National Disability Employment Awareness Month and Career Mentoring Month

October is National Disability Employment Awareness Month and Career Mentoring Month for youth with disabilities.

Disability Employment Awareness Month began in 1945 as a week-long effort to assist disabled American Veterans re-enter the workforce. It has been expanded in scope to include all persons with disabilities in order to support their efforts to achieve equal opportunity in employment and to highlight their talent and contributions in the workplace. President Obama re-issued a proclamation on the goals of NDEAM. To read the full text, click here: White House Press Release_Disability Employment Awareness Month

Employers can visit the What Can You Do? campaign website to find out how to maximize the potential of employees with disabilities. The site allows employers to access resources on recruiting, retaining and advancing skilled, qualified employees. Employees or job seekers with disabilities can use the What Can You Do? site to find professional development or vocational services, sources of adaptive technology, and information about rights to workplace accommodations.

Blind or low vision job seekers who may feel unsure about the kinds of work they can succeed at should check out sites like American Foundation for the Blind’s CareerConnect. AFB offers a Job Seeker’s Toolkit where people can learn about the range and diversity of jobs performed by visually impaired professionals. Teens or young adults can also take a self-paced online course that allows them to travel through the employment process while being guided by specific lessons.

At the LightHouse, every month is disability employment and mentoring month. We believe that any career is possible with the right tools and opportunities. Isidro Chavez came to the LightHouse over 20 years ago as a newly blind entrepreneur. He took part in LightHouse classes to help him with effective daily living strategies and to master adaptive technology. He then went on to be a LightHouse instructor and train other students (some of whom are current staff!) in using a computer with software and hardware for the blind. Isidro has since gone on to own and operate the Midway Café located in the San Francisco Federal Building and he recently reconnected with us by signing up to be a mentor for our Blind Leaders program. Now, two blind youth work with Isidro at the Midway a few times a week. Running a bustling cafe with an experience that lends itself to their short term and long term job goals.

The following is a list of upcoming job seminars and new job openings:

Blind Students of California, employment workshop, interviewing and résumé writing October 30 to pre-register and for more details, call California Council of the Blind (CCB) Office 1-800-221-6359.

Lions Center for the Blind in Oakland is looking to hire a Computer Instructor/Assistive Technology Specialist.

The Independent Living Resource Center is hiring two Adaptive Tech Educators Download job descriptions here: Two Job Openings at the ILRC

Stay tuned to the LightHouse blog, specifically the link for more posts about job openings in the Bay Area and nationally.