In Missouri the state agency for the blind is Rehabilitation Services for the Blind. It believes its most important goal is to get blind people working, so it helps by sending people to training centers; helps with the cost of training schools, colleges, and universities; and generously helps in the equipment it provides. But the agency shares a frustration with many state agencies: helping people jump from being ready to be employed to having that first job.
The NFB of Missouri hosted an employment seminar called Empowering Yourself to Success, and from Friday evening to Sunday at noon students participated in mock interviews, learned about writing cover letters and resumés, discussed filing online applications, and strategized about how to learn about companies where they would like to work. Students learned how to mingle while using one hand for cane or dog while carrying food and drink in the other, and practiced juggling all that while introducing themselves, shaking hands, and making small talk. Students and presenters alike were treated to table etiquette for fine dining and learned about traditions and manners we had never heard of before. The event drew thirteen potential employees, and we are hopeful it will live up to its title.