Categories
Careers General Colorado Center Information In the Media Independence Training Program Senior Programs

CCB Senior & Alum Launches “the Tactile Traveler” Radio Program & Podcast @kdnkradio

Nick crossing Shepperd Ave

You can’t keep Nicky out of the news. Glenwood Springs’s Nick Isenberg, who first attended our Seniors in Charge program and then came back to complete the Independence Training Program at age 73, is back in the news where he spent his professional career. This time it’s as “The Tactile Traveler”, the monthly radio program and podcast he launched on KDNK in Carbondale July 30.

KDNK is a ppublic access radio station which, according to its web site, reaches over 100,000 listeners from Rifle to Leadville to Marble, as well as streaming on the web. Here’s what the web site says:

Nicky News Premiers “The Tactile Traveler” on KDNK
Journalist Nick Isenberg applies his skills and experience to a new show that seeks to “empower blind and low vision people to explore the world and help the sighted to see the world in a new way.”

“The Tactile Traveler” is available from the Apple Store and other podcast distributors. Just search for “Tactile Traveler”.

Clicking this link will open the podcast and begin playing it.

Categories
Careers Events General Colorado Center Information Independence Training Program Senior Programs Youth Services

Making Connections 2019 Agenda – Take an Early Look!

Colorado Center for the Blind Logo

AGENDA

MAKING CONNECTIONS THAT WORK FOR YOU

3rd Annual Career and College Seminar

Wednesday, May 8, 2019

9:00 am: Registration
9:45 am: Welcome and Opening Remarks: Julie Deden, Executive Director, Colorado Center for the Blind; Diane McGeorge, Board Chair and Founder of the Colorado Center for the Blind; Kathleen Conti, Arapahoe County Commissioner

10:00 am: “A Blind Accountant? Crunching the Numbers”. Cody Bair, Certified Public Accountant, KPMG LLC

10:30 am: “From Ukraine to Colorado: Working in the Communications Industry”. Petr Kucheryavyy, Senior Accessibility Manager, Charter Communications

11:00 am: We will divide into two groups. One group will enjoy lunch while the other group meets our dynamic exhibitors.
12:00 pm: We will switch groups.

List of Exhibitors

Arapahoe Douglas Workforce Center
Blind Institute of Technology
Charter Communications
City of Littleton
College Information Table
Colorado Association of Blind Students
Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment
Colorado Division of Vocational Rehabilitation
Colorado Division of Vocational Rehabilitation (Business Enterprise Program)
Equal Employment Opportunity Commission
Littleton Adventist Hospital
Team EEI
Visa Card Services
Yoga Body LLC

Breakout Sessions 1:00 to 2:00 pm

1. There is a job for you with the federal government: what you need to know to get started. Patricia McMahon, Outreach and Educational Coordinator, Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. (Large conference room, upstairs)
2. Take time to relax: don’t let stress and anxiety limit your potential. Julie Hill, Yoga Therapist, Yoga Body LLC. (Small conference room, upstairs)
3. Essential interviewing techniques: practice your skills with several managers from various companies. (Gym, downstairs)
4. Rehabilitation Services: a vital resource. Josie Shea, Rehabilitation Counselor, Blind and Low Vision Services, Colorado Division of Vocational Rehabilitation. (Tech room 1, downstairs)
5. The Business Enterprise Program: not just a job, a career. Ellie Karre, Program Manager, Business Enterprise Program, Colorado Division of Vocational Rehabilitation. (Tech room 2, downstairs)
6. Get started in high-school to ensure your success. Martin Becerra, Director of Youth Services, Colorado Center for the Blind and Michelle Reed, Orientation and Mobility Specialist, Colorado Division of Vocational Rehabilitation. (Braille room, downstairs)

