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AFBAmerican Foundation®
for the Blind

Expanding possibilities for people with vision loss

Young man needs help trying to start his life.

Hey, my name is Randal Woods and I'm legally blind with Retinitis Pigmentosa. I have 10 degrees of visual field left and I'm turning 20 years old in Augest. Just a quick summary of me, I've been sheltered for most of my life and have been homeless for a few years now. Lucky I've been blessed to have the opportunity to live with my girlfriends farther while she stays at her aunts. During this short time I was able to go back and get my high school diploma. While I've been looking for a job or career to get in to I have been working at her dads company doing sign and electrical work, receiving decent pay, it's far to dangerous with my low vision. But I'm at a loss on what to do for a living, living in Arlington, Texas doesn't provide much well paying stable careers unless I wanted to work fast food my whole life. I have a open book when it comes to moving or job choices, I don't have a dream job nor do I have a passion I'd look for in a career. I'm just completely clueless on what my options are to make well money with a stable job. Any advice or information with be more than appreciated. Thank you so much for your time. Randal.

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Re: Young man needs help trying to start his life.

Shannon mentioned that when you have chosen a field of itnerest, you can apply for vocational rehabilitation services and she gave you a link so you can find them. I"ve been in the field for many years and I would advise you to apply now even though you aren't yet sure of your goal. the rehab counselor with whom you work will probably be able to help you sift through the choices and options. the very fact that you not only asked the question, but posted a follow-up response shows that you are interested in getting to work and living a productive life. Keep up the good work.

Re: Young man needs help trying to start his life.

I know check out industries for the blind, specifically the one out of winston Salem nc if you don't have a local one. I also know corpus Christy is open minded about visual impairment.
Often times the industry for the blind will cover your relocation costs. The jobs they usually offer like sewing machine is pretty boring but if they see you have other skills you'll slide up quickly.
It's worth a shot.

Re: Young man needs help trying to start his life.


Definitely check out the "Our Stories" section and read about the many individuals who are blind or visually impaired working the types of fields you are speaking about. For example, I remember interviewing Geary Leary (totally blind) who owns a coffee roasting company and coffee shop. Before this work, he owned and operated a car mechanic shop (yes, while totally blind). It can definitely be done with the right accommodations.

Next, look through our Career Clusters section to read about specific jobs within the fields of interest. Think through your willingness to pursue the training and willingness to perhaps move to find the job. See if the pay is a livable wage. See what catches your attention and what meshes a few of your interests.

When you find your top couple career fields of interest, talk to several mentors who are blind or visually impaired working in the careers (via our mentor search). You'll get an idea of what the job is really like and you can ask how they manage the tasks without vision.

Lastly, as a career field becomes clear to you, definitely seek the support/ instruction from a local Vocational Rehabilitation Counselor/ professional who can help you learn the accommodations you will need to be safe and efficient at the job. To do this, use our search tool (

Keep me posted and don't hesitate to ask more questions!

Re: Young man needs help trying to start his life.

Well that's the hard part sometimes.. I was always into and good at working with my hands and getting dirty wether it be rebuilding a engine, doing electrical work or putting up drywall it would have my name all over it all with 10 degrees of vision. But lately I'm realizing it's dangerous and sometimes almost impossible. As what I'm interested in though I guess would be anything that has a engine and moves, helping people, different kinds of plant life, technology, working out. It's a strange off the wall list but it's what I could come up with haha. And for what I'm good at would be figuring out how things work, problem solving, helping people, working with my hands, working with others. It's the best I could come up with but I hope it helps and thank you so much for the response. Randal

Re: Young man needs help trying to start his life.


I'm proud of you, pushing through a very difficult season and making choices toward a new direction. Tell me 7 things that interest you and 7 things you're good at. Maybe we can all brainstorm together.


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