Melissa lost her eyesight when she was a teenager as a result of diabetes. When other teens were learning to drive and growing more independent, Melissa – who is legally blind – was learning how to navigate a life without sight. It changed her focus and her confidence.
“Due to my blindness I can’t drive; this put a great burden on my life, it has taken away my independence,” says Melissa.
Married to a military man, and mother to a teenage son, Melissa joined PRIDE Industries in February 2012 as a stock clerk on PRIDE’s Ft. Bliss Facilities contract. She was provided with closed circuit television system (CCTV) that magnifies documents for individuals with very low vision. CCTV products help visually impaired people work independently with computers and ordinary printed materials.
With this basic accommodation, she quickly excelled. Melissa was soon moved to an Expeditor position, and in June, she was promoted to a Supply Tech Buyer.
Melissa is grateful for the accommodations that she has been provided with at PRIDE. She is able to work on her own, has proven her ability to take on any new assignment, and continues to grow. “Since my vision is very limited, it takes me a little extra time to learn how to do things – but once I catch on, I’m able to function using with my great memory and routine.”
Now she sees great opportunities ahead. “I feel like I have accomplished a lot with my disability. I wanted to become effective in society. I found the courage, and I wanted to work.”
Melissa is another example of how technological advancements can provide life-changing accommodations to people with disabilities – freeing individuals to work independently and effectively in the workplace. As we celebrate National Disability Employment Awareness Month, we’re glad that Melissa found opportunity at PRIDE, and grateful to her for sharing her story of success.