More than 130 were in attendance on April 17 for our second annual “Making Connections That Work for You: A Career and College Seminar”. From the beginning in the morning with two phenomenal keynote speakers untl the last breakout ended at 3 p.m., it was a day to learn about the world of work and to feel inspired that blind people can and do any kind of job they wish.
Former State Representative Dianne Primavera told her story with humility, but undoubtedly her story as a single mom and cancer survivor who became one of Colorado’s most effective legislators and now the CEO of Susan B. Komen Colorado revealed the secret to her success – hard work and a singular passion for what she does. Judy Mares-Dixon’s rise to become an internationally-respected mediator – work that she loves – ended with a clear message. Blind people need other blind people along their way to help them fulfill their dreams.
A blind self-employed wordworker, a blind tech company manager, and a blind attorney who defends the rights of blind people spoke on a panel that showed the diversity of occupations that blind people pursue.
Students, teachers, parents and rehabilitation professionals learned about the process of applying to college from recruitment professionals from three local colleges. Following that session was a discussion with three college access professionals about the differences between receiving accommodations in high school and college.
There were half a dozen more breakouts covering the Business Enterprise Program in Colorado for blind entrepreneurs, the basics of the Vocational Rehabilitation program and Federal employment.
Attendees who took part in the mock interviews met with four different interviewers who gave them feedback before they moved on to the next round. Said one student: “In the first interview I didn’t even know what to say. But by the last one I didn’t have any difficulty answering the interview questions.”
And what better outcome could anyone wish for?