Category Archives: Disability Employment

Invitation to join great career development network…Equal Access!

Dear ITKAN members.

Do you want a continued stream of opportunities and jobs from ITKAN and our partners? We have three ways to do so and it only takes a few minutes.

  1. Download the app Yolobe and join our network @itkan
  1. OR Text ‘@itkan’ to 39197
  2. OR register on the web www.yolobe.com and join @itkan

ITKAN Yolobe card

We look forward to connecting with you!.

Job Opportunity – Helpdesk Analyst at Obama Foundation

The Obama Foundation, the platform for former President Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama’s philanthropic activities and an integral part of their voice for continued civic engagement, has a job opening for a Helpdesk Analyst. The Helpdesk Analyst will ensure that Foundation staff members in Chicago have the technology they need in order to do their jobs. This includes both reactively responding to Help Desk issues as well as proactively identifying and addressing trends in tickets submitted and putting into place training and resources designed to decrease tickets submitted in the future.

If you’d like to apply, please see the this job description in PDF format. (You will need Adobe Acrobat Reader to view it.) In addition if you are submitting for the role, let us know so that we can track and support you.

Good luck.

Paid Summer Internships at ELCA

We are looking for featured candidates with disabilities who are looking for paid summer internships in information technology. The interns would be with the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA).

Candidates must qualify that:

  • individual should be presently enrolled in an undergraduate/graduate program
  • individual has not attended an internship program in the past with the ELCA
  • individual is not presently employed for the summer

The positions are:

Application Developer Intern

IT Service Delivery Intern

Other internships might be featured in the near future.

Please contact me directly if you have any questions.

Thank you.

Bill O’Connor
Information and Social Media Specialist
AbilityLinks.org

26W171 Roosevelt Road
Wheaton, Illinois 60187
630.909.7444 office
312.420.0576 cell
boconnor@abilitylinks.org

Self-Directed Learning Presentation

I once again had the great honor of presenting at an ITKAN meeting this time on the topic of self-directed learning. We had a great turnout and a lively discussion about self-directed learning and online educational platforms. There was a wide range of experience with these providers with a few who have never taken any online courses to a couple who were well experienced with them. As promised, I have uploaded the presentation to the ITKAN website as a PowerPoint and as a PDF. I have also added it to SlideShare.

If you have any questions or comments, feel free to contact me through any of the means mentioned at the end of the presentation. In addition, come join us in the ITKAN LinkedIn Group to continue the discussion. See you at the next meeting.

Midwest Drupal Camp – March 31 – April 1

For the first time ever, MidCamp, the Midwest Drupal Camp is offering free trainings to select individuals who have expressed interest in working with web technologies and are looking to make a start working with websites. If you haven’t worked with Drupal or any Content Management System (CMS) before, this training could be for you.  MidCamp would love to offer the members of ITKAN this free training.  They have 20 spaces currently available spread out over 4 sessions over the course of Friday, March 31st and Saturday, April 1st, 2017.  The trainings will happen at the DePaul University Lincoln Park Campus which is an accessible space. If you require extra accommodations please contact matthew@uncrash.me. Users after the first 20 will be wait listed.

For more information or to sign up, please visit MidCamp’s website.

 

Disability Inclusion Opportunity Summit

Yesterday I had the honor of speaking on a panel at the 1st Annual Disability Inclusion Opportunity Summit which was hosted at the Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Illinois Headquarters on 300 East Randolph Street in Chicago. The ADA 25 Chicago Opportunity Summit assembled national and local leaders to explore strategies to increase access and inclusion of people with disabilities in the areas of education and employment.

Photo via Chicagoland Chamber of Commerce Twitter feed (@ChicagolandCmbr)

Photo via Chicagoland Chamber of Commerce Twitter feed (@ChicagolandCmbr)

The second day was presented by the Chicagoland Business Leadership Network and the theme revolved around discussing best practices and strategies for recruiting, employing and retaining people with disabilities. The panel I sat on, Closing the Employment Gap, included knowledgeable people from The Sea Glass Group, AbilityLinks, DePaul University, and Health & Disability Advocates. We discussed how employers can diversify their workforce by hiring talented professionals with disabilities. An important aspect of this is looking for talent in the right places.

ITKAN is a member driven professional networking and growth organization with a focus on professionals and aspiring professionals with disabilities within the technology field. While this means getting together with our members monthly to discuss technology and employment trends, ITKAN also works with companies to partner to train to their needs. We will coordinate on-the-job training and internship programs that may or may not be tied to grants or public funding such as National Emergency Grant and Workforce Investment Act. There are great organizations and services out there that will help companies find the right talent, and we are also here to help companies develop processes and documentation for internship and train-to-hire programs for people with disabilities.

If you would like more information, contact our co-founder, Pat Maher at pat.maher@spr.com or myself, Brian Chorba at brian.chorba@spr.com.

ITKAN Chat – Interview with John Wilhelmi

John Wilhelmi is one of our consistent members at ITKAN meetings. He is also a skilled networker and life-learner. When John doesn’t know something…he knows who to ask.  ITKAN members have come to be immersed in the technology field from many paths. Some use “Falling Fruit”, others fight hard for new perspectives on education, and still others become… firefighters to trail-blaze their path. Read on!


