Transitions: From Legacy to Legendary: Thrive with APH CareerConnect

Headshot of Richard Rueda
Headshot of Richard Rueda

Did you know that APH CareerConnect was around before the days of Facebook, Twitter, TikTok, Instagram, and the definition of “social media?”  Did you know that APH CareerConnect started out in the mid-1990s as a resource database to connect job seekers to employed mentors and role models?  Did you know that originally most of the infrastructure and data was backed up on floppy disks?  All this is to say, that at the dawn of the internet revolution, APH CareerConnect (formerly known as AFB CareerConnect) was at the forefront of social media and forging lifelong career connections for blind and low vision job seekers.

Over the past three decades, APH CareerConnect has expanded and evolved to serve thousands of job seekers, working professionals, rehabilitation staff, teachers of the visually impaired, and employers as they learn and engage with job seekers who have visual impairments.  With this bit of APH CareerConnect history, we kindly ask you, our readers and site visitors, what is your connection to and or first impression of APH CareerConnect?

As we plan and strategize for the future of APH CareerConnect, we would love to hear from you. Over the course of the next few months, we will be hosting APH ConnectCenter open house hours on zoom. Together with APH ConnectCenter staff, we want to listen, learn, and engage with you, our audience, to build out the APH CareerConnect and site resources of the future.  We want to remain your go to source for information for interested job seekers, family members seeking timely and reliable information and more.

While we begin to plan for the APH CareerConnect that will provide for the modern-day blind and low vision career explorer, we also encourage and welcome calls and emails to the APH  ConnectCenter. To reach our toll-free line, simply call 800.232.5463. You can also contact us via email at connectcenter@aph.org.

While you are here at www.APHCareerConnect.org, take a deep dive into our resources, The Job Seekers Toolkit, Transition Activity Guide, Succeed at Work / Video Success Stories, and blogs. We’d love to know what resonates with you and what features you’re excited to see or the topics you want to learn more about.

As career exploration and active job searching can be timely and at times challenging, APH CareerConnect addresses employment possibilities to both the career curious and employers eager to find ways to best engage and recruit blind employees. To that end, APH CareerConnect, our Advisory Committee, countless blind, and low-vision professionals, and job seekers themselves are working to make your APH CareerConnect experience a meaningful and empowering one.

Introducing APH ConnectCenter’s Digital Content Manager, Richard Rueda

The APH ConnectCenter staff values everyone’s feedback and insights. We are thrilled to introduce our new Digital Content Manager, Richard Rueda.  Richard has over 21 years of direct service as a rehabilitation counselor and transition specialist collaborating with blind young adults and active job seekers.  As a vocational rehabilitation counselor himself, Richard has experienced APH CareerConnect as both a consumer and as a rehabilitation counselor guiding others along their job preparation journeys.  With an abundance of passion for the value of APH CareerConnect establishing authentic networks, Richard wants to hear from you! Reach out to APH ConnectCenter and let us know what’s working for you (and/or your students or clients) and what resources you are still looking for.  You might even want to share your personal experience as a blog!

APH CareerConnect Highlights

From the start of the pandemic APH CareerConnect, like so many other organizations, pivoted and provided online webinars. Early on we shifted our National Transition Conversation to a virtual platform and in the summer we partnered with the California School for the Blind to host our virtual Coding Symposium. In late spring 2020, APH CareerConnect brought together well-respected and celebrity blind professionals from all occupations creating a series of short powerful video messages honoring the graduating class of 2020. Beyond that, these videos regularly are motivating and empowering young people including mid-career change and elderly job seekers to thrive to their greatest potential.  All of these resources are available to you and your clients, students, and their families.  All APH ConnectCenter resources are free.

In many ways, the pandemic empowered our users to invite APH ConnectCenter into their homes, classrooms, and virtual conventions.  Looking ahead, we are eager to return to in-person learning but recognize the power hybrid learning models offer for access and accessibility.  With this in mind have exciting new initiatives planned. Career Conversations will unveil as one more platform for both transition-age youth and adult job seekers to hear from and meet working professionals with visual impairments.  Career Conversations will highlight jobs as well as the people holding those jobs.  The format will provide a short interview and then open up the discussion for audience questions. Using our accessible Zoom platform, Career Conversations is yet one more way to fill in gaps and empower our audience to think big and ask questions.

As you browse APH CareerConnect, the APH ConnectCenter Transition Hub, and our family of APH ConnectCenter sites, let us know what resonates with you. We are here for you. We are on social media, including Twitter and Facebook.

Website: www.APHCareerConnect.org

Twitter: @APHConnect

 Facebook:  https://www.facebook.com/ccforjobseekers