What to Do, Where to Start

A Pearl of Wisdom:
The only place where success comes before work is in the dictionary.

older woman talking to counselor

Okay, so you have been working for years and now are experiencing vision loss. How on earth do you keep going? You can’t retire, not with this economy and, besides, you’re still too youthful, have much to give and you love what you do.

The good news is that by doing the work (and we don’t mean your job) you can be helped to live a normal, independent life that includes staying employed and continuing to work. The bad news? This is work we are talking about—it does take time and initiative to complete the process of readjustment. But people are doing it every single day and you can too.

Vision loss definitely affects your perspective. Some people feel insecure about living a normal life again, especially when it comes to their jobs. The trick is to do something about it. There is a lot to learn but you don’t have to learn it all, just what applies to you.

If you haven’t already been to your eye doctor make an appointment and see how or if he can help improve your vision or, hopefully, save what’s there. If vision can be improved or saved, it is at this point that locating a good low vision specialist would be in order. This person specializes in helping people use their remaining vision to its highest potential.

Once you have a diagnosis and prognosis, give your local or state rehabilitation agency a call to schedule an appointment with them for an assessment. A vision rehabilitation counselor can help you learn what you need to know in order to live an active, normal, independent life. You will learn things like how to do daily living tasks such as shopping, cooking, keeping house, traveling independently, alternatives to reading and writing, how to make the most out of any remaining vision, et cetera.

They will also help you with how to notify your employer that you are going to need some time off to get back on your feet. (Don’t worry. You cannot legally be fired for having a disability. Check Useful Links for Job Seekers for information on this subject.)

There is much that can be done to adapt your workplace so that you can continue to be employed and productive. Hiring and retaining workers who are blind or visually impaired is good business, and it is easier to do than you may think thanks to the many resources and technologies now available.

Remember: a positive attitude always helps determine success so celebrate each milestone during the rehabilitation process and look forward to new and better things in your future. So hurry up, your co-workers miss you!

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