GUEST POST: 4 Ways That Tech Can Help People With Disabilities Reach Their Career Goals

by Patrick Young, AbleUSA

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Are you living with a disability and looking for a career boost? Then upgrading to the latest tech could be the secret to unlocking your professional potential. You only need one essential piece of tech to harness the latest accessibility and productivity tools: a smartphone. So here are the best ways to put that little piece of tech in your pocket to work to enhance your career and reach your professional goals.

Smartphones Can Come in Handy for Job Seekers…

Are you on the hunt for your perfect new job? Then you need a powerful smartphone to fuel your job search! Having a powerful phone and a reliable phone plan can give you an edge when looking for a new position, because you will be able to connect with potential employers on the go. When looking at wireless phone plans, make sure the one you choose includes unlimited talk, text, and data so that you can stay connected without data limits. That’s crucial when you are out making connections and networking with other professionals in order to boost your career prospects. Networking is one of the fastest ways to snag more interviews and land your dream job, and you can also use your phone to search for industry events, join professional social media groups, and reach out to top leaders in your field. Plus, you can use job search apps to apply from your smartphone, so you won’t have to worry about missing a career opportunity.

…But Smartphones Can Also Help With Promotions

If you’re already established in your career, upgrading your phone could help you land a promotion or raise as well. In addition to getting access to the latest job search apps, having an updated smartphone in your pocket will also allow you to access productivity apps that can improve your performance as an employee. Whether you need to organize work projects or create powerful marketing content, there are countless apps that can keep your daily workflow efficient and effective. You can also use your phone to research negotiation tips that will help you highlight your improved performance and maybe even score yourself a raise.

Apps Can Also Provide Accessibility Options for Professionals…

Working with a disability doesn’t have to limit your performance, and accessibility apps can make performing daily tasks a little easier. For example, those with impaired or low vision can use apps like Envision AI to get a better feel for what is going on in the office, while workers with a variety of disabilities may find voice assistance like Google Assistant useful for performing different work tasks. Many of these apps can come in handy for Android users, but those who prefer Apple products can use accessibility apps as well. Deaf Wake can be useful for keeping mornings productive, while apps like Tattle can help professionals stay on top of current news. Even if these apps will not make your work life more productive, they may reduce stress in your personal life, which can also improve your performance as an employee and boost your career.

…and Employers May Be Required to Provide Tech for Accessibility

If you need a paid app to make your work more accessible, you could foot the bill for that subscription on your own. Per ADA requirements in the workplace, however, you could also request that your employer cover the cost of apps and technology needed for reasonable accomodations. When companies and corporations employ or hire workers who are living with disabilities, they must also commit to providing any tools or assistance to meet the special needs of those individuals. These legally required accommodations can include software or technology that allows for greater accessibility, so check with your employer about making accomodations before you pay for any smartphone apps or new tech out of your own pocket.

Upgrading to a powerful new smartphone, and having the right plan to go with it, is such a simple way to take the stress out of achieving your career goals. So check in with your current carrier and research your smartphone and app options, to discover all of the ways that a single tech improvement can make your work life easier.

pyoung@ableusa.info

Photo Credit: Unsplash

THE NEO-MINIMALIST’S GUIDE TO NEW YEAR’S RESOLUTIONS

I don’t make New Year’s resolutions and it seems I’m in solid company: According to a 2013 CBS poll almost 70% of Americans don’t make New Year’s resolutions at all. And 30% of those new promises-to-self fade two weeks into the new year.

Forget the 1st. Making a promise to change one day a year is foolish.

Choose to do this instead:

  1. Be specific. I’ll lose weight. or I’ll lose 3 lbs,.this month. See the difference?
  2. Think small. There’s a reason only 8% of Americans reach their goals.
  3. Think do-able. Want to travel more but don’t have the money or accrued time? Take day trips that are free or low cost.
  4. Schedule it. I’ll spend more time at the gym. or I’ll go to the gym 2x a week on Tuesdays and Thursdays before work.
  5. Keep track. C’mon, did you really do what you said?
  6. Mean it. Permanent change is meant to be life changing.

Kathe Skinner is a Marriage and Family Therapist in private practice where she specializes working with couples looking for change within their relationships.  She and her husband David live in Colorado with their two change-aversive cats, Petey and Lucy. 

copyright, 2019, Being Heard, LLC

 

YOU’RE NOT THE PERSON I MARRIED; WHO ARE YOU?

