With Your Help and Acceptance, Blind People Can Succeed.
Acceptance of Blindness - a Piece of Cake?
She was young, Somali, and had a degree in psychology, but no way to use it. She couldn't cook, travel with a white cane, read Braille, or use computers. But beyond skills of blindness, she lacked two critical things: belief in herself, and the motivation to put it to work. Oddly enough, it was her home management class that turned the tables. She baked a cake - just a simple cake, and brought it to the women's group at the Mosque. The other women looked askance - a cake baked by blind person? Surely it would be terrible! But to be polite, they tasted it. It was very good! They devoured it, and asked her to bring more.
It completely changed the way they looked at her, and the way she looked at herself. And soon they came to see all the other things she had to offer. That one simple cake completely changed her life. We taught her the blindness skills she needed, and showed her how to present herself in job interviews. Soon after graduation, she got a professional job in a human services agency, and then married a wonderful man, all in six months time. After working for several years, she became a stay-at-home mom, one who is very much involved in her community. She would never think of returning to the life she lived before.
Our training transforms our students, sometimes in big ways, and sometimes in small ways that turn out to be big, like a piece of cake. More than 85% of our students go on into employment, or into higher education and from there into employment. That includes the immigrants and refugees in our English Language Learner (ELL) Program. Our training works, and so do our students.