Solingen 93

Domestic Violence and Abuse

Focus on What You Can Do

– Hello, my name is Derek Alexander. I’m a business consultant
for the Delaware Division for the Visually Impaired
in Newcastle, Delaware. I help individuals who are
blind and visually impaired to reimagine their lives in the workforce, and my job is primarily
to help individuals to either obtain or to retain their jobs. When you’re blind and visually impaired, you’re like anybody else, and I think that gets lost on a lot of people. As soon as they find out you’re blind, they start treating you differently. When I first found out that I was blind, I treated myself differently. It wasn’t until I was around 23, 24 years old, working in cash management,
that I couldn’t see the general ledger when I’m looking at it, and found out then that
there was definitely something wrong. The minute I found out
that I had Stargardt’s, it was this big, scary name. It was this big, scary thing. I felt like I couldn’t
do anything anymore. I went into this depression that lasted for a couple of months. As soon as I stopped thinking about all the things that I couldn’t do, and I realized all of the things that I could, then I stopped putting the word “can’t” into my vocabulary. I have my magnifier, this
is like my eye, okay? To be able to see everything that I see when I’m mobile and walking about, this is what I pretty much use. Closed-circuit television helps me to magnify print materials. I use a screen reader called ZoomText, and ZoomText is not only
a magnification device, but it’s also a screen reader. I now work with individuals and teach them the same philosophy. I’m giving them pretty much my all, because it means something personally to me. Don’t think about all of the
things that you can’t do. Think about all of the
things that you can do, and I think that that’s
important in anyone’s life. ♫ For more employment journey stories, please visit the National
Disability Rights Network website at

Cesar Sullivan

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