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Romantic.

Considerate.

Attentive,

Interested.

Communicative.

Eager.

Exciting.

Are these qualities the used-to-be’s, when the real world was substituted for a secret place only you two inhabited?

What is it about now that lacks the luster of then?

Each stage of life has both challenges and joys.  The ways we cope with a variety of experiences – the birth of a child, a sudden and severe illness, an empty nest – account for our growth.  As we mature everything about us and around us changes: our bodies; who and what we like and why; what we’ve experienced – both happy and sad, perhaps even our priorities.  And our patience for it all.

Meantime, our partner is doing the same thing.

It’s no wonder, then, that losing track of each other and what brought you together in the first place is inevitable.  Quite honestly, rediscovering each other is a very good thing.

Stagnating, staying stuck, seeps in when attention is elsewhere.  It’s difficult to be attentive, exciting, romantic or communicative when the focus is on ourselves.  Feeling alone can often reinforce itself.  The result can be distance, resentment, silence.

We’re challenged to find the luster again and again because marriage is not a given; it’s a living thing that needs nurturing, empathy, warmth, companionship.

That’s the thing about life and marriage and why marriage is a journey within the larger Journey,  How does marriage work when both partners are changing, sometimes in opposite ways?

  • Realize your discontent.
  • Relinquish what no longer fits; you’re a grown-up now.
  • Recognize what’s good, not just bad.
  • Remember the sweetness of your marriage.
  • Re-Discover yourself and your partner.
  • Remove outdated expectations, assumptions.
  • Re-Connect with each other.
  • Re-Commit to Life together.

The never-ending challenge, then, is to remodel togetherness’s fit, accounting not only for each partner but for the in-between-ness, too.

Kathe Skinner is a Colorado Marriage & Family Therapist in private practice, specializing in couples therapy.  Her understanding and passion come from her own marriage of 33 years.

KIDS GET ONE FOR SUMMER, FALL, WINTER and SPRING. DO PARENTS GET ONE, TOO?

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School is their job.

Like most jobs, school can be hard and, while some kids take their jobs more seriously than others, having a break from the grind is an American right, right?  As such, under-eighteeners, can’t be expected to sustain a full day of well, anything, without expecting a break. Or at least a snack.

There are lots of kids who are nightly burdened with homework. That’s a good enough reason for parents to take the load off by doing science projects or writing   college entry essays.

Yes, Virginia, there is a Santa Claus: it’s called a parent.

Spring Break is probably the most inexplicable of all.  Too few are staycations.  Too many are travel destinations.  Child-centered fun in doesn’t come cheap (remember that part about working to pay for it all?).

Pity the child left behind to hang out alone at home. With nobody to talk to except the dog or, gasp, siblings.

Here’s what I know:

  1. Treats aren’t treats if nothing is a treat. A family vacation is special once a year, not multiple times a year.
  2. Over-indulged kids grow up to be lousy partners and employees.  The model is that their wants come first. 
  3. Parental guilt keeps the whole thing going. When enough isn’t enough parents try harder and harder to please children who are numbed by the volume of it all. 
  4. Generations re-create child-centric families whose toxic patterns create parental drift. 

When parents take some time for themselves — without their children — their professional, personal, family, and parenting lives benefit.  Intimate dissatisfaction and drift are reduced.  Putting children before a parental relationship is a mistake few parents see.  The truth is that parents take care of their kids best by taking care of their relationship.

Breakfast in bed, anyone?

Kathe Skinner is a Marriage & Family Therapist in private practice. She sees daily the results of over- entitled children, under-entitled partners and the messy families they create. Kathe lives in Colorado with her husband and their two entitled cats.

Copyright, 2019, Being Heard, LLC

6 WAYS TO AVOID BEING A HOLIDAY BUTTERBALL.

It’s cookie season again!

DECEMBER 23, 2018KATHE SKINNER, M.A., L.M.F.T. EDIT

This is the time of year food is on our minds. Not just any food, but rich food, expensive food, once-a-year food. It’s when even the most disciplined among us vow to “wait until after the holidays”.

According to the Centers for Disease Control, half of Americans say they want to lose weight. With only a little time before the festivities begin the chances of being successfully svelte are, well, slim to none.

