I had my appointment yesterday with PA Careerlink. Here are the topics that were discussed, some of which are informational and some of which are steps in my New Game Plan:
- Vocational Rehab jobs, for the most part, require a Master's degree. So if I'm going back to school, that's likely the level I'll at which I'll be studying.
- I will need to create a new resume, based on my work as an interpreter and as a volunteer in the deaf-blind community.
- Instead of calling the SCHOOL to ask what I'll need to study, I'll be calling OVR (Office of Vocational Rehabilitation), ASB (Associated Services of the Blind), and a few other places, to ask them what their requirements are for a person whom they'd like to hire to do the kind of work that I'd be doing. THEN I'll have an idea of what to study.
- Remember that these agencies hire two ways: they can bring people on board as their own employees, or they can hire free-lance trainers.
- Focus on multiple schools, not just the one where I got my Bachelor's Degree back in the day.
- Since it's likely that any Master's Degree program I apply to now won't have a slot available until next summer, I can call the school where I received Interpreter Training and find out what it'd take to finish their Associate's Degree there. (I only went through their Interpreter Training Program, but didn't take any other courses there. As a result, I'm several credits away from actually receiving a degree from their program.) I can also find out if I can sit in on some interpreter classes which I already took, albeit 15 or more years ago, as a refresher course. The ones I have in mind are the ones that discuss disability-related laws in the educational setting and as part of ADA. Those are things I'll have to answer in the written portion of the intepreter certification test, and my knowledge of those laws is no longer current. This particular school offers free(!!!) tuition to people who are on unemployment, so this might be a more viable immediate option than I'd realized.
- PA Careerlink hasn't got current information regarding what impact returning to college would have on unemployment compensation benefits. (GRRRR....) I have to call the unemployment office directly for that info.
Basically, I got a lot of info about research I'll have to do, which is good. I got ZERO concrete info about the things I was hoping to find out about (particularly that last talking point I mentioned), which is frustrating.
I also got another appointment with them on Wednesday, to discuss what my "Transferable skills" are between my current experience and what I'd like to be doing.
And that, in a nutshell, is the latest news. Gotta scoot.