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.

 

Do It Yourself: How to clean and organize your messy room

Does your room look like a tornado hit it?  Does your mom always nag you by saying, “You need to clean your room.” Well, here is a do it yourself guide to how to clean and organize your  messy room.

First, gather all of your supplies. You will need a dust rag, furniture polish, laundry basket, a few boxes, a few sheets of lined paper, (for labels), a pen, tape, clean bed sheets, trash bags, a cup( to put your pens and pencils in), and a vacuum cleaner.

After you have gathered all the supplies you need, you can start cleaning.  Go to your bed, and take off the dirty sheets, and put them into your laundry basket. Take your clean sheets and make your bed.  Then gather all of your dirty clothes that are lying around your room. Put them into your laundry basket along with your dirty sheets. When all of your dirty clothes are picked up, take your basket into the laundry room and start a load of laundry.

Once you have started your laundry, go back into your room, pick one of the boxes, and create a label called “books.” Take a piece of tape and put the label on the box. Start cleaning by picking up any books that you see lying on the floor. Continue cleaning by removing all your books from your book case. Put the books into the box with the books that you found on the floor. The next step is to dust your bookcase. Put a small amount of furniture polish on your dust rag and dust your bookcase.

When the bookcase is dry from the polish, slowly go through your box of books, during this time, look at your books, and ask yourself “Do I read this book a lot?” “Do I really need this book?” If the answer to these questions is “Yes,” then return the book to the bookcase. If you do not need this book, put it into another box, be sure to create a label such as: “give away.”  Or “charity.” And tape the label onto the box. While you are cleaning, if you find anything else you do not want put that item(s) into this box, consider giving these unused or unwanted things to  one of your favorite charities.  By the time you are finished going through your books, go back to your laundry,  and check to see if your clothes need to be put into the dryer.  If this is the case, do so, then start a new load. Then go back into your room. Look around and pick up any trash that needs to be put into a trash bag(s). When this is done, take the bag(s) out to the trash bin outside.

Thirdly, pick up any notebooks, pens, and pencils that are lying around. Put your notebooks on your bookshelf or neatly on your desk. Put your pens and pencils into a cup. Put your cup on your desk.

When you hear your dryer go off, bring your clothes back into your bedroom and fold them, put them into your dresser drawers, or your closet. Go back into your laundry room and start another load of laundry, once it is done, put the clean items away.

Lastly, vacuum the whole room, this includes any rugs that you might have in your bedroom. Once you are done vacuuming, return the vacuum to its proper location, take the box of charity items into another room to be stored, and return any other cleaning supplies to its proper place. Come back into your room, look around. It should look clean now, so enjoy your new cleaned and organized room.

 

How to clean and organize your messy room
Picture of my folded laundry-ready to put it away.

Happy International Day of Peoples with Disabilities

Hi Blog world,

Today, December 3, is International Day of Peoples with Disabilities. According to the United Nations website, their goal is to help people with disabilities stay included in society and to educate the public about people with disabilities. I believe that everyone should have a right to a fair education and should be included in society no matter what their disability is. I also believe that educating the public is a good way to end stigma that sometimes is associated with people with disabilities.

To learn more about this day or the United Nations please visit: http://www.un.org/en/events/disabilitiesday/background.shtml

Blog soon,

Amanda Gene

Nystagmus Tag (Nystagmus Awareness Day)

Hi Blog world,

 

Happy Nystagmus Awareness Day also known as Wobbly Wednesday. During the early hours of the morning, I came across Glen’s (Well Eye Never) Nystagmus tag. Click here to watch Glen’s Nystagmus Tag YouTube Video

Since I have Nystagmus myself I decided to do the tag.

  1. Are you the only one in your family to have Nystagmus?

I was the only one who has it by birth called (Congenital), however both my grandmothers have a form of Nystagmus called (Acquired).

2. How has your Nystagmus affected you throughout your life so far?

When I was little my mother noticed that I had problems seeing. She took me to see many eye doctors, who said I had Nystagmus, and that I should be fine doing mainstream schoolwork.  However, like most children with Nystagmus, I struggled with seeing my school books and the board. When it became evident that I was struggling in school my eye doctors said I needed to be registered as a student with a visual impairment.

