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Rosalyn's Story

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      At age 62, Rosalyn experienced sudden and extensive vision loss from macular degeneration. For over 20 years, she worked as the Director of Administrative Computing at Morningside College in Sioux City. Her vision loss greatly impacted her ability to do the things she used to do. Her job entailed programming and performing various administrative duties. While she had planned to work for several more years, she thought early retirement was her only option.

      When Rosalyn first met her Vocational Rehabilitation (VR) Counselor from the Department, she expressed her extreme negativity about her blindness and her future. Her VR Counselor quickly began to provide both counseling and technical assistance. Department technology staff visited Rosalyn's workplace to assess her duties and determine what alternative techniques and adaptive technology she needed. Rosalyn also began receiving books in large print from the Department's Library for the Blind and Physically Handicapped. Her VR Counselor spent time talking with Rosalyn about learning to live with her vision loss, helping her to understand that losing her vision did not mean an end to her career or her ability to pursue her interests.

      With training in alternative techniques and opportunities, she could continue to be productive and independent. Rosalyn began to develop a better outlook. She believed she could continue working with the use of alternative techniques and adaptive technology. She was able to avoid an early reliance on Social Security and to retain her employment. She also regained her self-confidence.