Here’s how to avoid being a holiday butterball:

Start early. Gold’s Gym memberships spike 40% in December and January, while the sad fact is that a hefty 80% of January joins quit within 5 months. If you’re serious about weight loss wait until February to get a membership. Statistics show that’ll improve your chances of success. Even more successful? Stick with the program all year long.

It”s not that the work is hard; the hard work is to keep going,

Dance to your own music. “Dealing effectively with stress” and “emotional regulation” are cited by 92% of 1,328 psychologists as the main reasons for their patients’ failures in weight loss. Emotional eating is a behavior learned in childhood when a sweet snack is an emotionally satisfying way to cope.

Who’s this for, anyway? Are you trying to please a critical parent, spouse, or friend who say you would be more attractive or successful if you lost weight? Putting your health first is, in the first place, about you. Addressing
underlying and longstanding messages are part of the mental health component necessary for mental and physical health.

Change defeating habits. While there are lots of reasons for societal obesity, some come from the choices we make every day. Good-for-you meals don’t have to be additive-rich, over-processed ones. Take advantage of federal law that requires calorie counts to be on menus. Buying gasoline and dinner at the same place are not healthy mealtime practice.

Rapid weight loss without healthy changes in diet and exercise is a chocolate-covered promise.

Keep it simple. Changes that are too complicated reduce chances for permanent behavioral alterations. Go easy; start slowly, feeling comfortable and confident to go on. Life changes don’t have to be complicated to work.

You can’t have it all. Even if you could, you can’t have it right now.  Reasonable thought often conflicts with desire. Unfortunately, ours is a society used to short attention-spans, immediacy, and instant gratification. True lifestyle changes are accomplished over time, with consistent practice, and lots of patience. That can be a poor fit in an ersatz society.

As tempting as it sounds, having our cake and eating it, too, isn’t realistic. More than genetics alone, successful weight control relies on the sometimes challenging choices we make for a healthy mental and physical life.

 Kathe Skinner is a private practice Marriage & Family Therapist in Colorado Springs where she lives with her husband and two kitties.

Copyright 2018, Being Heard, LLC

How You Voted: 1 Thing To Keep to Yourself

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Smart.  Educated.  A creative problem-solver.  So how could somebody so smart be so stupid?

And how could somebody as savvy as me have married him?

My husband and I are part of the 38% of married couples who are mismatched politically.   In over 31 years of marriage talking politics is something we’ve learned not to do.

I could explore the reasons for this, but I really don’t care to.  I choose to close my eyes to my husband’s stupidity for the sake of marital harmony.   And, to be honest, so I can keep believing I made a good choice.

Forget all the communication rules about respecting and understanding and talking calmly.  We’ve opted for the Bartender’s Rule:  We just don’t talk about it.

Kathe Skinner is a Colorado Marriage & Family therapist in private practice.  Both she and her husband, David, are registered Independents who tend to lean in opposite directions.  They’ve stayed married for over 31 years by not talking politics.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

How Many Winks Get Lost in a Time Change?

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I’m not a math person; just ask my husband.

I’m okay when the price per ounce is noted; it’s when cost is calculated as the price per pound I get annoyed.  What if you’re not buying a whole pound?  Multiplying by 16 isn’t so easy, I don’t care who you are.

It’s the same when the time changes.

See, I set my clock fifteen minutes ahead to fool myself that I have more time than I really do.  Never works, but that’s beside the point.

What’s being asked of me this weekend is to stretch my fifteen minutes by an entire hour and fifteen minutes.  Just like at the supermarket, I’m reduced to doing math in my head.

This time-change business is troublesome.  For at least two weeks in March or April and again in October or November a muffled question quietly sounds from my side of the bed:  what time is it really?  

I get confused.

    • Why does gaining one hour mean subtracting it?
    • Why doesn’t time do its springing and falling the same date every year?
    • Does a dentist in a non-change-time town put down two appointment times for patients in a next door town where time does change?
    • Who came up with this, anyway?
    • If time is mutable, what time is it . . . really?

To me all this messing around with times and dates doesn’t seem very scientific – it’s a bit contrived, and at the very least not friendly to users like me.

Too bad Einstein’s not around; without doing the math, I think I may have cracked the space-time continuum.

Kathe Skinner is a Colorado Marriage & Family Therapist in private practice who’s about to gain one hour’s sleep.  Find her website at www.coupleswhotalk.com and sign up to get her  newsletter, a weekly quick-read for parents and partners.  It’s free!

copyright, 2018  Being Heard, LLC