Given a chance, the blind prove their workforce value
Monte Whaley’s perceptive article about the course of study for blind and visually impaired students entering the job market hit home for me. My father was legally blind and his circle of friends, all blind or mostly so, gathered at our home on occasion. I learned that they were gifted with intelligence, sensitivity and ambition. They produced or sold brooms, mops, doormats and sundry products produced inhouse by the Colorado Industries for the Blind (where my dad was foreman), then located in a plant at Speer and Bannock.
They’re all gone now, but there was a time when it was common to see individuals loaded down with cleaning products walking carefully from house to house peddling the product line. They worked long days in all kinds of weather, and through pure effort often succeeded in earning a decent living for their families. Time, habits and changing sensitivities removed them from our neighborhoods, but it’s good to recall that given a chance they have proven to be our most able citizens. Harry Puncec, Lakewood
Ethan Holliger listens during a program at the Blind Institute of Technology, which is leading a public-private partnership for a new vocational school for blind and visually impaired people to prepare them for high-demand jobs. The Denver Post