Putting the APH into CareerConnect: a look at the past, present and our futuristic plans

Written by, Richard Rueda

Some call it a blast from the past, we call it a magnificent modern day interactive resource brimming with all things career exploration and so much more. Let’s dive into the past, present and the future of your APH CareerConnect.

 I’ve been a fan and supporter of CareerConnect for nearly two decades. First, as a Rehabilitation Counselor and later as a Program Director of Transition programs throughout California, CareerConnect was there like a wise old friend ready with advice, resources and links to encouraging articles about successful and gainfully employed adults.

In 2018, the American Foundation for the Blind gave stewardship of CareerConnect and its family of ConnectCenter websites and resources to the American Printing House for the Blind. The tools and resources that we all came to know and love on this site are still very much at the core of what APH CareerConnect will continue to offer

In recent months while reading through the APH CareerConnect site, you may have noticed some timely blog posts from Joe Strechay and Richard Rueda covering tips on networking, mentoring and employment. These are just the tip of the iceberg. This autumn and well into 2021, we are gearing up for a host of regular blog posts covering perspectives on career exploration, personal experiences navigating high school, the rehabilitation system, college life and the world of work. We will also seek contributions from APH CareerConnect readers to highlight their own experiences and stories.

We have exciting plans to record and share several 15 to 20 minute interviews with successful working adults who are blind or visually impaired to share how they perform their jobs, how their journey took them to their current employment as well as some of their challenges and successes along the way.

We’re also exploring initiatives to connect curious students and job seekers with successful professionals and experts. Also in development is a Transition Toolkit with interactive resources and direct connections to peers, college students and working age adults for high school students. How about webinars to talk in real time with working adults who are blind and visually impaired? Yep, we’re planning those too.

In continuing with the National Transition Conversation,, we have established an email list for professionals who work with teens and young adults to network and share tips and programming successes. We also plan to host quarterly webinars where professionals can share best practices and network with experts to learn and connect.

Establishing twice a month APH CareerConnect ZOOM room hours for students and adults seeking resources for career exploration activities and mentoring will be a part of upcoming ConnectCenter offerings.

For schools and employers, think of CareerConnect as your go-to place for resources and meaningful connections. To that end, ConnectCenter staff are available by phone from 8 am ET to 8 pm ET at 800 232 5463 and by email at: connectcenter@aph.org to assist with locating information or identifying resources. If your class or group would like a presentation about the APH ConnectCenter, we would be happy to do that for you.

We are thrilled to continue the mission of evolving CareerConnect and introducing it to a new generation of students and job seekers who are blind or visually impaired. Think of the APH CareerConnect your hub for updates, resources and strong conversations around employment success. We hope you’ll embark on a journey with us to explore this new frontier!