Oregon Commission for the Blind Client Retires After 43-Year Career

NOTE: October is National Disability Employment Awareness Month

Oregon Commission for the Blind

After 43 years, Carl Belnap retired in August 2020, from his position at A-dec (Austin Dental Equipment Company), a Newberg, Oregon, manufacturer of dental office equipment.

Carl began his job at A-dec in May 1977. Blind since birth, Carl began as a client of Oregon Commission for the Blind (OCB) in 1973. As a high school Junior, Carl attended OCB’s Portland Training Center for the Blind, a summer job training program. After high school, he attended the Oregon Rehabilitation Center for Development at the Oregon School for the Blind for several months, receiving vocational counseling and training. Carl also attended Clackamas Community College for additional training in the machine shop.

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Teamwork to Make the Dream Work

NOTE: October is National Disability Employment Awareness Month

Michelle Novak

By Michelle Novak, Community Liaison for Tradewinds


The relationship between the vocational rehabilitation counselor, employment specialist and the job seeker are important when it comes to finding successful employment. The support and encouragement on the road to a successful employment placement can make a positive impact for everyone involved. In this case, an Employment Specialist shares her perspective on the VR client and her determination to succeed after five years on the employment search.

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Ability for Hire in South Dakota

NOTE: October is National Disability Employment Awareness Month

Caitlin

Originally posted by the South Dakota Department of Human Services Rehabilitation Services

To shed a little more light on the real people impacted by businesses championing everyone’s right to be employed regardless of their disability status, Ability for Hire is highlighting stories from South Dakotans who have benefited from the vocational rehabilitation (VR) program and who are experiencing the many benefits — both emotional and financial — of being employed.

Meet Caitlin, a Vermillion resident who is currently employed by Aramark out of University of South Dakota (USD).

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RSA 2020 New Discretionary Grant Awards

In 2020, OSERS Rehabilitation Services Administration (RSA) provided over $17.1 million to fund programs that help to assist state and other agencies in providing vocational rehabilitation (VR) and other services to individuals with disabilities to maximize their employment, independence and integration into the community and the competitive labor market.

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What’s Your Vision?

NOTE: October is National Disability Employment Awareness Month

What's Your Vision PSA

By David D’Arcangelo, Commissioner, Massachusetts Commission for the Blind


As part of National Disability Employment Awareness Month (NDEAM), the Massachusetts Commission for the Blind (MCB) launched a new campaign emphasizing the importance of ensuring all Massachusetts residents, including those who are blind or visually impaired, have the opportunity to put their skills and talents to work, for the benefit of themselves and the Commonwealth’s employers and economy.

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Learning to Earn

NOTE: October is National Disability Employment Awareness Month

Kevin Urban

From Nebraska Vocational Rehabilitation

Kevin Urban has strong math and foreign language skills, earned several college credits while still in high school, and loves creating visual art. Through his participation in Nebraska VR Pre-Employment Transition Services he also learned a lot more about himself. He learned how to speak up for himself, knows he is not a fan of chaos or change, and says he is a hands-on and visual learner.

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Oregon Commission for the Blind Student Honored with Dean’s Award

AmyRose

AmyRose with her “Dean’s Award of Excellence.”

AmyRose is finishing up community college and hopes to transfer to a 4-year college in the fall. In May, the dean of Clackamas Community College honored Oregon Commission for the Blind (OCB) student AmyRose Bonano with the Dean’s Award. Over 50 people — staff, family, and fellow students — gathered on May 29 for an inspiring ceremony via Zoom.

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Spotlight on Oregon Commission for the Blind’s Pre-ETS Program: Daniel Bair

Daniel Bair Playing a Violin


Many people are familiar with the Oregon Commission for the Blind (OCB)’s work helping seniors and adults, but helping youth successfully transition from school to the workforce though pre-employment activities, or “Pre-ETS”, is another significant part of what we do.

Perhaps because we’ve held it for 45 years, one of our more well-known Pre-ETS programs is the Summer Work Experience Program (SWEP). Serving youth ages 16-20 with low vision, SWEP helps prepare youth to live independently and enter the workforce. With programs in Portland and Salem, students typically work between 25-30 hours per week at worksites related to their career interests.

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Teamwork Makes the Dream Job Work

Daniel Robertson
by Lamisse Williams, Idaho Division of Vocational Rehabilitation (IDVR) Counselor


Meet Daniel Robertson, a management information systems student at the University of Idaho who recently obtained his second paid summer internship at HP.

Daniel worked with counselors at the University of Idaho in Moscow, Idaho who informed him about how the university offers students on the autism spectrum a ray of support services through their Raven Scholars Program. This is how Daniel first heard about HP’s Spectrum Success Hiring Program.

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