Breakout Sessions 2:00 to 3:00 pm

1. What you need to know to get a job in the technology industry. Cala Estes, Director of Candidate Services, Blind Institute of Technology and Adam Campfield, Engineering Architect, Charter Communications. (Large conference room, upstairs)
2. Take time to relax: don’t let stress and anxiety limit your potential. Julie Hill, Yoga Therapist, Yoga Body LLC. (Small conference room, upstairs)
3. Essential interviewing techniques: practice your skills with several managers from various companies. (Gym, downstairs)
4. Mapping your future: how to choose a vocational goal. Josie Shea, Rehabilitation Counselor, Colorado Division of Vocational Rehabilitation. (Tech room 1, downstairs)
5. Competing in college on a level playing field. Dan Burke, College Preparation Skills Instructor, Colorado Center for the Blind. (Tech room 2, downstairs)
6. Get started in high school to ensure your success. Martin Becerra, Director of Youth Programs, Colorado Center for the Blind and Michelle Reed, Orientation and Mobility Specialist, Colorado Division of Rehabilitation. (Braille room, downstairs)

Thank You Sponsors!

Our thanks to the 20/30 Foundation and to the Verizon Foundation for generously sponsoring this seminar.

About the Keynote Speakers

Cody Bair

Cody is a totally blind individual who earned his Bachelor’s Degree in accounting from the University of Northern Colorado and a Master’s of Taxation from the University of Denver. Following his graduation from the University of Denver, Cody began employment with KPMG LLP where he has worked for the past three and a half years in the Business Tax Services Department. Cody’s responsibilities at KPMG include reviewing business tax returns, tax consulting, corporate tax provision review and conducting research and development tax credit studies. In his free time Cody enjoys outdoor activities, blind hockey and traveling.

Petr Kucheryavyy

Petr was born in Ukraine, just two months prior to the Chernobyl nuclear power plant explosion. He discovered that he was losing his vision at age nine, shortly after his family immigrated to the United States. By age 10, Petr was declared legally blind. Petr’s career journey began with his work in hospice care, after which he went on to teach “It’s Your Health”, an innovative approach to health and wellness at Emory University, his alma mater. He later went on to complete his Wellness Coaching Certification with Wellcoaches Corporation. Petr’s passion to ensure equal access for people with disabilities also became a great part of his life and led him to the work he did at the Colorado Center for the Blind in their adult and senior programs. Additionally, he was inspired to co-found Socially Accessible, a consulting agency that works with businesses to incorporate diversity and inclusion. His commitment to accessibility brought Petr to Charter Communications where he is currently building accessible employee and customer experiences as Senior Accessibility Manager. Petr’s true passion is to inspire transformational thinking that leads to positive health.

Categories
Careers General Colorado Center Information Independence Training Program Senior Programs

Still Thick as Thieves, These CCB Alumni Reunite, Tell Their Stories & Offer Wise Counsel to Students

Anahit, Kathy, Bill and Julie 2019

Let there be no doubt – students at the Colorado Center for the Blind form lifelong friendships. Monday, three such friends reunited at the center Kathy Kudlick, Bill Lundgren and Anahit LaBarre. They are shown above standing in front of our tactile CCB logo, left to right, Anahit, Kathy, Bill and Director Julie Deden

All three were students at the same time, in fact, they began arriving shortly after our move to Littleton in August, 2000.

Kathy was first in October of that year. A professor of French History at the University of California-Davis at the time, she came ready to at last embrace her identity as a blind person. Today, she is Director of the Paul K. Longmore Institute on Disability at San Francisco State University.

A psychotherapist, Bill came in November of 2000 from Philadelphia. He was not just at a transitional moment with the progress of his vision loss, but also in his life. After graduating in 2001, Bill made a fresh start when he opened a new psychotherapy practice in Denver. He’s still practicing.

Anahit LaBarre came to Littleton in January of 2001 as an international student from Armenia. She had finished college an been successfully employed as a blind person in Armenia, yet she felt further opportunities were very limited. Anahit wasn’t named LaBarre when she came to CCB. That came later, when she married Scott LaBarre. They have two children. Anahit has worked part-time with the Seniors’ program at CCB for many years. This year, as her two teenagers move into high school, Anahit has simultaneously increased her hours of work and started a Master’s Degree program to become a teacher for blind kids.

