A recent hire was a paralegal with a successful career and lovely home. In 2014 she had strokes in the back of her retinas. This caused a severe loss of vision and a diagnosis of legally blind. She could no longer drive or see well enough to continue with her career. Because of this health crisis she was forced to sell her house. She moved to Colorado with her boyfriend but decided returning to Wheeling was the best option. Trying to adapt with her loss of vision has been very difficult. She did not think she would ever have a job again and lost confidence in herself. She was very depressed and lacked purpose until she joined our staff at The Seeing Hand. She had initially contacted us to see if she could work in an office position. We did not have any openings for office work but it is our policy to try to provide an employment opportunity for every visually impaired or blind worker. We asked her if she would be willing to accept employment in our workshop with the promise to look for other options for her. She decided to try it two days a week. She is very small and never did anything with tools or adaptive methods for production. She has learned how to clean chairs for caning, monitor the quality control for our extinguishers, helps make mops and supervises two of our workers with their cleaning duties. She recently started making phone calls to area businesses to promote our fire extinguishers. Marketing the fire extinguishers has been a great fit for her and gave her the opportunity to work three days a week. In addition to the extra hours, she has the opportunity to make commission on each unit sold. She is doing a great job and has excelled in the environment of The Seeing Hand. The Seeing Hand has added much value to her life. Obviously, her position provides income but it gives her so much more. She said joining our team has restored her self-worth, given her life value and purpose, has educated her, and given her a sense of empowerment. The Seeing Hand has helped her form new friendships which have greatly enriched her life. One thing she absolutely loves is our fitness and wellness program and she said it has given her strength and helps her keep a positive attitude. She said it has helped with her depression and outlook. Since she cannot afford a membership to a gym and has no transportation, she would not be able participate in these kinds of activities. If The Seeing Hand did not exist it is certain that our employees would not have a place to go to help them with their finances, education, health, and wellbeing. All of them are thankful for the opportunity to work here.
-The Seeing Hand Association