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October is National Disability Employment Awareness Month (NDEAM)! According to the Office of Disability Employment Policy (ODEP) NDEAM dates back to 1945, when Congress declared the first week in October National Employ the Physically Handicapped Week.

Learn more about the evolution of NDEAM and other landmark disability legislation and events in this interactive timeline.

While progress has occurred since people with disabilities were referred to as handicapped much more work needs to be done to create employment opportunities so, join AbilityLinks in celebrating National...


The opportunity for people with disabilities to become leaders in the workplace is a chance not to show your skills, but to provide a team with insight, confidence and excellent networking in the city of Chicago. When the inaugural group of the ADA25 Advancing Leadership program was launched 2 years ago, I saw such a great opportunity for people with disabilities and the civic engagement community to learn from each other, and the chance to learn about all facets of diversity.

The Chicago Community Trust diversity pipeline does not just talk about people with disabilities, but...


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With our low unemployment rate across the board for US citizens, people with disabilities have been seeing results that bring optimism in finding not just a job, but an ideal job. After missing out on an opportunity that you were excited about, rejection seeps in and it is tough for anyone to be rejected.

As you have that sinking feeling of rejection, you are not alone. Many business leaders have been rejected many times with their ideas, only to analyze what can be better in their ideas or even abandoned the idea altogether. When it boils down to is, successful people extract...


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Hello Everyone,

I know it has been some time since I’ve posted a blog post, but I’m back and ready to discuss my experience with attending my first discussion panel focusing on inclusion for people with disabilities within the work place. The purpose of this panel was to highlight three different individuals who have disabilities, and for them to provide the attendees from various companies and organizations with insight into their experiences, as well as how these companies and or organizations can work with a potential employee with a disability to ensure that both...


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....


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