The three of them talked to our current students and staff during Philosophy class on Monday, offering advice and answering questions. The clear takeaway: Embrace this momement that is your training at CCB, and the friends you are making here, the friends you go through so much with, the friends you grow with for 6 to 9 months. For Kathy, Bill and Anahit, that moment of their training occurred 18 years ago now, but they’ve been reaping the benefits ever since.

Categories
Careers Challenge Recreation General Colorado Center Information Independence Training Program Senior Programs Youth Services

Celebrating Our Volunteers

Group shot CCB Volunteers 2018

Thirteen is our lucky number when you look at the Rogue’s Gallery in this photo. These are thirteen volunteers who contribute so muchto the Colorado Center for the Blind and to our students. Yet they humbly protest that they get back more than they give. We suppose that’s their call, but we’re telling you they give a lot. They teach Braille to seniors and drive vans, sort through the truckloads of Bed, Bath and beyond donations we received last year, teach students how to write a resume and several read a section or two of the ACT to one of our students. They drive students to rock climb and ski and sky dive, from the airport when they first arrive and back when they graduate, to job interviews and doctor appointments. If it’s true that nonprofits run on volunteers, then it’s no mystery why we’re in such great shape!

So beyond the excellent Romano’s pizza, here’s our thanks to Diane, Janet, John, Carolyn, Geoff, Mike, Josie, Ron, Bill, Kay, Sharon, Julie and Greg! And that also goes for Tony, Soosan, William and Casey who couldn’t make it today!

Categories
Careers General Colorado Center Information Independence Training Program

Chaz wraps up summer of giving back

Julie and Chaz laughing. Julie gives Chaz a hug as she presents his card.
Julie presents Chaz Davis a Thank You Card during Morning Announcements

This is Chaz Davis’ final week as a Social Work Intern at the Center, and Director Julie Deden marked the occasion with a short ceremony and presentation of a thank-you card, followed by cookies.

“I joined the blind community four years ago, though not by choice,” Chaz told staff and students this morning. “But I really found that sense of community when I came here (as a student).”

A Master of Social Work student ad the University of Denver, Chaz has been serving as an intern here since February, at first just two days a week and then five days a week this summer. He arrived as a student at CCB in the early fall of 2016 after competing in the ParOlympics In Rio that summer.

It was that sense of community that brought him back to CCB when, after graduating from the center in July 2017 and entering the MSW program at DU, he asked Julie about doing his first internship here.

And he has given back a great deal to this current cohort of students, working with students on housing after graduation, Social Security and Medicaid concerns, as well as one-on-one counseling. In fact, the latter may be the part he liked the most.

“I really enjoyed getting to hear people’s stories, hear where they are in terms of adjusting to blindness, and What their goals are after they graduate from the center,” he says. “It’s great to see people’s growth.”

That experience may have altered the trajectory of his own career. Instead of working on a macro level, in some type of administration, he now sees himself moving toward clinical practice.

Julie cited all the work Chaz has done for our students, and of course how much we’ll miss having him here.

“We have a card for you from all of us,” Julie said. “It’s all in Braille except this last part because we didn’t want it to go to your head … It says ‘You’re an incredible person!'”

Chaz’ next internship will be in a high school setting assisting students develop both soft and hard work skills for their post-high school transitions. He graduates from DU next spring.

Thanks for everything Chaz – especially the chance to have cookies!

Categories
Careers General Colorado Center Information Youth Services

Is summer really coming to an end? Our Summer Earn and Learn Students finish up their jobs Friday! #ShareLittleton

Beth at the coffee machine behind the counter at Dirt Coffee

Yes, summer is racing to its conclusion, especially for our Summer Earn & Learn students. for the past two weeks these high school-aged students have been work and getting paid. For many, it’s the first job they’ve had. For others, like Beth in the photo above, it’s her first job since becoming blind a year ago.

How important is that first job for our blind youth? A sense of success, of confidence in their capabilities, and some cold, hard cash in their pockets? Yes, yes and yes! Simply, every great career has to start with that first job or internship. Since blind youth too often don’t get those kinds of opportunities, we create them with the help of our friends and neighbors in Littleton and the greater metro area. So this is also a shout out to all of them! Thanks for helping get our 2018 youth off on the right foot!

