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Drew Haubrich has Epilepsy and a successful career as a software developer/engineer. He recently shared his story with AbilityLinks.

What was it like growing up with Epilepsy?

When I was younger there was a point in time where I could not get my mind off the struggles of my disease. I would have 10-12 seizures a month.

Those seizures would wipe away my entire recent memory, meaning the last 24 hours. Because of this, I would constantly wonder if I would ever get better each time a symptom or seizure would strike.

I had a Vagus Nerve Stimulation (VNS) implant, a device that sends regular, mild pulses of electrical energy to the brain to control seizures. It didn’t help at first, Mr. Haubrich said.


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I have been working with AbilityLinks for over 10 years, and it has been rewarding, and productive for me. However, after seeing the process of job seekers with disabilities, service providers and employers, I do see the same process and people repeatedly. That does not mean that the people I do work for impress me every day, but they are some people that stand out. I'd like to talk about one that works hard and networks harder than I’ve seen in a while: Gerise Kendrick.


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Disability is one part of who a person is just like a person's race, gender and ethnicity. While employers can't ask about disability, job seekers who demonstrate acceptance and comfort with having a disability may bring those attitudes to the job interview. They may put the interviewer at ease, answer and set aside unspoken questions, and increase chances for of a successful interview.

Job seekers that use common interview questions to assertively manage the impression disability makes can demonstrate that disability is not a barrier, but can be a workplace asset.


Ken Skord standing and speaking

Here are some tips to help you spot scams and find work from home job opportunities.

Spotting Job Scams


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Since passage of the ADA access to public accommodations, transportation and telecommunications has improved. For example, it’s easier to go to restaurants, retail and grocery stores, use phones, technology, and public transit.

At the same time, despite passage of the ADA, workplace disability inclusion has lagged behind. Recent changes to Section 503 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, are intended to increase workplace disability inclusion. These changes put in place hiring goals and voluntary self-identification of disability to measure disability inclusion.


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It’s definitely been an interesting journey as I worked my way towards finding employment. Full of uncertainty, silence, and nos. I’ve done countless interviews and have had some close calls. Each opportunity I’ve had has led to memorable lessons which I have applied to other avenues going forward when applying for jobs. I’ll even admit, my faith has been tested during those times. I wondered if and when I would find a job.


Bill Oconnor

Congratulations AbilityLinks Information and Referral Counselor Bill O’Connor for being named to the 2018 Fellows Class of ADA 25 Advancing Leadership!

The mission of ADA 25 Advancing Leadership, now three years old, is to build a pipeline and network of leaders with disabilities who are deeply engaged in the civic life of the Chicago region and advancing in their careers — consistent with the spirit of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).

“Although people with disabilities are our neighbors, co-workers, classmates, family and friends, they rarely play a visible leadership role at tables of power and influence in Chicago,” says Emily Harris, Executive Director of ADA 25 Advancing Leadership.


Previously, I spoke with Kelly Pavich at the Bridges From School To Work with the Marriott Foundation. The relationship has grown since 2016 and our dual relationship with ITKAN has developed even stronger.

In our next discussion with Bridges, we chat with Emily Daw, who brings candidates forward to employers that are productive and diverse.

Thanks for your time Emily. Can we talk a little more about Bridges? 


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In 2007 the US Marines contracted John Kennedy to develop a non-digital neuroplastic training program to improve all warfighting skills in order to reduce casualties in combat. By physically changing the brain in areas critical to focus and accelerating cognition all areas of performance are improved. Not only have military personnel seen improvement through Combat Brain Training but athletes, business people, students and people with disabilities have as well.


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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.


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