Today, after reading Tod Purvis’ blog post “Driving Blind”, I remembered that this month we mark National Age-Related Macular Degeneration/Low-Vision Awareness Month.
In 2010, Tod and his brother Justin set up on a 40-day, 13,000-mile road trip around the country after finding out they would eventually lose their sight completely. They had been diagnosed with choroideremia, a rare eye disease.
“If you knew you were going blind, what would be the last thing you would want to see before everything went dark? A loved one’s face, the ocean, a sunset, the Grand Canyon?”
Blindness affects people in many ways. Some are totally blind from birth and others lose their sight as they grow old. Yet others are visually impaired or legally blind, that is, they may see shadows or things only peripherally.
At Goodwill, we serve individuals who are blind or visually impaired of all ages. We help them find work in a variety of jobs.
Our Astoria VIP program places individuals with visual impairments in jobs. For instance, Athena was in her mid-fifties when she came to Goodwill. Our Job Developers offered her several work options based on her work experience. She chose to work in retail, as a matter of fact, at our East Harlem store.
Andrew was the first person who graduated from our Call Forward project, an actual call center and customer service training program in Long Island City, Queens. Soon after, he was hired to work at the Human Resources department of the Port Authority of NY and NJ.
We also offer training and placement services at our Harrison, NJ headquarters.
For information on any of these programs, please check www.goodwillnynj.org
Visually Impaired Program (VIP)
718-392-7072 ext 303
New Jersey Vision Services (NJVS)
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