When someone you barely know comes to you and asks if they can have a moment of your time two things happen simultaneously in your mind and generally speaking for the most part they’re not good. First thought is, “I don’t have time right now”; and the second is, “uh oh, what happened”. Now most of you know me, I am a positive person that has an open door policy when I’m working, but this week hasn’t been the best so trust me when I say that I seriously thought of diving under the desk when a student walked past my door. In truth, I was halfway there but then I realized he couldn’t see me so what was the point. You see sometimes even us positive people have issues and days where you just don’t want to talk to anyone.
The gentleman, for my purpose here will call Bill, is a new student in our Blind/Low-Vision program whom I had met briefly a few weeks ago on his first day in class. I honestly didn’t know his entire story only that he wanted to learn how to use screen readers and ZoomText so he can get back to work. Bill asked me if I had a moment to spare for him, “of course” I said…
After we had sat down he proceeded to tell me that he was a well known music engineer who’s not only losing his sight, but can only hear you if you sit to his right side. He told me that he wanted to take a moment, because people rarely do these days, to tell me that I have the most wonderful and professional staff. (see where I’m going with this). He then told me a bit about his life and that his disabilities will not stop him from working with music again. “Chris, Judy and Cameron your volunteers, all have a unique style of teaching that helps us as individuals and as a class team. I have grown to love and respect the other students”. Tearfully he told me the dreams of our other students and that one in particular who’s 62 and completely blind is his inspiration, because he wants to go back to work to help the state of California simply by paying taxes. This “moment” lasted less than 5 minutes. Just think of what I would have missed if I didn’t take the time.
I know I have asked most of you to come by the center, meet the students talk to my wonderful staff and volunteers but until you do I’m asking that you forward this on. Help me spread the word about EmpowerTech. It will only take a moment.