Losing my vision led me to retire from my first career. It also opened the door to my second.
After 38 years of working for the United States Postal Service in the Santa Clara Valley, Retinitis Pigmentosa finally claimed my remaining vision and I was forced to admit that I could no longer do my job. However, I wasn’t ready to accept a “normal” retirement.
Instead, I enrolled in a five-month computer training program for the blind. The training was both enlightening and empowering to me. I learned how to use technology as a tool to help me accomplish all those daily tasks that I used to do before losing my sight. I also discovered that, at heart, I was a natural teacher of the blind and visually impaired.
In 2011, I became the Accessibility Technology Specialist at Santa Clara Valley Blind Center (SCVBC), where I have enjoyed teaching well over one thousand clients how to use technology to help them navigate in a sighted world and keep their independence. One of my proudest accomplishments as SCVBC’s technology guru has been the development of a monthly seminar called Another Slice of APPle Pie. This group discussion allows me to instruct clients on how to use access technologies to break out of isolation and seek out new opportunities. Just like I did!
— ERNESTO H. MOLINA
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