CAVI Employment short course – Cisco Academy For the Vision Impaired, also known as CAVI

This course offers employment strategies and skills for the blind, taught by the blind.
Employment Course Information

What this course is
Taught by instructors who are blind who have had success in gaining and keeping employment in both disability and mainstream settings.

More than just a resume, cover letter, and interview prep course. We will discuss why you want to work, what kind of person employers want, skills to have before you go job hunting and more.

Full of practical hands-on activities. By the time you leave the course you will have a resume, cover letters, and experience with at least one mock interview conducted by someone in charge of hiring for a real company.

Highly interactive. This course is centred around lively discussions on topics such as problem-solving in the workplace, disclosure of blindness, and transitioning to work.

What this course is not
A “Normal” employment course. We won’t spend two hours lecturing you on a one size fits all formula of how to get a job.

A course for children. We realise you are a capable adult and will be treated as such.

One lecture a week and that’s all. Students will have assignments to sharpen their confidence, problem solving abilities, networking skills and more.

The course will last eight to 10 weeks depending on student needs starting in February 2015. Each week there will be a lecture to attend and assignments to assist in skill building. The outline for the course is as follows:

  • Lecture 1: Motivations for work.
  • Lecture 2: Three traits for a successful job search.
  • Lecture 3: Job readiness skills and problem solving.
  • Lecture 4: Looking for work, Resumes and cover letters.
  • Class time devoted to working on resumes and cover letters rather than a lecture.

  • Lecture 5: Interviewing.
  • No lecture. Mock interviews with leadership WA.
  • Lecture 6: Transitioning into work.

The course cost is $100 and includes:

  • Access to live and recorded lectures.
  • Access to course notes.
  • Feedback from real employers on your resume and interview.
  • Access to both the CAVI Employment and Discussion mailing lists.

To sign up for the course, send an email to caviinfo @ [without the spaces], or by letting us know via the contact form on Contact Form

CAVI – A leading technology school for blind and vision impaired people around the world.

Online learning can level the playing field for blind and vision impaired people who want to learn computer and technology skills.

CAVI provides accredited Cisco Academy courses, computer skills courses, and employment preparation sessions for people who are totally or partially blind. The instructors have years of experience in their technical field and are blind as well. Many of our students get a job after graduation, while others focus on pursuing skills related to a hobby.

Introducing CAVI’s brand new Employment course

Are you a job seeker or thinking about looking for work? If so, CAVI’s brand new employment course may be just the help you need.

This course is no ordinary employment course. We understand that there is more to getting a job than your resume, cover letter, and interview.

This course is taught by blind people who have been successful in both specialty blindness and mainstream employment. The course will run for 8-10 weeks depending on student needs and will include the following topics and activities:

  • Motivations for work
  • The three traits we have found make getting a job much easier and how to develop these
  • Basic skills and knowledge to put in place when beginning a job search including networking and problem solving
  • The job search
  • Writing easy attractive resumes and cover letters
  • Interviewing skills including how to help put employers at ease
  • A mock interview from real hiring personnel through leadership WA as well as feedback on resumes and cover letters
  • Discussions on transitioning into the workplace including fitness, sleep, and socialization

This course will be delivered online and will meet once a week for approximately 2 hours starting in February 2015.

The cost is $100. As with all courses run by the Cisco Academy for the Vision Impaired you will also gain access to a community of students and instructors to network with, even after you have graduated.

If you would like more information or to apply please visit CISCO Employment Course info

3 Great JobAccess Stories

See the possibilities


JobAccess invites you to watch our recently launched videos showcasing stories of three employees with disability and how JobAccess and the support of modifications has helped them in their roles.

JobAc cess works with employers, providers and people with disability to remove barriers to employment. Each person helped is a person who can access employment and contribute to their fullest. Each workplace or person has a unique situation and JobAccess can provide the best solution to anyone eligible.

Meet Caroline, Louise and Huy and watch their stories by clicking the links below.

We are proud to play a role in their success and look forward to sharing future stories.

Please enjoy them w ith your family, friends and colleagues and let us know if you have any feedback. Feel free to contact the team at JobAccess on 1800 464 800 for advice and support on all matters relating to removing barriers to employment.

