Friday, February 25, 2011

Breathing fire

I don't remember when it was, but sometime in January, I went to a job fair. I obtained some very useful information there. The presenter in the morning talked about SSI and SSDI. After all the complicated explanations were over the participants were allowed to wander around the room. Five or six tables were scattered throughout the room and were manned by people from several different industries. They were Goodwill Industries, AHEDD, Home Depot and a few others.

My mother, who was my driver, my family still won't let me drive even though I'm almost 29, and I walked around the room to the various tables. We obtained information at each one, but the job coaching agency AHEDD seemed to me to be the most interesting.

The concept of job shadowing was explained to me. It involves going to a workplace environment and performing the tasks you would normally perform for that job. I contacted AHEDD for further information.

I called the number on the card I was given and met with someone from that agency. They explained more about what services they offer, such as job shadowing, actually more accurately called Community Based Work Assessment. I then contacted my OVR counselor and that's where it became interesting.

We eventually sorted out our differences, and my counselor wrote a referral for AHEDD. I then met with the person from that agency to complete some final paperwork and then we got down to business. I then explained my choices for the CBWA service. I wanted to shadow a customer service position at Walmart because I don’t know what that job would entail, but I think that's a good entry level job. I also wanted to shadow a position at a newspaper to see what it involves. I wanted to shadow a position in the admissions office at a college campus to see what it would involve. Finally I wanted to shadow something at the Center for Independent Living.

The meeting concluded, the person from AHEDD told me that in the next few days they would be making phone calls to various job sites. I currently have two CBWA placements, so in my opinion that's a good start. I wish I had known about this a few years ago but wishing won't make it so.

On a different subject, my mother likes QVC and orders a few items from there. Most recently Dragon NaturallySpeaking Home 11 by Nuance was a today's special value and there was a good price. My mother got it and I tried to install it. It installed but then told me that a speech file could not be found. Yesterday I tried a number of things but it still didn't work so this morning, I logged into the customer support center. I typed in my questions and before it was sent, four topics came up that the site said might be used to assist me. One of them actually was helpful. It told me that I had to download and reinstall a Microsoft speech file. Good old Microsoft but the download worked. I tried Dragon again and was taken to a series of training exercises.

I'll finish reading the tutorial later but for right now, I just wanted to see how it works. I dictated this whole blog entry so I guess it worked just fine. This will help me write much faster, which will mean you will see more stories from me sooner rather than later. Woohoo

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