Getting and keeping a job – what makes a difference

Greetings! I’m Christian Robicheau, assistant editor at
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.

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 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
Weekly features on how to increase your success with your business ventures
Weekly articles and editorials on issues about accessibility
A monthly editorial on issues on diversity

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