Blind World Magazine

Blind woman helps connect disabled job seekers to employers.

January 11, 2006.
Arizona Republic - Phoenix,AZ,USA.

Finding a good job can sometimes be an arduous task, even for the able-bodied. For people with disabilities, it can be even more elusive. To try and bridge that gap, Michele Duval of Tempe has a plan.

Within the past year, she has helped about 20 disabled individuals find employers who are willing to offer jobs to applicants with disabilities. With that experience in her favor, she's now prepared to expand the service into cyberspace.

Banks and computer technology companies are looking for help. So are school systems, hungry for teacher assistants.

"I go to them and I talk to them about various disabilities, so they understand, and so they understand various individuals might need accommodations," she said. "Sometimes when they have job openings, they give me job leads and I pass that along to other disabled people in the community that have given me their information about what type of work they're looking for and what kind of skills they have."

Being blind, Duval understands the difficulties faced in finding work, and she offers her assistance free.

"I have a degree in special education, and also I'm getting my master's in rehabilitation, and also I'm a commissioner for human relations in Tempe," she said, "I attend various support groups for various disabilities, not just blind, but for all disabilities."

This is primarily how she makes her services known, but soon she'll have a new tool.

"There is a Web site that is going to be going up, and it's called, and it's not just for employment, but it's also has the stories of people, how they dealt with their challenges and things like that, and different places in Phoenix that have assisted individuals, different agencies that people can go to for assistance, too," she explained.

As soon as the job posting service is available, Duval says employers can inquire about listing their openings via e-mail.

If you would like to check out the site, or monitor progress on the job posting service, visit

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