Janice’s Story

janice-465x486-287x300  What would you do if your parents were told that the only prospect of meaningful employment for you because of your blindness, would be in a workshop environment? Would you have enough confidence to acquire the skills necessary to achieve a higher goal? Janice had the goals and the confidence.

Employed as a switchboard operator for UPARC for 12 years and then Pinch-A-Penny Pools for 17 years, Janice was successful, but ultimately replaced by the automation of phone systems. In the face of life changes, this strong woman was not ready to give up her dreams of independence, and the Lighthouse of Pinellas was her answer.

Working as a part time receptionist for the Lighthouse of Pinellas, Janet has utilized her skills over the past 11 years and has played a vital role in fulfilling the agency’s mission.

At the Lighthouse Janice enrolled in Keyboarding classes and adaptive computer training classes learning JAWS (screen reading software) to master Windows, e-mail and the Internet. With her new-found skills and independence, she volunteers at the Talking Book Library and is president of the National Federation for the Blind. At 63, Janice is living a full life, surrounded by friends and loving life.

Pinellas County is home to one of the highest percentages of residents in the U.S., age 65 and older with vision impairment from Glaucoma, Diabetic Retinopathy, or Age-Related Macular Degeneration. Like Janet, they want independence and a high quality of life. The Lighthouse provides programs and services to over 250 seniors annually.