  • Primrose Preschool of Littleton, Emily
  • The Right Step (Littleton), Brett, Cheyenne & Morgan
  • Arapahoe Community College ELearning Center (Littleton), Lexi & Jake
  • Arc of Colorado (Littleton), Layla & Anthony
  • Pawcus Foods (Federal Center), Kameron & Luc
  • Dirt Coffee (Littleton), Beth
  • Audio Information Network  of Colorado (Boulder), Michael
  • CCB Senior Program,  Nicholas
  • CCB Front Desk,Luisa
  • Holy Trinity Lutheran Church (Littleton), Madyson

Luisa takes a phone call at the Front Desk at the Colorado Center for the Blind


Brett inspects fence posts that need to be replaced at The Right Step Horse Ranch

 

Cheyenne counts how many fence posts need to be replaced at the Right Step Horse Ranch
Anthony checks to make sure all of the clothing on the racks have tags at the Arc Thrift Store

 

Lexi works with a laptop on components for a movie script
Maddy sorts through stacks of paperwork at Trinity Lutheran Church

 

Morgan looks at a fence post that needs to be replaced at the Right Step Horse Ranch
Nick teaches Susan how to read Braille in the Senior Program at the Colorado Center for the Blind
Luc sprays off large pans in the kitchen
Kameron runs a large hotel tray through a commercial dish washer

 

Layla works with a rack of shirts making sure all buttons are fastened and all of them have tags at the Arc Thrift Store
Categories
Careers General Colorado Center Information

Hard Work & Passion for What You Do Are Key to Making Connections

Dianne Primavera and Judy Mares-Dixon at the podium

More than 130 were in attendance on April 17 for our second annual “Making Connections That Work for You: A Career and College Seminar”. From the beginning in the morning with two phenomenal keynote speakers untl the last breakout ended at 3 p.m., it was a day to learn about the world of work and to feel inspired that blind people can and do any kind of job they wish.

Former State Representative Dianne Primavera told her story with humility, but undoubtedly her story as a single mom and cancer survivor who became one of Colorado’s most effective legislators and now the CEO of Susan B. Komen Colorado revealed the secret to her success – hard work and a singular passion for what she does. Judy Mares-Dixon’s rise to become an internationally-respected mediator – work that she loves – ended with a clear message. Blind people need other blind people along their way to help them fulfill their dreams.

A blind self-employed wordworker, a blind tech company manager, and a blind attorney who defends the rights of blind people spoke on a panel that showed the diversity of occupations that blind people pursue.

Students, teachers, parents and rehabilitation professionals learned about the process of applying to college from recruitment professionals from three local colleges. Following that session was a discussion with three college access professionals about the differences between receiving accommodations in high school and college.

There were half a dozen more breakouts covering the Business Enterprise Program in Colorado for blind entrepreneurs, the basics of the Vocational Rehabilitation program and Federal employment.

Attendees who took part in the mock interviews met with four different interviewers who gave them feedback before they moved on to the next round. Said one student: “In the first interview I didn’t even know what to say. But by the last one I didn’t have any difficulty answering the interview questions.”

And what better outcome could anyone wish for?

Marcus Sands at the podium
Petr Kucheryavyy at the podium
Scott LaBarre at the podium

An audience of over 120 people at Making Connections 2018
Job Seekers participate in Mock Interviews

Categories
Careers Events

Agenda: MAKING CONNECTIONS THAT WORK FOR YOU 2018

2nd Annual Career and College Seminar

Tuesday, April 17, 2018

Lunch is provided.

Don’t miss these keynote addresses:

Dianne Primavera

Dianne Primavera is Chief Executive Officer for Susan G. Komen Colorado. She served in the state legislature for eight years as representative for Broomfield. During her tenure in the Colorado General Assembly, Dianne held terms as Chair and Vice Chair on several key committees. She was appointed to the Vocational Rehabilitation Services for the Blind Interim Study Committee. A cancer survivor, she founded and co-chaired the Cancer Caucus. The Statesman, the newspaper which covered the state capitol, named her the most effective member of the House for her final term.

