Over the years, we have published a great deal of material related to employment in our AccessWorld magazine. Though much of the content we have published is time specific, there are still many articles with information and advice still of use today. Historically, we published a column in AccessWorld titled Employment Matters, now our Employment Journeys series, which detailed the life and work of people who are blind and or low vision and successfully employed. In addition to providing a survey of the various possible careers currently held by people with blindness or low vision, the articles all include advice and suggestions from interviewees for those seeking to gain or maintain employment. In addition, we have published other articles on employment in general which also include valuable advice and thoughtful ideas. As an example, in the October 2011 issue, we published an article regarding interview preparation by Joe Strechay. Likewise, J.J. Meddaugh detailed the accessibility of needed forms for those operating their own small business in August 2020, information that is still valuable today. In this piece, we present a couple of notable examples of advice AccessWorld authors have presented over the years.
In her 2016 article, Employment Perspective: Rethinking the Purpose of Work , Neva Fairchild has this to say regarding seeking a job:
Talk to people about their work. Start with your family and friends. They are your network. Learn about their career paths, the companies they work for now and those they have worked for in the past. They just might be a connection that will turn into a chance for you to apply for a job opening even before it is posted to the public.
Look for a need. Is there always a long line at Subway when you go to grab a bite of lunch? Perhaps they are short staffed. You just might be the person they're looking for to fill a need that no one else can fill. Look for opportunities where you are. Businesses close to home, on the nearest bus route,or near where a family member or neighbor already works, can make getting to work easier for you.
In October 2010, Joe Strechay wrote a fantastic article titled Insider Tips for Getting the Most from Vocational Rehabilitation. Even now that it is 13 years old, the article is still absolutely full of excellent advice and I highly recommend reading it if you are currently working with, or planning to work with Vocational Rehabilitation. One quote that stood out to me was, "It is important to realize your job search is your job, and gaining the most from your VR experience is part of that job. Job seeking is a job in and of itself. You should get up in the morning thinking about ways to find a job and then follow through."
All of these pieces can be found in our AccessWorld Back Issues section. The archive includes every AccessWorld article ever published, stretching all the way back to our first issue in January of 2000. If you are interested in the history of accessibility and how it has changed and evolved, the Back Issues page contains a wealth of information on this process. As one example, this article detailing students' technology use from 2007 illustrates the stark differences between the world before and after the advent of the accessible iPhone. The tasks are the same but the landscape has changed so much. Braille Notetakers now run the same operating systems (Android and Windows) as mainstream devices. The multiple devices used for specific tasks, reading, email, chatting, scanning, are now often replaced by a single smartphone. The change didn't take long either-within 4 years of this article much of these changes had already taken place.
I encourage you to take a look through our archive, you never know what you'll find!