Tip #2 - Please Don't State Your Disability On Your Resume or Cover Letter

Article By Dollie Jones, Father's Day, 6/19/2016

Hi All,

Happy Father's Day!

I'm back to help you all with Tip #2 regarding where, or where not, to disclose your disability.

Is your resume or cover letter the best or appropriate place to self-disclose your disability. That was a question asked of me once, and it’s a great question, and my answer has always been to not add it to either place. Because your resume should be like any potential employee’s resume; about your education, employment experience and qualifications. Now, if you’re looking at a specific disability-focused job site and adding your resume, then yes, they will naturally assume you may have a disability, but not the type nor severity.

However, if you will need an accommodation to apply for a potential job, you will need to disclose your disability at some point during the employment process. But you only have to disclose the type of disability you have in order to request an accommodation. For example, during the pre-job interview process, if you have a visual impairment, you would need to let the potential employer know, so they could provide you with a large print copy of the materials they may need you to use during your interview. Another example of disclosure of your disability is during the post-job phase. If you have a visual impairment, you would have to disclose your disability so your employer would be obligated to provide you with a large print employee handbook, screen reader software, front-row seating and large print materials at an office training etc.  But you are not obliged to tell your employer the exact cause or diagnosis in regards to your visual impairment.

So, next week, I’ll continue with when is the best time to disclose your disability, but I assure you, it is not during the application process.

Enjoy & Get Informed!

Connie

 

 

 

Employment and Other Job-Related Tidbits

Hi All,

I hope you're all having a Happy Sunday!

Recently, I've been receiving a lot of questions about employment and my thoughts on how to get a job if you have a visual impairment. Welll! You know I have lots to say on that topic! :) Only because, I, too, worked so hard to get a job, and I'm so fortunate to have had my current job as Physical/Visual Counselor for 10 Years this year!

But I didn't always have this job and I had a few interesting jobs a long the way. You know what I mean?! Seriously! And I'm not lyin' when I say it was very difficult to do some of those jobs with a visual impairment.

But I have found that there are definitely some things you can do to be better prepared. And so I'm going to start adding some posts about employment issues to get the ball rollin' on some of my best tips and your feedback and tips as well.

Yes it sounds like an eye-roller, but it's soooo true. People can sense if you do not have your act together. If you didn't take time to confirm the location (my personal favorite), and yes, it happens.  Which Macaroni Grill? Oh, the one on the East side..? Oh I though you meant the one on the West side?!

When I worked as the Transition Specialist for The Department of Rehabilitation's WorkAbility Program for a year, I heard all kinds of things. But I've always said it and I stand by it...being Prepared leads to Confidence!

Do you know your resume inside and out?, Will you need accommodations during your interview? Do you know how to talk about the accommodations you'll need to do your job? Do you know which Assistive Technology you'll need to request to do your job? Do you know if your being asked an illegal employment question during your interview?

Answers to theses questions and more will do wonders to boost your confidence during the Pre & Post interview process.

So, I'll leave you to enjoy the rest of your weekend and to enjoy the quote my sister Cat sent me. Thanks Cat!

Enjoy & Get Informed!

Connie

 

 

 

 

Missing My Mom Today!

Hi All,

It's such a beautiful day today! I've been watching all of the Memorial Day shows this morning with Dollie. And my brother and sisters and spouses are all good! My sister has been cleaning out all of the kitchen cabinets today and found an Alpha Beta grocery bag, and boy that took us all back. Not only did my brother work there, my mom went there every morning! She always said, after dropping us kids off at school, that was her place to go and have some time to herself. Granted there were a lot of people in our house, always coming and going, but it was really nice.

Seeing that grocery bag just made me miss my Mama. But seeing that bag also made me smile and my brother and sisters miss mom also. So, I just felt like writing a very quick post and looking at some pics of Mama. 

 Mom and I at our fave place for pizza, the Alpha Beta grocery bag and me and my Mama.

Mom and I at our fave place for pizza, the Alpha Beta grocery bag and me and my Mama.

And it just gets better, because my sister Kerry, who is an excellent cook by the way, is in the kitchen making one of my Mom's famous dishes, stuffed bell peppers! She Just said dinner is ready, so you know this post is over! :)

Enjoy & Best Wishes!

Connie & Dollie, P.S. Doll's fave pic of her Nana is below!

NuEyes is empowering your vision! And I want one!

