Akasia Perran is a Junior Administrator for Salesforce who says, “I love bringing Salesforce Marketing and Cross-Cloud Consulting to our clients,” but achieving her dream job took time. Perran became legally blind five years ago, and decided to move to a career in technology. Through free courses offered by Salesforce in partnership with the Blind Institute of Technology, she earned certification as a Salesforce Administrator in just six months. Then a sometimes frustrating six-month job hunt led to her current position. Perran’s advice to job seekers: 1) Showcase passion and drive in everything that you do. 2) The world is changing fast! Stay educated about business trends and the evolving workplace. 3) Be your own superhero—after all, nobody believes in you more than yourself! 4) Never give up. Keep going. You will succeed.
In November, Mike Hess, founder of the Blind Institute of Technology, spoke with UN News in a first person interview where he said his job as head of BIT is “to go out there, kick in doors and let employers know just how easy it is to seamlessly integrate people with disabilities and add value to the bottom line and the corporate culture…. I’m a glass half full person, but when the COVID-19 pandemic hit, I had to ask myself if a small non-profit like ours could survive, as most of revenue comes from placing people with companies.” According to Hess, funders have come through with grants that let BIT continue to have conversations with businesses and say, “we have grant money, we have passionate students, and they need work experience,” and to point out that with their deep knowledge of assistive technology for what Hess called “desk jockey” jobs, the pandemic has created opportunity both for businesses and for job seekers who are blind.