Plans Change: Job readiness (independent living skills series 12)

I was an hour and a half early for class. I was eager to do well with my Orientation and Mobility lesson. There was a wild rain storm outside, and I was glad that one of the staff members made my classmates and I coffee and popcorn to munch on while we waited for class to start. However once our teacher came in to tell us about our assigned lessons we found out that Orientation and Mobility was canceled. We were given a choice: either take Job Readiness or Assistive Technology (AT). Since I’m doing fine with my Alexa Echo Dot I decided to stay for Job Readiness. We had two new students joining us, so we first went around the room and introduced ourselves.

Today’s lesson was on how to handle your first day on the job. We talked about the first day jitters, and how no matter if you have sight loss or not everyone gets nervous. The main thing to do is to stay focused on the task that you are to complete. I asked about having a job that you hate, and my teacher’s response was, “eat humble pie.” At this point, his Iphone came on saying, “Sorry, I can’t do that.” The whole class cracked up laughing. His phone continued to act funny by playing music, since he was having problems with getting the music to stop, we joked that he should be taking AT. He finally got his phone to stop by hitting the power button 😊

We continued our lesson with him telling stories about blind and visually impaired people showing hard work ethic and having success. One story that touched me the most was about a blind man and his wife who traveled across The United States.  This thing made me raise a question about family members that are not supportive of your dreams and goals. You see, my dream job is to be able to be a freelance journalist and travel the world. I know to be able to do this I must have thick skin and to be able to have confidence and great travel skills. That is why I am pushing myself so hard with my classes and the volunteer work that I am doing.

Despite my dream, one side of my family wants me to fit the typical stereotype of someone with a visual impairment: Get on disability and stay at home. I refuse to do that. I see myself being independent and happy.

I almost burst out in tears when both my teacher and another classmate said the way to get them to change their minds is to have confidence. That would have a stronger impact then having them attend any “Walk in my Shoes,” program; however I wish they would attend a program like that so they could better understand the training that I have received.

Then we broke for lunch. I ended up having a sweet tea, chicken sandwich with fries from Chick-fil-A.

After lunch my teacher and I did a mock interview in front of my classmates. It was nice for me to get critiqued by my classmates. I did pretty well except for the “why should we hire you?” which is a way for the interviewer to ask for the history of the company. You can also mix in your own personal connection to the company at this time. The other question I struggle with is “why do you want to work here?” this question should be answered by connecting two to three skills that you have with what the employer is looking for, as well as how your career objection fits in with the need of the company.

The last part of the class we looked at examples of cover letters. It was a long day and I was happy to be able to go home and get some rest.


An Interview with Chelsey VIBlindResources (Guest Blog Post)

  1. What is your name?

I’m Chelsey Zumpano and I created a website, YouTube channel and various social medias to prove that we as visual impaired and blind people can do anything and to provide resources for our community.

  1. Age?

I’m 22 and will be 23 in August.

3. Who has inspired you the most in life and your blogging?

I am inspired by the author Rick Riordan because he touches lives with his diverse characters and shows that it’s okay to be yourself, and YouTuber Joy Ross because she shows me how independent I can become.

4. Besides writing, what do you like to do in your spare time?

Besides writing in my spare time I like to draw, read, (i’m a huge bookworm), hang out with my animals, hang out with my family, and make YouTube videos.

  1. Name a bad habit that you have?

I have a bad habit of not drinking enough water.

  1. Name your best quality?

I would have to say that one of my best qualities is that I am an open-minded person and that I don’t judge people.

  1. If you could interview anyone living or dead who would it be and why?

If I could interview one dead person it would have to be Edgar Allan Poe because I would like to know some of the thought processes behind his poems. A person that I would like to interview that is alive would be Joy Ross because I believe she is a great role model and more people need to see her story.

  1. What is your college major/Minor?

My major is early child education because I want to become an occupational therapist. I’m also thinking of majoring in journalism because the other night I was watching this TV show called “The Bold Type” and they are all journalists and watching them made me think, “I want to do that and that’s what I’m pretty much doing on my blog right now.”  I have two majors now.

  1. What school (college or university) did you go to?

I’m going to be starting college in the fall at my local community college.

  1. What is the title of your blog?

The title of my blog is VIBlindResources.

  1. When and why did you start your blog?

I started VIBlindResources nine months ago and I created it because I want to help people and to show that you are never alone!

  1. Where do you see yourself in five years?

In five years I hope to see myself as a published author, having a guide dog, dating or in a serious relationship, having a bigger following on VIBlindResources, and having a job as an occupational therapist.

  1. What is the name/cause of your visual impairment?

My visual impairment is called retinopathy of prematurity, I have a detached retina in my right eye and a partially detached retina in my left, so I have zero vision in my right eye and low vision in my left and you can learn about how it was for me growing up with it by reading “My True Experience Growing Up Visionally Impaired

  1.  How does your visual impairment effect you on a daily basis?   Some ways my visional impairment affects me on a daily basis are light sensitivity, (so I wear sunglasses when I’m going in and out), i’ll get migraines easier if I’m on my iPad for too long, I navigate with a cane, I read braille. If you want to see what my day to day life is like watch: The VIBlind experience and vlogs.  
  2. What do other people feel about your visual impairment?

My family treats me the same as my siblings and my friends treat me  how they do any other friend.

  1. If you had to give one piece of advice to others about having a visual impairment what would it be?

My advice to those who are visually impaired or blind is that your disability does not define you, so remember that we are all made up of multiple parts and we can do anything we set our mind to!

Where can other people find you on Social media (Please list and provide links)

If you like to be featured on VIBlindResources please email me at:








Job search and 2nd paratransit trip

Hi Blog world,

I know. I know I haven’t been blogging. I know that I shouldn’t be making excuses as to why I’m not blogging, but I guess it’s just that I’ve been lazy and I’m not really sure what to blog about, but now that has changed.  Now before I just telling you about my week I feel like I have to back up to the past few months to help fill in the gaps so that way no one gets lost. First, I’ve been working with a job coach to help me find a job in the community.  She has been a great help when it comes to getting ideas and finding job leads. My first job interview was in June with a local law firm.  The job was  a writing position, and even though I thought I did well during the interview, I didn’t get the job.  But that’s okay I just keep looking and applying. This time, the job I interviewed for was for a receptionist/office assistant. Now it’s just waiting and finding out how I did. In the meantime, I’m writing.

Also in June my future God Mother and I went to the local public library, during that time I worked on my fifty questions to think about, and some other writing that I have been working on. I hope to have to project completed soon but we will see in time if I ever get it done…. Anyway, today I took the public ADA transportation for the second time.  If you haven’t read about my first trip please feel free to read about it here:

This trip went better than the first. The transportation picked me up at time.  I was able to enjoy the time I spent at the library: I looked at magazines, since I want to freelance some of my articles, I looked at some of the books that were on sell, found a book about Norway, and I even asked about volunteering. What I was worried about the most was being picked up on time, but while I was waiting, I saw two friends that I knew. It was nice running into them today while I was waiting.  All in all, my fears were calmed because I was able to call the transportation and make sure the van was coming on time. It was and I was relieved that it came on time.

It was really a great day! 🙂

Blog  soon,

Amanda Gene