Vita Zavoli is an expert at accessible technology and has put these skills to good use for more than 28 years. Vita, who is fully blind, studied computer science in college and has had a long career in technology as a help-desk person, in computer sales and as Training Supervisor at Baruch College in New York. More recently she held the position of User Support Specialist for American Foundation for the Blind (AFB) for more than eight years.
When AFB eliminated her job, she found herself in the situation so many hard working people have experienced recently – jobseeking in a difficult economy. Discouragingly she spent much of the last two years looking for her next steady gig, but with no luck.
Her luck changed when LightHouse Employment Immersion Program Leader Kate Williams responded to a request from high-profile, high-tech company Oracle to forward resumes of those with an in-depth knowledge of accessible technology. Kate included Vita’s resume in her response, and Vita was chosen for an interview. Just this week, she accepted a part-time position reporting directly to Oracle’s Accessibility Evangelist, an opportunity that will expose her to new skills and open the door within the company.
“This is steady work and it’s a huge networking opportunity with an established company,” Vita told us.
Kate Williams said, “I credit Vita’s success in her ability to achieve a balance between her personal life and her job search activities. Not an easy thing to do! Her method was to schedule time in-between job search efforts for healthy activities such as walking and treating herself well. Then she returned to her search refreshed. Her method was so practical that I asked her to talk about it during our Employment Immersion sessions.”
Vita, who served a several-year stint on the LightHouse Board of Directors and continues to work in the blindness community through California Council for the Blind offers this advice about her experience in the job market:
“I encourage people looking for work to go on as many job interviews as possible – just to do it! Even if you don’t get the job, it builds self-confidence and you get a more complete list of your accomplishments. After every interview I would come home and write down the new things that came to mind that seemed to get a positive response from the interviewer. And with each interview I might remember some accomplishment I hadn’t thought of before, such as a hobby that came up in that conversation. I wrote these down and reviewed my notes before each and every interview.”
Do you know someone who could benefit from the career development programs of the LightHouse? Give someone the holiday gift of a bright and self-reliant future. Refer them to the LightHouse Employment Immersion Program. The next session begins on Tuesday, January 8 and takes place at our Ed Roberts Campus office in Berkeley. For information call Kate Williams at 415-694-7324 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.