These skills provide students with information about the world of work, career options, and an overview of the skills necessary to be successfully employed. For students who are blind or visually impaired, there are many additional program components which need to be addressed (e.g., accommodations required to complete specific jobs, access to appropriate assistive technology, self-advocacy skills, and those to deal effectively with negative attitudes toward individuals with disabilities). Frequently, students who are blind or visually impaired are unaware of the array of career options because they do not see the variety of workers in their environment or because adults around them are uninformed. Employment statistics from both Canada and the United States show that individuals who are blind or visually impaired are both underemployed and have unacceptably high rates of unemployment. Without specific and timely intervention to address career development issues, students who are blind or visually impaired encounter significant barriers to successful employment.
Handouts from Karen Wolffe's Alberta Workshop 2012:
Canadian Council on Rehabilitation and Work
The Canadian Council on Rehabilitation and Work. This site works towards creating equitable partnerships between employers and potential employees with disabilities. To this end, they offer many programs and services that support both parties. They also feature a service called ‘Workink’, a “Virtual Employment Portal for Employers and Job Seekers with Disabilities”. Check it out at: WORKink.com
Ability Edge is an affiliate of ‘Career Edge: Canada’s Internship Organization’. This organization is committed to finding paid internship placements for graduates of post-secondary institutions who have disabilities.
Make a Change Canada
Make a Change Canada, formaly Canadian Society for Social Development, is a national organization committed to helping individuals who face ‘barriers to employment’ including those with disabilities.
AFB Career Connect
American Foundation for the Blind Career Connect website. This site is a great resource for students who are blind or visually impaired that want to explore the possibilities of work for individuals with visual impairment. This site offers a mentorship program as well.