Access Communications – Australia Post and Caroline Browne

– Louise Pearson

Access All Areas – Huy Nguyen

The JobAccess stories – a compilation

Kind regards


Nicola Tuckwell
T/TTY 1800 464 800 F 08 9382 9277
E/MSN ntuckwell
PO Box 1764, Osborne Park DC, WA 6916

JobAccess is administered by WorkFocus Australia

Disclaimer: This email is confidential to the addressee. If you are not the addressee, please notify WorkFocus Australia by return e-mail and delete the message from your system. You must not disclose or use this information in any way. WorkFocus Australia does not guarantee that this email is virus free. Any Personal information in this email must be handled in accordance with the Privacy Act 1988 (Cth).

Visually impaired and blind workers: undervalued, underemployed

Article from the Sydney Morning Herald – 13 October

Reporter: Julie Power

Lauren Henley has developed superhero-like powers as she navigates the world of work.

Blinded when she was 20, Ms Henley uses a form of “echo-location” – clicking her fingers or tongue to produce echos much like a bat’s navigation – to find her way around a new office and a new city.

“The noise bounces off objects in your environment. You can use it to work out different bits of information, such as how large the object is,” said Ms Henley who moved to Sydney two weeks ago to work as an adviser at the Australian Human Rights Commission.

“Normally I use a tongue click,” she said, demonstrating the technique. “You do it discreetly if you are inside. If I am in a louder environment, such as busy peak-hour traffic, where I can’t hear much, I either tap my cane or click my fingers.”

Ms Henley was trained by Daniel Kish, the leader of a global movement to teach blind people to see using their ears. He was brought to Australia by Guide Dogs NSW /ACT.

Some disability advocates fear this skill can make people with visual impairment look like “superhuman freaks”, but 27-year-old Ms Henley said it had bolstered her independence and confidence, allowing her to travel independently for work and pleasure.

People who are blind or have a vision impairment are four times as likely to be unemployed than average, finds new research by Guide Dogs. Around 37 per cent of its clients are unemployed, many are underemployed, and nearly all want more work. Once they find a job, they are more loyal and take far less sick leave.

After losing most of her sight in 2001, Sally-Anne Giliam, the executive assistant to NSW Roads’ Minister Duncan Gay, has developed another skill that is nearly as impressive in an era when most people store phone numbers in mobile phones.

To save time, Ms Giliam – who was promoted from receptionist to EA and office manager – remembers more than 1000 phone numbers. She has become the “eyes” of her office, the person who knows where things are kept.

Ms Giliam uses an identification cane when she catches public transport to work. In the office, she uses screen reading technology and magnification.

Her screen reading technology is so accurate that she is often asked to proof the office’s documents. Once she spotted an error in a draft press release, announcing a tax on toads instead of a tax on roads, that had been missed by others.

The research was commissioned to address employer concerns that people who can’t see can’t work because they won’t be able to get to work, read emails or use a computer.

Before Ms Henley started her new job, a mobility expert from Guide Dogs spent the weekend with her, helping her navigate public transport to work and around the new office that sprawls over several floors, so she could find the bathrooms, the lunch room, the meeting room and her office.

“It is so extremely daunting to start a new job. So the ability to learn how to get around before you even start was really empowering,” she said.

“Having a job provides me with financial security and greater flexibility in terms of the life that I choose to lead.

“But beyond that, it gives me a sense of self-worth, the opportunity to get out and meet people and the opportunity to fight for a cause that I am passionate about.

“For me, not having a job would be devastating.”

Feedback needed for response to the McClure Welfare Review Report

We need your feedback:

Blind Citizens Australia is currently in the midst of preparing its response to the McClure Welfare Review Report, which seems to make the assumption that the current income support arrangements for people with a disability serve as a dicincentive to look for work.

We know that this view fails to recognise the full range of barriers that exist for people who are blind or vision impaired who are seeking to enter the workforce and want to hear about your own job-seeking experiences.

Have you been proactive in looking for work, but to no avail?

Please contact us and let us know by sending an email to with “employment” in the subject line.

Lauren Henley
National Policy Officer
Blind Citizens Australia
Phone: (03) 9654 1400
Freecall: 1800 033 660
Mobile: 0437 355 985
ABN: 90 006 985 22