That's their slogan, and after I tried on the NuEyes smart glasses, I agreed!. I was recently at their demonstration on campus, and once I tried the smart glasses on, I was blown away! I was able to read a flyer and not hold it to my nose, and I had the ability to increase the magnification to my comfort level which ranged from 1x-12x. And just think, I was told the user would be able to watch TV and not have to sit so close to the screen! And for me the magnification depends on what I'm reading so its so nice to have such a magnification range. And the glasses were comfy and easily came on and off, one just has to take the glasses off by the ends...as I was informed by Justin Moore, Co-Founder of NuEyes. Here's a pic of yours truly trying them on. 

 I'm checking out the NuEyes smart glasses for myself

I'm checking out the NuEyes smart glasses for myself

Some of the features of the smart glasses are as variable magnification from 1x-12x, various contrast and color changes, voice activated, wireless, lightweight design, 2 year warranty, text-to-speech (OCR) - coming soon**
stream TV and movies to the glasses -coming soon**

Justin presented the NuEyes demo and he has such an easy manner that it made me feel comfortable to ask a lot of questions and wear them long enough to really form an opinion. I also used the NuEyes while at a computer, and honestly that was pretty amazing! I could enlarge the screens content and all of it could be enlarged just by clicking on the glasses, a bluetooth controller or your voice.  Also in attendance was Catherine Elvester from So Cal Low Vision, who participated in the NuEyes demo along with other campus attendees.

It's pretty amazing how independent I felt wearing those smart glasses. Because for me, it was like having a magnification software and a CCTV all in one. I would imagine if one had a pair, you could sit and read and not have to use your glasses and magnifier at the same time like I currently need to do to read. Make no mistake, I'm not complaining at all, and I'm so lucky to be able to see with my glasses and mag. However, when new technology comes on the scene, and I have the opportunity to try it out...oh Heck ya! I'm all for the convenience and independence that technology provides.

If my visually-impaired students had one, it would eliminate notetakers and they could see the board and take their own notes! How amazing would that be! I so would have loved to see the board when I was in school, and would have been able to take my own notes if I had the glasses back then. Just a dream back then, but not anymore!

I left the demo such a fan, and hoping the campus buys one. However, the cost is prohibitive at $5995, but it is a computer that allows for convenience, independence and you can't put a price on that. I really loved the glasses but I'll just have to admire them from afar.

But it is an option for the Department of Rehabilitation's clients, schools and people who are able to purchase the smart glasses. One of many tech miracles that are at the forefront changing the lives of people with visual impairments. I absolutely loved them! 

Enjoy & Get Informed!

Connie

Please check out the NuEyes website at https://nueyes.com/product/

 

 

 

 


 

 

 

Ollie Cantos is Amazing!

by Caitlin Keating, 4/28/2016

 

  Ollie Cantos standing at the podium

Ollie Cantos standing at the podium

In 2010, Ollie Cantos, a lawyer for the U.S. Department of Education in Washington D. C. was excited to mentor 10 year old triplet brothers, who, like Cantos, all were born blind. All three boys, Nick, Steven and Leo were born with retinopathy of prematurity, a disease that occurs in preemies and causes blindness. Cantos was also born with the same condition.

Cantos heard about the three brothers from a friend at church and the following week he met the boys. Cantos was told the brothers had it rough and had never met someone else who was blind. There was an instant connection between Cantos and the brothers.

 Three brothers with Cantos

Three brothers with Cantos

Now 16, the brothers said they rarely left their house, were bullied at school and church. It was so difficult at times, Steven considered suicide. Soon, Cantos adopted all three boys and shares custody with the boys' mother. The boys live with Cantos on the weekend, and with their mother during the week. Cantos said he sees the boys daily and takes 2 buses to do it.

A GoFundMe Page was opened to help with college tuition. If you would like to donate, please click below.

gofundme.com/supportblindtriple

Although Cantos shared the brothers' experiences of being bullied at school. Cantos has such an amazing attitude, and he has taught the brothers everyday tasks, and to not give up on their dreams or let their disability get in their way.  

If you'd like learn more about Ollie Cantos and his three boys, please check out youtube.com or their Facebook page below. 

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lmv1ZSny-h8

 

https://www.facebook.com/ollie.cantos

 

Enjoy & Get Informed!

Connie

 

 

 

 

His dream of sight comes true! Legally blind 5th grade boy sees mom for first time!

Hi All, 

Wait till you here this one from my friend Tami! Wow! I love technology for this very reason! 

By Avianne Tan, 4/28/2016.

