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Lauren Bryant

Lauren Bryant is a University of Illinois student who volunteered as an AbilityLinks blogger this summer. I was pleased to supervise Lauren and serve as her editor. Here is Lauren's final blog post of the summer. - Bill O'Connor

In the interest of being completely honest with the readers of this blog, I’m going to make a confession: I have trouble focusing on work more often than not. I am a chronic multitasker: usually those other tasks are not work related.

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I...


Morgan Amos

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Hello Everyone,

I am back, and felt the need to write this blog post after much needed time to reflect on the past month regarding various avenues within my life including my career. I also took a second to read back over my previous posts for AbilityLinks, because whenever I write something my intent is to not only strive to help someone else with the information or experience I am writing about, but to also learn and apply that information within my life as well. 

Furthermore, I want...


Lauren Bryant

            Hello AbilityLinks blog readers! I haven’t posted on this blog in quite some time, and I hope this blog post will explain, at least in part, why I’ve been away for so long. As you may remember from my last blog post, I was attending the Illinois Center for Rehabilitation and Education (ICRE) down in the city. This program helped to teach physically disabled young adults independent living skills. ICRE only lasts for two years though, so the question then became, what would I do now? There were several possibilities, including...


ITKAN

ITKAN, a professional organization affiliated with the Illinois Technology Foundation, whose mission is to develop passionate IT professionals with disabilities, is partnering withMicrosoft’s Technology & Civic Engagement team in Chicago, as well as Directions – a nationwide leader in IT, business and enterprise training solutions and one of only 12 Microsoft Gold Managed Learning partners – to train and secure professional positions for a class of (6) ITKAN members.  The training will be focused on the high-demand SQL Server/BI curriculum and certification. The group plans to pilot...


Preparation for a virtual job fair is very similar to how one would prepare to attend a fair in person with one exception, it will be online and your computer connections must be up to speed. The employers will still have  "booths" set up with information about their company and jobs.  The advantage of attending a virtual job fair is that you can talk to and get your resume in front of many recruiters and hiring managers in the comfort of your own home.

Although most people will attend a job fair with the intentions of finding a job, my suggestion is to attend the virtual job fair...


Disability Focus Series, Autism Spectum Disorder(ASD);

Autism presents significant challenges for many children born both in the US and in countries around the world. Consequently, more resources are needed, both on a national and global scale to fund medical research into the causes of Autism. If not, we are facing a grim future for generations to come.

Autism is a neurodevelopmental disorder characterized by impaired social interaction, verbal and non-verbal communication, and restricted and repetitive behavior. The Centers for Disease Control reports the following...


Once I started losing my vision back in grade school it always took me longer than my classmates to get the work done. Although with the books on tape and advancements in technology, I was able to keep up. Yet, it was still frustrating to see my peers get the work done quicker, especially when it wasn't that I couldn't comprehend the information, my vision requires that I go at a slower pace.   Over the years I was able to master my skills and manage the work load. However, once I got into the work force, the rate of growth, and the advancement of technology, kept pushing me further and...

 

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            The interview process can be a nerve-wracking experience for any job-seeker, but people with disabilities can have extra concerns to deal with. Mark Williams, Consulting Director of the Chicagoland Business Leadership Network, presented a webinar in conjunction with AbilityLinks on February 26, 2015, tackling these very issues. The webinar, called “Get the Job: Manage the Impression You and Your Disability Make During the Job Interview,” had 241 registrants, including both job-seekers and employers....


There's no avoiding that some of my postings have had a negative slant to them, and a darker casting.  I won't apologize for it; when things are bad, the responsible, mature, beneficial members of the community keep their eyes, minds, and hearts open.  It doesn't matter if voices in the dark speak loudly or softly, but they should be present, meaningful, and contributing.  The contributions don't necessitate relentless or naive positivity, but optimism that's been measured, qualified, tested, and proven carries as much value as the thudding war drums resonating in the deep.  I believe the...


According to a Bureau of Labor Statistics report from August, 2014, 80.2% of persons with disabilities are not participating in the labor force. The non participation rate for persons without disabilities is only 31.8% according to the same report.  The latest-recorded unemployment rate for disabled job seekers (from August 2014) stands at 12.8.%, versus 6% for the non-disabled community. These are discouraging numbers, but my point in this writing is not to embolden the badness of the labor landscape for those people in the disability community who are trying to engineer their employment...


Cynics say that the belief and reality that people all make and live in one community is an idealist's refuge of theory and abstraction.  I believe this point of view is untrue and damnable, and my reasoning is grounded in the progressing injustice being executed in Ferguson, Missouri.  Michael Brown has been laid to rest, and the facts and judgments surrounding his death are in dispute, but I believe that the circumstances spiraling out from the gunning down of an eighteen-year-old in the street in broad daylight are less important than the undeniable truth that this young man died...


 

            Inspiration is one of the more difficult crafts to qualify and benefit from, in life.  This is partly because whoever is doing the inspiring isn’t directly controlling whether they’re inspirational or not.  The necessity, utility, and recognition awarded to someone who is attempting to inspire comes from the person, group, or organization being inspired.  I can’t state outright, “I’m inspirational,” because inspiration is something that needs to be distinctly, earnestly proven on an individual basis.  Inspiration is a lot like humor, both in the method of delivery and...


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