in collaboration with Spotlight on Poverty and Opportunity
Assist in re-education if jobs not available
From: David F., Lafayette, LA
I had hoped to supplement my government disability income, but the system is very quick to penalize you and to remove benefits or to make you pay for them. So working part time can cause you to have less money. Of course, blind people have lived with high unemployment rates, from 68 to 80 percent, for decades. If our unemployment were in line with the national average (nearly 10 percent), we'd actually be doing very well!
I thought education would help me get to a better place and leave an abusive work situation. I obtained a Master of Library and Information Science degree in 1998, and looked for work all over the country. I thought my good grades and participation in campus organizations relating to my degree might help. I sometimes wonder if I'll ever work anywhere, especially anywhere supportive that might really value me as a person and care if I show up or not.
I do think education is a key, but perhaps shorter kinds of education such as specialized training that builds on a degree but is not a degree itself. I am told now that my state's rehabilitation agency will not fund any further training for me, not even something online. I had hoped to be chosen to compete on a trivia-type game show and use the possible winnings for further my education. But this simply has not happened. All I can say is education has to count for something, and surely someone out there believes in chances and can think out-of-the-box in a notable way. I have not yet found this person, but I hope I do one day and am able to have a successful employment history.