<![CDATA[Greetings! I'm Christian Robicheau, assistant editor at http://www.sterlingcreations.ca. Ah yes! September has been a gorgeous month but alas! It is almost over. I hope that everyone has been enjoying its warmth. This week, our president Donna J. Jodhan has a very interesting editorial to share with you; All about getting and keeping a job. I hope you find it of interest. Enjoy! +++++++++++++++ Getting and keeping a job - what makes a difference By Donna J. Jodhan True it is that barriers in the labor market continue to exist for Blind Canadians but this is nothing new. On the one hand, we are a part of a shifting landscape that continues to reformat itself on a continual basis and on the other hand, Blind Canadians continue to be faced by barriers that are both artificial as well as real. Artificial barriers refer to such things as attitudes and lack of awareness and real refers to such things as technology and access to facilities. In the case of the former, there have been improvements over the years but there is still a very long way to go before these types of barriers could be described as surmountable. In the case of the latter, it continues to be a constant challenge for a blind employee to find ways to overcome. I have been a systems engineer for over 20 years now and during the course of this time, my job description has changed several times; from that of being a programmer to one who now helps clients to design and develop their own systems. I contribute my road to success to being able to work with my fellow workers, clients, and employers to develop a healthy rapport that is made up of give and take, compromise, education, and creation of awareness. I have learned over the years to never take things for granted and in the case of promotions and career changes, I have had to work doubly hard to obtain my objectives. I have managed to accomplish this through a process of continuous education, commitment, and a willingness to work with others to develop processes that would accomplish realistic goals. The key to success for me has been to be realistic in what I set out to do and to use technology at my disposal to do this. Access/adaptive technology will always be one or two steps behind mainstream technology but this does not necessarily mean that barriers cannot be overcome. Barriers to training and promotion will no doubt continue to be a challenge for us but as long as we c an recognize this it is half the battle won and then we can concentrate on finding work around solutions. The trick of the trade for me has been and continues to be the ability for me to channel my energies into positive thinking and the achievement of positive results. Employment continues to be an important plateau in the lives of blind Canadians and one that we must continue to work at if we want to be able to improvement and expand a landscape of job opportunities for future generations of Blind Canadians. I'm Donna J. Jodhan wishing you a terrific day and weekend. To reach me, please send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org and I would be delighted to send you an electronic copy of our latest newsletter. Here is a complete list of where you can view Donna's blogs and editorials. Donna Jodhan! Advocating accessibility for all http://www.donnajodhan.blogspot.com Weekly features on how to increase your success with your business ventures http://www.sterlingcreations.com/businessdesk.htm Weekly articles and editorials on issues about accessibility http://www.sterlingcreations.ca/blog A monthly editorial on issues on diversity http://www.diversityintheworkplace.ca]]>
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- Artificial or attitude? I am still trying to figure this one out and I have to admit that I may never be able to do so. This so-called artificial/attitude barrier has been around much longer than I and this is what it is. Too often, whenever someone with a disability is accompanied by either a friend or family member, they are asked if the accompanying person is a care giver. Recently, I was asked this same question when my friend accompanied me to a lab to have some tests done. The lab technician could not seem to stop herself in asking this question and she was very surprised when both my friend and I said in unison that we were friends. Why should she have been surprised? Was it that she along with so many others around us really do not expect us to have friends who accompany us to appointments? Or is it that they think we need care givers to escort us? Or is it simply that they just do not know what to ask? I do my best to be patient but sometimes I become frustrated and simply tell them that I do not need a care giver. Or I may just turn the question back to them and ask why do they think that my escort is my care giver? 99% of the time there is no response. One of my favourite memories is the day when my mom accompanied me to a pre op appointment and the medical assistant asked if mom was my nurse! On this occasion I could not help but burst into peals of laughter. My mom was speechless! After taking a-hold of myself I gently told the medical assistant that she was my mom; not my nurse. And very recently my friend and I accompanied my mom to the dentist and lo and behold! They thought my friend was a care giver and asked me for her phone number. When I told the staff that she was not our care giver but our friend they were shocked but at least had the manners to apologize. Just my two cents for today. Image: Five blue accessibility logos, hearing impaired, sign language, wheelchair, restroom with wheelchair and guide dog. To learn more about me as a sight loss coach visit www.donnajodhan.com
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