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AFBAmerican Foundation®
for the Blind

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Employment question from blind teen?

I am a completely blind teenager, with Advanced Optic Nerve Hypoplasia. I am currently getting my education from The hadley School for the Blind online, due to the lack of materials from my public school. This however, left me with a lot of time on my hands. I need some advice on a job I can get, also considering the fact that I am a teen. I can babysit really well, because I help with my friends this summer. I do know that most parents don't really want to leave kids with a blind girl though. So if you have any advice for me, it would be greatly appreciated.

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Re: Employment question from blind teen?



Joe, how did you and your friends get restaurants to pay you for brailling menus?
Thanks,
Lizzy


Re:Thanksfor that sentins . Well said



ask yourself: "what skills do I have right now that I can offer to others?


Re:Employment question from blind teen?



Sierrazee, first I am concerned that you mentioned that you're obtaining your education from Hadley as the public schools did not have accessible materials. Are you saying that you are no longer attending school due to the fact that you are unable to obtain proper materials? If this is true this problem needs to be addressed as there are many resources to assist in obtaining materials appropriate for a blind student. If I've misinterpreted your message please feel free to correct me.
As to how you can find work as a teen-ager I'm wondering what things do you do well? As an example, are you a musician? Do you sing or play the piano or some other instrument? I'm not suggesting that you should take up an instrument, but I'm saying that, if you are a musician, perhaps you could offer to perform at places such as senior citizen facilities in your area. Perhaps not all of them would be able to pay you but it would be a way to become known and, eventually, you may find some who are able to pay you. Do you know a foreign language? Are you competent in using a particular piece of computer software: Microsoft Word, JAWS, etc. Perhaps you could offer to provide assistance to people in the use of this software? What I'm trying to say is that you should ask yourself: "what skills do I have right now that I can offer to others?


Re:Employment question from blind teen?



You commented on babysitting. This is a field that I personally spent many years in. It can be lucrative and rewarding. The downside, as you stated parents are wary of unsighted individuals.

They have a right to be. Children are inquisitive by nature and what you cannot see you cannot prevent therefore risk for the child is much greater than with a sighted person.

This does not however preclude you from studying, remaining in school and earning a teaching degree if you truly love helping children. Assuming you are going to get a job as a teen at the drop of a hat is not what Joe should imply.

As an adult having worked more than 40 years and loosing my visual abilities, I still cannot attain employment after 8 arduous years of retraining and continous search.

Advice: Though not asked I will still offer. Stay in school, be a teenager, money does not buy you everything, and far too often when teens have outside work they tend to place monetary gain over the value of a quality education. There are resources for you to continue in school at absolutely no cost.

Example did you know that students who are blind in the State of Texas do not pay for college? Did you know there are resources once you reach the age of 18 to allow you some income while attending school? Did you know that in today's global economy that jobs are given more often to foreign born individuals who migrate to America than to natural born American citizens?

There are so many ways to earn money, and soon enough you will face the responsibilites of adulthood on your own. Your parent or parents will most likely try to help as much as they can, however most parents still want children to learn independence and self sufficiency.

These attributes come in more than the gain of a dollar so be wise and evaluate your situation. Is that new stereo(hypothetical) worth the negative impacts you will face if you place job value as teen above education.

And last if you are a student who excels, you can alos offer to tutor others for a fee, teach your peers how to excel in education you will be providing a valued service and earning extra money at the same time.

Good Luck


Re:Employment question from blind teen?



I have friends who are totally blind and as teenagers had a variety of jobs. I know a few who worked in small stores (small business). Some were cashiers with talking cash register. One created braille menus (made quite a bit of money). I actually did that a few times. I have friends who answered calls (receptionist type job) in an office. I also had a friend who took appointments at a salon on a computer. There are many others, network with people you know, friend's parents, your parents friends, local organizations, and more. They all provided their own version of accessibility software, some jobs didn't need that though.

I am sure our other users can tell you some of the things they did. Have a great day!

Sincerely,
Joe S.
AFB Staff


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