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“The Sky’s the Limit” for Christine Diaz
Each morning, Christine Diaz jumps on the commuter rail from Norwood, Massachusetts to South Station, transfers to Red Line, and ultimately hops on a bus to get to her job at Somerville Hospital. She works at the front desk, assisting and escorting patients to where they need to go. Seeing her in action at her job makes it hard to believe that not too long ago, her life was completely different.
Back then, if you asked if she thought she’d have a job now, she would have said, “no.”
Diaz wasn’t always blind. As a baby she was in an accident that left her with tunnel vision in both eyes. Tunnel vision is a version of blindness caused by optic atrophy, optic nerve damage along the retina and lateral geniculate.
In January 2017, she enrolled in an independent living program at the Carroll Center for the Blind in Newton, Massachusetts. This program helped her learn how to use public transportation, how to use ZoomText for her computer, and necessary home skills like cooking and laundry. For the first time in her life she moved into her very own apartment.
Diaz found her permanent, full-time job through the Carroll Center’s Project SEARCH program, an internship-work program that provides individuals extensive on-the-job training and internships through three rotations. In addition to the job training, the program includes long-term job coaching, career exploration, and continuous feedback from teachers, job coaches, and employers.
National Cristina Foundation supports the Carroll Center’s work by giving the organization access to used technology, resulting in donated computers that are put to use in its programs. As a Cristina Network partner, the Carroll Center is joined by over 1,300 pre-screened nonprofit organizations, schools, and government agencies providing educational opportunities to particularly underserved communities, such as those with disabilities, at-risk students and the economically disadvantaged. Donors use the Foundation’s technology donation platform to locate nearby organizations in need of used tech equipment.
“I used to think, ‘If I don’t know the way, I won’t go there.’ Now I think, ‘I’m never going to know how to do it unless I venture out and try.’ The Carroll Center has helped me gain the skills and confidence I needed,” says Diaz. “Now, for me, the sky’s the limit.”
Organizations seeking technology donations can learn more by visiting National Cristina Foundation’s “Receive Equipment” page. Donors wishing to make a tangible impact in the lives of individuals in need can learn more by visiting the Foundation’s “Donate Equipment” page.
National Cristina Foundation is a nonprofit private operating foundation with a mission to close the digital divide so that people in need can participate fully in a digitally connected world.
The Carroll Center is a private non-profit organization that provides training programs and services to persons who are visually impaired or legally blind. Founded in 1936, The Carroll Center gained international recognition in 1954 when it established the first campus-based rehabilitation program for newly blinded adults under the direction of its founder, Rev. Thomas J Carroll. This program quickly became a nationwide model of modern day rehabilitation. It created new possibilities for visually impaired and blind individuals, allowing them to realize their personal and vocational aspirations.
The Carroll Center serves the needs of blind and visually-impaired persons by providing rehabilitation, skills training, and educational opportunities to achieve independence, self-sufficiency, and self-fulfillment and by educating the public regarding the potential of persons who are blind and visually-impaired.
The Center is located in Newton, MA and welcomes clientele of all ages. Today, the Carroll Center offers a vast array of services for children, working-age adults and seniors. The staff is composed of dedicated, trained professionals specializing in vision impairments. Services are available both on and off campus. These include: Computer Training, Educational Services, Independent Living skills, Job preparation and Placement, Programs for Youth, Vision Rehabilitation, Independence Skills for Seniors, Orientation and Mobility, Outdoor Recreation.
We propose to use donated computers to place in the homes of blind children and blind consumers who do not have the means to purchase them, but would have access to assistive technology through their school or agency for the blind.
We will provide them with technical support and training.
Adults and children who are blind or visually impaired; We estimate about 5 persons a year pending the availability of computers.
Carroll Center for the Blind
Attn: Roger A. Goguen
770 Centre St.
Newton, MA 02458
|Phone:||(617) 969-6200 x 214|
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