Christopher Ward, Jr who is 12 years old has been legally blind his entire life because he was born with optic nerve hypoplasia, which means his optic nerve was not fully developed before birth. Christopher was never able to see his mother until he tried the eSight electronic glasses. Amazing! 

  Christopher Ward, Jr and his mother

Christopher Ward, Jr and his mother

Christopher and his mother went to Washington, D.C. in April so Christopher could try eSight's electronic glasses. eSight's hand-free headset contains a small, high-speed camera that captures live video which is sent to a LED screen in front of the user's eyes. Thank you eSight!

Currently, his mother, Marquita Hackey is raising money for the $15,000 cost believing the technology will change her son's life and give him more opportunities. Although Christopher uses a braille reader and writer to communicate, his mother feels this device would help him read and write print and get to stay in more regular classes.  His mother could not believe that Christopher was able to see her for the first time but thanks to these amazing and life-changing glasses, he was able to see his mom. 

See the full story by clicking the link below. 

Enjoy & Get Informed!

Connie

  

I can bowl just like everyone else!

The Collegian, Fresno State, Posted by Samantha Mehrtash, March 16, 2016M

Hi All,

My friend Tami sent this article about Shaela Warkentin, who lost her vision five years ago when she and her sister were driving home and she was struck by a DUI driver, due to that car crash, Warkentin lost two of her senses - smell and sight. Since the crash, Warkentin has accepted her visual impairment and has become the first blind student to take the bowling class at Fresno State.

 Fresno State student Shaela Warkentin, 19 holds her bowling ball as she gets assistance from Coach Duncan in her bowling class.

Fresno State student Shaela Warkentin, 19 holds her bowling ball as she gets assistance from Coach Duncan in her bowling class.

Although, Warkntin has challenges and needed to learn new ways to adapt to her visual impairment, I just love to hear that Shaela has continued to embrace college and all it has to offer – including her bowling class. Bowling 101 was taught by Coach Duncan, who welcomed Warkentin, his first blind student.  Duncan led her to a lane with a railing that he had created from PVC pipe with indicators etched on it so she could tell how far she is from the lane and when to release the ball. Warkentin can grasp the bowling ball herself, but Duncan acts as her eyes as he verbally guides her, telling her how to aim her body and adjust her stance. Warkentin says it’s not easy, and her movements and instruction from Duncan is calculated but she is happy to keep trying.  Warkentin was used to bowling with her family and says it was one of the few activities that her blindness had little effect on. “When I bowl, it honestly feels the same as when I had my sight,” she said.

Warkentin has such a wonderful and enthusiastic attitude in spite of her visual impairment and also rock climbs, skis and goes riding on a tandem bike. As Warkentin states. “I might be considered disabled, but I like to consider it ‘differently abled," because she can do most things just like any other college student. 

Enjoy & Get Informed!

Connie

Wow! Take a look at this new feature on Facebook!

Hi All, 

This is so cool!! And thank you Tami! She reads the blog and shares info with me.  

New feature on Facebook, world's biggest social media network, that'll now allow a blind user to hear descriptions of their photos! I love it! I know I can sure use this while I'm on my iphone since I can hardly see any photos from Facebook on my iphone. I read I'll just have to turn on the Voiceover feature and I'm good to go. It'll look like the picture below, where it's describing what's in the picture, but only at a certain specificity. Heck, it's still so helpful! 

 Picture of a woman and man standing near the ocean in a picture on Facebook

Picture of a woman and man standing near the ocean in a picture on Facebook

Matt King is Facebook's first blind computer engineer, and as a member of the accessibility team, is revolutionizing Facebook for blind people and individuals who are visually impaired. Now on your iphone or ipad, you can turn on your Voiceover feature and begin to "hear' your photos!

 Photo of Matt King wearing a red shirt

Photo of Matt King wearing a red shirt

Thank you so much Math and the Facebook accessibility team!!

Enjoy & Get Informed!

Connie

 

I was meant to do this!

Hi All, 

I'm back....and more inspired then ever to keep So I'm Legally Blind as a resource for individuals with visual impairments. I've received wonderful feedback from people regarding my blog and how helpful this site has been. And I must say I've missed my readers and sharing stories of individuals who inspire, encourage and impress me and the readers of So I'm Legally Blind. 

I'm happy to share with you that the past three months are now finally behind me...because it's been a rough couple of months, to say the least. Have you ever felt something, a medical procedure, a surgery, a huge exam etc needs to get behind you before you feel you can ever move forward? And until you get that done, you can't 'move on' to the next thing? It's like life stops until it's done. 

