LightHouse miss having Angela and Tasha around. Congratulations, Angela!
Do you want to jumpstart your career like Angela did? Are you looking for a job and need that extra little push to get that interview or spif up your resume. The next session of the 2013 Employment Immersion Program will begin Tuesday, March 19 at our office at the Ed Roberts Campus in Berkeley. For more information, call Kate Williams at 415-694-7324 or email her at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Do you have retail experience and knowledge of the products sold at our Adaptations Store? The LightHouse is looking for a part-time sales associate who will take the renowned customer service reputation of our store to the next level. Go here to get the details: