Living Independently with a Disability

In my job I collaborate with a lot of organizations in order to help people with disabilities gain access to all of the resources available. This may be in an effort to gain employment or to help with the struggles present in every day living.

When I was conducting further research on different independent living facilities in Illinois, I came across an article on the Progress Center for Independent Living of Forest Park that inspired me. I think it is a great way for people to see that just because someone is different or has a disability that may keep them from doing everyday tasks differently doesn’t make a person any less independent than someone else; a concept I think a lot of people loose sight of when they think of disabilities.

For 25 years the Progress Center has strived to work with people having a wide range of disabilities in order to provide them with the tools necessary to be more independent in their daily lives. What stands out to me most is that the director is a man who is blind and talks about all the ways he has learned to adapt and overcome his disability in order to thrive in his position.

I work with people with visual impairments everyday and I think it is very encouraging to see how successful people can become when they put their mind to it.

Esparza uses JAWS screen-reading software to use his computer; he has a braille printer computer reader. “My iPhone is amazing,” he said. “There’s a money reader, a color identifier, I can go on Facebook, check my email.”
Growing up in a residential blind school for children in Guadalajara, Mexico, he said he and his fellow classmates used to fantasize about magical machines that would read any printed matter aloud. “Now that day is here,” said Esparza. He even looks forward to driverless vehicles, now being tested, and “maybe only two years away,” he said.

In a world that is constantly changing the possibilities are endless, now it is just up to us to take the opportunities given and make the most of them. To read the rest of the article visit http://www.forestparkreview.com/News/Articles/2-12-2013/Making-progress-for-25-years/

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