Thanks for your time, John. When did you start to develop an interest in IT?

During my freshman high school year, I had to take 2 public buses that met each other at a local mall to get to the school. The morning bus schedules were synced and my transfer between the buses was immediate and arrived at the school 45 minutes prior to the first class. I spent the time in the computer lab learning about programming. The afternoon trip was different. Rather than an immediate transfer to the 2nd return bus, there was a 40 minute delay. I spent the time in the computer section of Radio Shack learning about the Tandy and IBM compatible PC’s.

John Wilhelmi goes “old school” with his background of his Tandy computers!

Did IT assist you in your early education?

For me, writing was very difficult. When I went through grade school, such technology was non-existent. It was only in high school that you saw computers in specialized classes and teacher labs. Although in my senior year in high school, I did have the Commodore 64 in my basement lab to synthesize analog signals (DSP) and was writing equations on the Apple II to solve electronic circuitry deficits using Thevenin theorem.

What is your target sector in IT?

I enjoy both systems administration and software development. Currently I provide software programming support for some applications I wrote in the early 2000’s. The applications have limitations because I designed them for the LAN. Some of the users want to see the same functionality in the cloud and have access to the data on their phones and tablets. For them, I’ve been migrating the application to Salesforce. On the systems administration side, I provide IT consultancy and web design to a variety of small businesses through-out the Chicago area.

ITKAN Member

John Wilhelmi

How did you come across ITKAN?

In 2008 I had started an IoT (Internet of Things) automation business geared towards the house of worship community. Part of the business development strategy was to join the Chicagoland Chamber of Commerce and expand out from there. Opposite of my expectations, the business collapsed and I found myself looking for a transition out of that particular market. I reached out to friends at the chamber and they directed me towards ITKAN and nAblement.

What direction do you envision in the next 12-24 months in IT?

People say that the desktop is being replaced by the tablet and the phone. I tend to disagree. You might have shrinkage in market share because accessibility to the immediate need of items like email, mms and applications that are portable in nature, but the creative process takes place on the desktop. I see more desktop-cloud hybrid applications being developed. The cloud is a wonderful place to slice and dice data, and distribute applications to a large variety of people. The cloud does not render engineered graphics well and has security concerns that make the public leery of its value.

What’s the one thing most people don’t know about John Wilhelmi?

In the late 80’s I was a volunteer firefighter and earned the Illinois State firefighters II certification. While most of my friends played sports, I was fighting fires and rescuing people. If I was to take on a municipal fire department or communications project, I do have subject matter expertise, and with briefings on how the particular organization works can implement projects with a clear understanding of its goals.

Name your top 5 favorite websites and why.

I enjoy learning. Since I’m not enrolled currently in any university programs, I’m updating my skill set using various on-line sources.

BLS.gov – keeps me abreast of what is really happening in the economy.
Channel9.msdn.com – IT is always changing, why not learn directly from Microsoft about their products.
www.learnvisualstudio.net – great source to update my programming skills.
www.cbtnuggets.com – great source to update my systems administration skills.
www.Youtube.com – additional learning sources.

Thanks John! We hope to hear more from you at our next meeting on July 10th at the Microsoft Technology Center. Email me if you have questions. or would like to register.

The Final Megatrends Presentation for 2013 and an Outlook to 2014.

The Final Megatrends Presentation for 2013 and an Outlook to 2014.

November 15, 2013 by Bill O’Connor

ITKAN’s last “Megatrends” meeting was an outstanding discussion based on “Cloud Computing”, led by Chris Kabat, Vice President and Co-Founder of MPS Partners.

Starting from a more general perspective on how cloud computing works well for small to mid-sized business to the “how” of the cloud, The presentation was very well-received, provoking questions on cost, security, control and efficiency as well as an appreciation for the incredible technology associated with a cloud data center.

Cloud

Subjects discussed were:

  • Speed of cloud setup, scale of setup and cost control
  • Cloud workforce patterns through different platforms and devices (This was fascinating stuff!)
  • The differences between how the cloud is delivered – Packaged Software, Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS), Platform as a Service (PaaS) and Software as a Service (SaaS)
  • Virtual Machines

We also discussed the Microsoft Global Data Centers, who are impact players in developing cloud services for Microsoft end-users. One of the main Global Data Centers is right here in Chicago…and it’s a green complex!

ITKAN 2013 - Megatrends

ITKAN 2013 – Megatrends

This meeting was emblematic of the essence of ITKAN, technology leaders reaching out to those who want to dig deeper into IT and developing technology, process and trends. As always, many disabilities were represented within this rich and diverse group. ITKAN extents a heartfelt thank you to Chris, Jeff Seagard  and Ross LaForte as well as our other presenters for excellent Megatrends presentations for 2013.

As always, a special word of thanks goes to Adam Hecktman, the director of the Microsoft Technology Center Chicago, for access to this great  space and his great insights, and the supportive staff of the MTC.

If you would like to join us for our strategy session for 2014 (which will be spirited!), we will be having our next meeting on December 12th at the Microsoft Technology Center Chicago, 5 PM. If you would like to reserve a spot for your next meeting, contact Pat Maher or Bill O’Connor via email, and we’ll get you on the ITKAN mailing list to  stay abreast for meeting times, subjects and other ITKAN happenings!