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Many of us grew up during a time when people with disabilities were relegated to special classrooms, and, as children, we were told not to stare at or ask questions of people in wheelchairs, people using sign language, or people who were mentally retarded. Since then, laws have been passed to ensure the rights of people with disabilities, and society overall has become more accommodating and accepting of those who are "different." Americans with disabilities are now in the mainstream — living independently, working, playing, going to school, voting, shopping, and otherwise participating in the same activities as everyone else.

Bill O'Connor

Although city and state governments are trying to stop placard abuse, there is enough blame to go around for people with disabilities because of taking advantage of the disabled parking system. Bill Bogdan, disability liaison for the state of Illinois (and a supporter of AbilityLinks) talks about The difference in states' use of placards, the loss of revenue to city and states because of abuse of disabled parking and finding solutions to this complex problem.

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

If you apply online with any of these companies let AbilityLinks know. Tell AbilityLinks the company name, job title and number. AbilityLinks will share this information with a recruiter from the company. If you haven't yet, please post your resume on AbilityLinks too.

 

Morgan Amos

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Hello Everyone,

Thanks to the thousands of job seekers, businesses and service providers that have visited AbilityLinks.org, posted resumes and jobs, contacted us for help with job search and attended online and in person events, AbilityLinks celebrated its 15th Anniversary last month! Special congratulations to the more than 700 job seekers that let us know they successfully found employment.

Last month AbilityLinks celebrated its' 15th anniversary with a breakfast that featured four successful AbilityLinks job candidates: Eric McGee from Enesco, Ann Williams and Karolina Pieniazek from the Social Security Administration and Andrew Besbekos from Equip for Equality.

Also attending were AbilityLinks committee members, volunteers, supporters and staff that have shared their expertise and resources to help AbilityLinks grow. 

Ann Williams

Ann Williams posted her resume and applied for jobs on AbilityLinks.org. A Social Security Administration (SSA) human resources recruiter found Ann’s resume and contacted, interviewed and hired her. Ann also consulted with AbilityLinks information and referral counselors for advice on her job search. 

A young adult with a learning disability looks forward to the chance to take on responsibility, make decisions and build interpersonal communication just like any traditional prospective hire. As always, one of the decisions a candidate or new employee must make is disclosure of disability to an employer. Others can provide help and support when it comes to making the decision. Parents especially, because of how well they know their child and understand the disability, can help more than anyone else

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?

ITKAN is a professional organization affiliated with the Illinois Technology Foundation , whose mission is to develop passionate IT professionals with disabilities, is partnering with Microsoft ’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.

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

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 with the intention to make as many connections with these recruiter.

 Here  are some successful tips to ace a virtual job fair:

Learn about the recruitment process at Booz Allen, with an overview of how the firm supports the community of professionals with disabilities in particular. Candidates with a strong background and experience in the field of STEM ( Science, Technology, Engineering & Mathematics) are strongly advised to attend.

Play the Webinar Recording

Play Webinar Recording Captioned Version

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