Given a chance, the blind prove their work­force value

The Denver Post - - PERSPECTIVE - Re:

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

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