Born in Denver, Dianne’s working life began at age 12 when she started a dog grooming business which she maintained for three decades while pursuing educational and career goals. She holds a Master of Arts in Vocational Rehabilitation Counseling from the University of Northern Colorado, and an Executive Education Certificate in Senior Executives in State and Local Government from Harvard University’s John F. Kennedy School of Government.

Among her many jobs, Dianne worked as a Rehabilitation Counselor for Colorado’s Department of Vocational Rehabilitation (DVR), rising to Supervisor. She served as Education and Training Coordinator for the Rocky Mountain Regional Brain Injury Center, served as Manager of Customer Services for a number of state agencies, and as Colorado White House Conference on Aging Coordinator.

In her free time, she enjoys spending time with her two daughters, granddaughter and Airedale Terriers.

Judy Mares-Dixon

Judy Mares-Dixon, M.A., is the owner of Mares-Dixon & Associates and a former Partner with CDR Associates. She has worked in the conflict resolution field since 1986 as a trainer, mediator, coach, facilitator, consultant, and dispute resolution systems designer.

Judy mediates healthcare, business, employment, domestic, cross-cultural, community, and public policy disputes. In addition, she offers negotiation and mediation training programs for a wide range of professionals in both the public and private sectors.

Her clients include the U.S. Department of Justice, the Environmental Protection Agency, the U.S. Department of the Interior, the U.S. Army Corps. of Engineers, Canadian Human Rights Tribunal, New Zealand Employment Tribunal, Fletcher Building of New Zealand, Western Area Power Administration, Ohio Supreme Court, United Airlines, Levi Straus and Co., and Denver Public Schools.

Judy holds a Master’s Degree in Social and Multicultural Education from the University of Colorado. She lives in Boulder.

Agenda

9:00 am

Registration

10:00 am

Welcome and Opening Remarks, Julie Deden, Director, Colorado Center for the Blind; Monique Melton, Employment Specialist, Colorado Center for the Blind; Diane McGeorge, Chair of the Board of Directors, Colorado Center for the Blind

10:10 am

Keynote Addresses: Dianne Primavera; Judy Mares-Dixon

11:00 am

Lunch/Panel Discussion (Half of us will eat lunch and the other half will attend our panel discussion)

12:00 pm

Lunch/Panel Discussion (We’ll swap places, half of us will eat lunch and the other half will attend our panel discussion)

Panel Discussion:

Who Built the Desk and Who’s Working Behind It; hear from a blind woodworker, a blind lawyer, and a blind manager of one of the nation’s leading telecommunications companies. Marcus Sands, wood worker, owner of Blind Insight; Scott LaBarre, attorney; Petr Kucheryavyy, manager, Charter Communications

1:00 pm

Breakout Sessions (1:00-2:00)

  1. Using Workforce Centers to Find a Job and More. Helen Meadows, Arapahoe-Douglas Works. Small Conference Room upstairs.
  2. DVR 101. Julia Zanon and others from the Division of Vocational Rehabilitation. Senior Resource Room upstairs.
  3. The Business Enterprise Program: What Does it Take to be Successful? Ellie Karre, Program Manager. Large Conference Room upstairs.
  4. Mock Interviews. Practice your interviewing skills with managers from various local companies. Gym downstairs.
  5. College: The Process of Applying. Howard Fukaye, Arapahoe Community College; Shanna Pomager, Denver University; Kathryn Kenyon, Metropolitan State University of Denver. Braille Room downstairs.

