Friday, June 5, 2009

Week 1 at USDA

These last two weeks have been pretty cool! The AAPD Orientation lasted three days last week and was a great experience. We learned about everything from networking to mentoring to disability history. AAPD matched each intern up with a mentor to support you reaching your goals. My mentor is Mat and we have a great time together, we have already gone out for lunch and dinner. I started work at the US Department of Agriculture in Dairy Programs under the Agriculture Marketing Service on Monday. I am a Web Development Specialist and currently I am focusing on how to create accessible PDF that our Section 504 compliant. USDA has an assistive technology center, the Target Center, which is helping me learn more about accessible information technology. I met with them yesterday to learn more about accessibility of PDFs. They are going to give me a tour of all of their technology in the next week or two. I am also learning how Microsoft SharePoint 2007 works and how to manage databases. I really enjoy working with my two supervisors. We spent the first day rearranging the office to accommodate three people instead of just two. The weather has been a little weird, it was pretty warm last weekend and now for the last couple days it has been pouring rain on us out of large buckets. My cell phone was damaged by all the water, so I have a new one on its way. Today I went to the kick off of the USDA Farmer’s Market and got my picture taken with the US Secretary of Agriculture. Tomorrow I am attending a forum on school transition to brainstorm effective strategies to increase the number of students with disabilities entering post-secondary institutions and successful employment. That’s all for now, but I will be posting again next week!

--Daman Wandke

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