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AT Skills Build Self-Sufficiency Through Employment

AT Skills Build Self-Sufficiency Through Employment
SUMMER 2018 • Donka Digest

Having a disability, whether physical or visual, can be disheartening. It can dramatically change a person’s ability to go about everyday life independently. For Baltazar, pictured right, his visual impairment was a challenge to his desire to gain employment and self-sufficiency.

At Donka, Baltazar was able to enroll in training to help him learn how to use a computer using JAWS, assistive technology software that interfaces with a computer using voice commands. Anne Byrne, Donka’s blind services instructor, worked with him to build his skills and confidence in using JAWS.

When Baltazar graduated from his training earlier this year, he was able to use Word, Excel, Outlook and a variety of other business applications with voice commands. He was finally ready to apply for jobs—and the new skills he learned came in handy as he searched and applied for jobs online. We are happy to report that Baltazar has been employed by SMS industries since May. He works as a an account representative and calls SMS customers to ensure they are happy with their services and to help with any issues they might have.

Baltazar uses his JAWS skills each day to type notes about calls and access previous conversations with his clients. Although he found his job a little “nerve wracking” initially, he now feels much more comfortable and enjoys talking with his customers who are from all over the nation.

Thanks to Baltazar’s time at Donka, he now realizes that, “If I am given the tools to do the work, I will make sure that the work is done.”

Congratulations, Baltazar! We wish you continued success in your work.