I've felt that way since my mom went to see my Daddy in January. Just blah...I went to work, took care of the Queen aka Dollie and handled all of my regular responsibilities, but still blah. I did a blog post for Valentine's Day and nothing since now. And I missed it, I really did.

However, as I've been thinking about how to improve So, I'm Legally Blind, I've still been enjoying some of my favorite things. 

 

I want to keep improving my website/blog because I love blogging, informing and encouraging people with visual impairments. Well, as my mom used to say, "always expect the unexpected"

In February my right eye started to hurt, no idea why, but scared none the less. Urgent Care said it's a sty, warm rag and off you go...or so I thought. Well the "sty" led to a staph infection, to three more doctors, to an eye surgeon, and finally to an eye surgery to drain the infection!!!!  Really?? Seriously??? After all I've been through with my beautiful blue peepers! 

After the eye surgery, my brother Dale said, "You look like Rocky Balboa", and I felt like him! But my eye finally began to heal, an ointment 2x a day and I saw the surgeon last Monday. I feel much better, but I was still worried because that wasn't the thing I needed to get behind me.  

In January, I was scheduled for a medical procedure, I've had it before, maybe 3 or 4 times now, but I just wanted it done SO bad! It's a pretty straight-forward procedure, I'm even asleep throughout the procedure....but I needed it to be OVER. Well, it is now and all is right with world! Now, I can finally move on. 

It's now April, and I have big plans for So, I'm Legally Blind. I finally found a web designer who will improve the flow of my website and make life much easier for me. Dollie thanks you Ed! The redesign will begin in May and once that's done, I can spend more of my non-work hours writing, providing resources, ebooks, guest interviews and bios (thank you for your patience Rosie and James) and all the other things I've been wanting to do to make So, I'm Legally Blind an essential resource for individuals with visual impairments.  

Enjoy & Get Informed! 

Connie 

As always, I'd love to hear from you and please let me know if you have any questions or comments. 

 

 

 

 

Happy Valentine's Day!!!! A quick share about Amelia...just Amazing!

By Avianne Tan, 2/12/16-Good Morning America

Hi All,

Thanks to my brother Dale for sharing this awesome story with me and now I can share an uplifting quick note about Amelia. Amelia is a typical second-grader from Seattle who came to school last Friday and passed out Valentine's Day cards just like all kids do, but Amelia just happens to be blind. And with a Perkins Brailler, brailled a Valentine's Day card for each of her classmates!

Amelia is so amazing and I think Amelia's parents have given her the best gift ever! Yes,she's blind, but Amelia is just like every other second-grader celebrating Valentine's Day by passing out Valentines's Day cards to her classmates! She made home-made cards just like all kids do, but with a very realistic and creative twist! 

Great Job Amelia!!! Go Mom and Dad!!! Nothing like having the support of your parents!!!

Enjoy & Get Informed!

Connie 

For the full story, please check out the clip below.


My biggest supporter! My beautiful Mom is now with my Dad!

Hi All, 

I wanted to share with you a bit about my wonderful Mom who went to heaven last Tuesday, January 12, 2016 at 7:15 pm surrounded by her family and friends. It was such a beautiful day! My mom had been ill for the past 2 years and was in hospice. We were all able to support her wish of being in her home until she went to be with Dad and brother Christopher. 

I chose to put my blog on the back-burner for a bit and focus on my mom, especially for the past 3 months. My mom supported my blog and always wanted me to share my story with others who have a visual impairment and I'll continue to do so. Although I may have lost a few followers over time, it's ok. The past 2 years have been hard on all of us because my mom wasn't able to do the things she used to, but no longer.  

Love you mom!

Connie & Dollie

Blind Woman Receives Bionic Eye Implant!

Article By Char Adams. 

Hi All,

Jamie Carley, born with retinitis pigmentosa, a condition that causes retina cells to slowly die was given a miracle! She received the Argus II Retinal Prosthesis System bionic eye implant, a microchip which works with a pair of camera-implanted glasses to restore "small amounts" of vision, according to the UC Health Eye Center.  Thanks to the implant, she can perceive light, dark and and the outlines of objects. 

Now with her Bionic Eye, she was able to see her 29 year old son for the first time since he was three years old! 

UC Health Eye Center link https://www.uchealth.org/news/uchealth-eye-center-restores-limited-sight-to-blind-patient-with-regions-first-bionic-eye-surgery

Enjoy & Get Informed!