2:00 pm

Breakout Sessions (2:00-3:00)

  1. What Does it Take to Hold on to Success While Self-Employed? Kevan Worley, CEO, Worley Enterprises. Small Conference Room upstairs.
  2. DVR 101. Julia Zanon and others from the Division of Vocational Rehabilitation. Senior Resource Room upstairs.
  3. Working for the Federal Government: How to Apply and Land the Job. Patricia McMahon, Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. Large Conference Room upstairs.
  4. Mock Interviews. Practice your interviewing skills with managers from various local companies. Gym downstairs.
  5. You Mean I Have to Ask for Accommodations: Getting Access in College. Melissa Cermak, Ph.D., Metropolitan State University of Denver; Michele McCandless, MSW, Denver University; Anna Berger, M.A., Arapahoe Community College. Braille Room downstairs.

Our thanks to the following for assisting with mock interviews: Charter Communications, Comcast, Worley Enterprises, 20-30 Foundation, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), Ralph Schomp Automotive Group

Our thanks to the Gibney Family Foundation and the Verizon Foundation for sponsoring this seminar.

Categories
Careers Events General Colorado Center Information

Just what is a “mock interview?

Three smartly-dressed women chat in a large, busy gym
Employment Specialist Monique Melton talks with Courtney and Libby at Making Connections 2017.

The rule of thumb is that a good resume gets you an interview, but it’s in the interview that you get the job. How can you be successful at interviewing? With coaching and practice!

If you have never interviewed for a job before, if you haven’t interviewed for a job since becoming blind, if you haven’t interviewed in a long time, then a mock interview is just for you! It’s a low-pressure chance to get some coaching and practice.

During our April 17 career and college seminar at CCB, Making Connections that Work for You, you can sign up for a series of three mock interviews as one of the afternoon breakout sessions. Yes, you’ll do three short mock interviews in a one-hour period!

Mock interviews are simulations of a job interview, but not a real job interview. We’ll have professionals from the public and private sectors on hand to run you through a short interview much like the interviews they conduct in their professional capacities. Then you’ll get constructive feedback about the things you did well and things that you might improve. After that, you’ll go on to another mock interview with that feedback and practice what your coaches suggest.

Mock interviews will be offered Tuesday afternoon from 1 p.m. to 2 p.m. and 2 p.m. to 3 p.m. Sign up with Monique Melton at 303-778-1130, x221 or [email protected]. Obviously, space is limited, so sign up in advance. Dress for a job interview and if you have a resume, go ahead and bring it. But the real emphasis will be on practicing and improving your interview skills

Our thanks to representatives from these organizations who will assist in the mock interviews:

  • Charter Communications
  • Comcast
  • Worley Enterprises
  • 2030 Foundation
  • The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC)
  • Ralph Schomp Automotive Group

Register for Making Connections That Work for You

Tuesday April 17, 2018
 

10 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Categories
Careers Events General Colorado Center Information

Making Connections that Work for You 2018 #Careers #College

2nd Annual Career and College Seminar

 

sponsored by

Colorado Center for the Blind,
2233 W. Shepperd Avenue
Littleton, Colorado 80120

Tuesday April 17, 2018

9:00 am registration 10:00 am program begins
Lunch will be provided

To reserve your spot, register at the link below or call Monique Melton, Employment Specialist, at 303-778-1130 extension 221.

Morning Sessions:

Keynote Speakers:
Dianne Primavera, CEO of Susan G. Komen, former state legislator, Colorado Division of Vocational Rehabilitation supervisor/counselor and much more.

Judy Mares-Dixon, owner of Mares-Dixon & Associates, has worked in the conflict resolution field since 1986.

Employment Panel:
Scott Labarre, attorney
Petr Kucheryavyy, manager, Charter Communications
Marcus Sands, wood worker and furniture builder

Afternoon Breakout Sessions:

Each participant will choose two sessions to attend from these options:

• Rehabilitation 101 – getting started
• Working in the federal government – what to expect
• The Business Enterprise Program – an exciting opportunity
• Get set up with a Workforce Center to find a job!
• What types of accessibility does a blind person need in college
• Practice interviews with several employers
• Developing your own business and making it a success
• Careers in the technology field
• Applying for college – what do you need?

We Need Your Registration

Please take the following link to register so we’ll have a good count for lunch! You can also e-mail Monique Melton at [email protected]

Register Here for Making Connections