How one woman with vision loss achieved her independence
Can you imagine it?
You go in to get your eyes checked and you hear the doctor say two very strange words: legally blind. Then he asks you to turn over your driver’s license!
April was stunned when that happened to her. Sure, things were a little more blurry than usual, but she couldn’t be blind. After all, she was only 40 — and she had a sick husband to care for, two daughters, a full-time job...
She found out that the medicine she took for arthritis and psoriasis is probably what caused her vision loss. Unable to work, she became completely dependent on her parents to shop, cross the street, read her mail, and even dial a telephone.
April felt like such a burden. After a while, she started not caring whether she lived or died. But because of your generosity, April didn’t give up. Instead, she got the help she needed just in time!
April's journey to independence
You helped April’s parents find Arizona Center for the Blind and Visually Impaired. They encouraged her to enroll in our vocational rehabilitation program, which helps people adjust to vision loss and prepare for new careers.
We started teaching April the basics. She learned to use her other senses to make sense of her surroundings and to travel on her own using a white cane.
Next, she learned how to access a computer using assistive technologies. Even though she had strong computer skills, April says it was a little scary to learn to use screen readers and other tools designed for people with vision loss. But the one-on-one instruction she received from a certified trainer helped to build her confidence.
April says the best part of her program was her adjustment to disability support group. In her group, April worked through her frustration at her blindness and slowly healed from caring for, and ultimately losing, her spouse.
Volunteering leads to full-time job
After graduating from the vocational rehabilitation program, April began volunteering at ACBVI. And her hard work there led to a full-time job as one of our client services specialists!
Now it’s April who tells people not to give up – no matter what.
Over 200,000 Arizonans are blind or visually impaired. It can happen to anyone, but too few adults get the comprehensive help that they so desperately need. Instead, they sit at home – convinced that their lives are over.
Help people like April & claim your tax credit
But it doesn’t have to be that way! Arizona makes it easy to help people with vision loss and at no cost to you...
Arizona offers a dollar-for-dollar tax credit – plus the usual deduction – when you give to ACBVI. That means singles can give up to $400 and couples can give up to $800, and get it back on your Arizona state taxes!
Will you please make a tax-credit eligible gift to ACBVI today?
(Please consult your tax advisor about your specific situation.)
About The Author
Jon Williams is the Fund Development Officer at ACBVI. He has over 25 years of professional non-profit experience in development, fundraising, volunteer and event management with national non-profits including the American Cancer Society, the American Diabetes Association, and three member food banks in the Feeding America network, including his last position as Development Manager with United Food Bank in Mesa. Originally from South Bend, IN and a graduate of Ball State University, Jon has devoted his career in giving back to the community and providing assistance to those underserved populations needing help. A resident of Chandler, Jon enjoys the Arizona lifestyle along with traveling near and far, a great live concert or an exciting sports game!