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AFBAmerican Foundation®
for the Blind

Expanding possibilities for people with vision loss

Losing Rest Of My Sight

I have severe ending stage Glaucoma. Was diagnosed with this eye disease at that age of 15, I am now in my mid 50's. Totally blind in the right eye and have less than a 2 degree visual field in the left eye which is rapidly losing what sight is left. Feeling extremely depressed over this let alone very frustrating. Living under the poverty level does not help matters either, I do receive SSI and it does keep a roof over my head, most of my income goes to paying off loans and overdue bills though. I have started going back to college this past fall and taking some business technology courses in hopes to gain some work skills to hopefully attain a job. I have been a homemaker for over twenty years with no actual job experience, just life experience. Now that I am older and losing the rest of my sight I wonder if I ever will be able to have a paying job. I have noticed also that I get around much slower than I used to, takes me longer to accomplish a task.

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Re: Losing Rest Of My Sight



Hello,

I have probably similar vision as you, maybe a little less. I am the program manager of the AFB CareerConnect program. I think you are on the right track by going back to school to get training with computers. What type of assistive technology are you using to access your computer? I am assuming a screen reader or screen magnification with a reader.

I would say that the key will be getting the training, and computer skills are a highly transferable skill set. The important thing is to expand the skills you have already, and build the ones you may be lacking in currently. I think a good idea would be getting some experience as you get your training. Depending on your skill level, have you thought about part-time work or volunteering while in school. I know volunteering during college and graduate school helped lead to paid employment. I volunteered with organizations, doing the work I was being trained to do. Starting out, non-profits and charities will often be open to volunteers. YOu have to explain that the type of work you could do for them. These experiences typically lead to offfers of paid employment for me. I treated the experiences as if they were paid employment. This allows you to build your resume and experience while in school.

Now, I also sought counseling throughout my life to help with how I dealt and adjusted to my vision loss. I also connected with other persons who were successful and blind or visually impaired. These persons taught me a lot, and served as mentors for specific aspects of my life. I believe that it is important to have mentors throughout our life and for different aspects. CareerConnect offers you to register for free, and connect with mentors who are blind or visually impaired and working in many fields.

Also, connecting with persons in your area through ACB or NFB is highly beneficial.

Are you connected to vocational rehabilitation to help with your training and more?

All the best to you.

Sincerely,
Joe S.
AFB Staff


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