My mother had to fight for many years to get me registered as a student with a visual impairment. In fifth grade I finally started to receive help from a low vision teacher and my school materials in large print.

Now as an adult, the only thing I can’t do is drive. I am currently looking for employment, however with the support I am receiving I should be able to find employment soon.

  1. What are you registered as – partially sighted, severely sight impaired, blind, etc?

All my medical documents state that I have low vision, however I prefer the term visually impaired.

Here in the United states we have the American’s with Disability Act which helps people with disabilities have access of reasonable accommodations to help with employment. I am receiving help through Division of Blind services and Vocational Rehabilitation. The main mission of these services is to help me find employment, and provide me with low vision devices or other services if I need them.

  1. Do you have any other eye conditions with your Nystagmus?

Yes, I do. I have Night blindness, sensitivity to light, lazy eye, and astigmatism. Click here to read more about my journey with Night Blindness

  1. Do you have any visual aids to help you with your condition?

Yes, I use a long white cane during the evenings, during nighttime, or when I am in a new environment. I have several magnifiers i.e. dome, or bar, I also use a screen reader called ZoomText, where I can change the color of the screen, and the tracker or pointer, this program also reads the text on the screen.

Another program I use is called Kurzweil 3000, which is a program when I can access regular print books; and I also use this program to write articles and other writing tasks. A feature I really like about this program is that I can change the color of the background so my eyes aren’t as tired.

One of my most favorite devices I use is my talking book player, with this I can access books through Bookshare.org or through my talking book library.

 

Lastly, I use the speech and Siri feature on my Iphone.

  1. Do you have any advice for parents of children with Nystagmus?

Yes, get them the help they need early. I struggled with school until I received my large print textbooks and that helped me a lot. Also, keep a positive attitude towards the condition. Finally, don’t forget there are support groups out there to help answer any worries or concerns you may have.

American Nystagmus Network Facebook Page

Nystagmus Network Facebook Page

The Nystagmus Family Foundation Facebook Page

7. Describe your vision in 3 words.

Blurry-I describe it as like looking through a piece of Saran Wrap.

Loss of quality of vision during the day-my vision is best during the morning after I get a goodnight’s sleep, then my quality of vision gets worse during the day.

Tired- different things such as change in the weather, or if I’m stressed or ill can make my eyes tired.

8. What help did you get in school/work?

During grades 5-6,  I received large print textbooks and worksheets. Then in sixth grade my family moved to Florida where my teacher of the visually impaired gave me low vision aids, magnifiers, telescopes etc, instead of my large print text to help me be prepared for college and the world of work.  In college, I received most of my books in digital form, which I either converted myself by using Kurzweil 3000 or the disability resource services. I received extra time on tests.

Since for now I am still looking for employment we are not sure which devices I may need, however I know that I will need ZoomText to access the computer.

I hope you enjoyed this tag.

Blog soon,

Amanda Gene

Midterms 2013

Hi Blog world,

Sorry, I haven’t had time to write.  I have been very busy with school.

Speaking of school, I can’t believe that I have been in school for a whole month and that I have midterm exams this week and the coming week after that. Wow! My first exam is in my PR class which I have been studying for. Bring it on! The week  I have my open book exam for my online class. I wish I could say that I am ready for it but I don’t think I am.  I am sure that I will be by the time it rolls around.

Blog soon,

Amanda Gene

How School is going ….

Hi Blog world,

It’s been a while since I blogged. Sorry, I have been studying and working hard at meeting my goals of getting good grades. 

Today, I had a  white cane lesson to learn about the commons and since I’ve been lacking in confidence with going up and down stairs we reviewed how to go up and down them with confidence. Building my confidence is going to take time; I will get it.

Blog soon,

Amanda Gene

My Grades…

Hi Blog world,

I just wanted to let you guys know that I got my grades today. I got Three B’s and one A. I am proud of myself!

After the spring term, I will only have three more classes left.  For now, I need to relax and celebrate.

After this, I need to start thinking about where I want to do with my life and what goals I want to achieve.

Blog soon,

Amanda Gene

P.S. This is my 100th blog post! 🙂 Thank you for all your support.