1 (edited by Munawar 2018-06-10 19:18:00)

I had a discussion with a friend of mine recently and we were talking about the reasons for the persistent high unemployment rate among blind people. We also included people who, while might not be gainfully employed, have no future goals or plans.

So, I want to get an idea from a community where a lot of blind people hang out: what is your opinion? Why is our unemployment rate so high, and, in the case of those who are not working and have no plans to seek employment, why are they not utilizing their talents in other ways? In your opinion, what is the reason for this trend? Are you this person, who has no plans or future goals? If so, I'd love to hear from you.

There is also a poll in this topic which I'd appreciate if you'd take the time and answer.

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Hi. I do have plans in the future. However I do understand that the rate is high. What I really think people who are blind should do is at least look at some jobs and see if they are highering blind people, or call people up and see if they have any activities blind people can do.

Also I heard that some blind people are homeless. And to be honest, I really don't support blind homeless people really [no offense]. I think that they should save up money or something so they can move somewhere, that's what I'm currently doing.

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Hello.


I'm one of those that isn't employed and don't plan on being employed in the future.


I was told from a young age by my grandfather that i'd not be hired and it stuck. I volunteer when I can but I'm not going to get a job where I'm not happy when I can get disability money.


You could ask me, what job would you be happiest in? The truth is, I have no idea. this is why I like volunteering when i can.


I know the jobs I'd not be happy in: tech support.
Office work.
social media planner.


I like computers but I'd not want to sit in front of one all day doing endless office work.


@eric. Getting a place isn't easy in certain parts of the world. Even if I got a job that job will probably not pay for a flat in London and even if it did, I'd probably end up putting about 95% of the money into the rent/bills et cetra.

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Hello.

I do have goals.

To get a place of my own is my biggest one and I'm fighting for it.

I may have to move out of London into the country, I'll see.

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There are a lot of circumstances that lead to the high unemployment rate, in my opinion. Having said that, I don't necessarily agree that the statistic has remained unchanged for such a long time. Everything dealing with humanity fluctuates on a regular basis.

As for me, I would love to be employed, but it hasn't happened, and now I believe I'm most likely too old to be taken seriously and hired by any company, due to my lack of experience. The only thing I've done that's even remotely worth putting on a resume is a brief stint volunteering at a radio reading service for the blind, and that was over 10 years ago. I enjoyed the experience, mainly because it settled any doubts in my mind that I was cut out to work in the radio business, which was a career I had highly considered. Mainly, I'm not a loud, boisterous person who can improvise witty remarks on the spot, which is pretty much essential if you're going to make it as a deejay. not that such a personality was required in the place I was volunteering at, far from it, in fact. But I struggled a lot with keeping my comments on the air concise enough that they didn't either sound awkward and stilted, or run over into commercial time.

However, that experience did prove itself useful in an unexpected way. It inadvertently paved the way for me to get into podcasting. While the podcast I work with isn't some major deal like, I don't know, Myths and Legends or something, or, to make a more apt comparison of its content, Cool Blind Tech or Eyes on Success, clearly we're doing something right, because we have some listeners. While I never would have struck out on my own and created a podcast, I feel that my prior experience did help me to see that I could do it if I tried. That, combined with my strong desire to help people, helped me make the decision to get involved with it.

I'm bringing these points up because, according to many blind people, and sighted people for that matter, I'm lazy, useless, a drain on the system, etc. for never having been employed. And, having grown up in a family who highly values employment, I've felt like a burden and a disappointment more times than I can even begin to count. But does that really make me directionless?

If circumstances were different, I would be working in the IT field. I have a passion for working with computers, for getting in there and getting my hands dirty, figuratively and literally. I enjoy solving problems and seeing the happiness it brings to others once their computer, an essential tool these days, is up and running again. Oh, sure, my tolerance for stupidity is a bit low, and it can irritate me if someone makes the exact same mistake that lead them to a problem in the first place, particularly if I've given 110% to patiently explain a concept, but I have my heart set on this field. Unfortunately, there are a whole bunch of external and internal factors conspiring against me that haven't let me realize this dream. First of all, my parents disapprove of it, and refuse to support me in any way if it has to do with computers. I live in a rural area, so I depend on them for transportation. If they don't like something, then there's no way I can do it, unless there's some way I can keep it a secret. Of course, I could just move out, but finding an affordable place when you're on SSI is not an easy task. I could get a job in some other area, which I would most likely despise, and I don't really have a problem with that, since the vast majority of people hate their jobs anyway. My point above still stands, though, in that an employer is probably not going to hire me if I'm blind, let alone have no previous work experience. I actually think the lack of experience is an even bigger hindrance than my blindness, and that's saying something considering the area I live in is full of a lot of small-minded people who don't accept anything outside of their narrow scope of normalcy.

So, it's not that I have no ambition, and these problems may or may not be insurmountable. I have no evidence that things can change, although for awhile I thought they might. I also can't say that they won't, so I don't know. What I do know is that having a hostile attitude isn't going to help matters. There are just as many sighted people out there who think drug dealing is a respectable profession, people who game the system in order to get disability benefits they don't deserve, and so on, but for some reason, at least in my experience, some blind people would rather have a friend who is one of these things than a fellow blind friend who is unemployed, no matter what the issues are that are causing it. So, allow me to turn the tables on the original question this topic posed, not that it isn't a valid one, and ask why?

The glass is neither half empty nor half full. It's just holding half the amount it can potentially hold.

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6 (edited by The Dwarfer 2018-06-10 21:03:34)

I'm going to college, well I'll be starting in the fall at a community college though not living with my parents. My equally blind sister and I will be sharing an apartment, and both apartment and college are 3 hours from home. I don't plan on seeking employment this first semester, or maybe even the first year so I can get acclimated to my new surroundings and truly learn how to navigate both the city and its public transit system. @3...? I can't believe you were told you'd never be hired. That's not true. I mean sure, being blind definitely makes it difficult to get a job and many employers will see that fact and just be like meh, I'll call back tomorrow. Then they'll never call back!
Keep trying though and you can get one. For a career you might wanna pursue higher education though.
I would seriously recommend finding a job though. There's lots more than being a call center worker or shuffling papers and banging on keys within the confines of a cubical for 9 hours a day, 5 days a week. Finding a job will allow you to make your own money (I'm on SSI right now, and I feel bad at the very idea since it's... society's tax money and I really don't like that). Plus, it'll teach ya more O&M skills, people skills, and bring you up in society. Plus, that'll give you control over other aspects of your life that... for now, the government and your family basically get to decide for you.

Follow me on twitter: @savage_genius16

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Sorry for the double post.
@5 Yeah... the unfortunate thing now a days is that it seems that in order to be mostly independent, you have to live in a city - for the transportation, the practical walking routes, and the closeness and convenience of places - including a potential place of employment. Also so your parents think you're a burden for not being employed.... but refuse to support or help in any way with a career if it involves computers, which is your dream? .... Maybe not, but did I hear that scream hypocritical quite loud and clear?

Follow me on twitter: @savage_genius16

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Oh, it is for sure. They're mad because, at one point, I also considered a career as a psychologist. They're bitter about the fact that, not only did I ultimately decide that wasn't a good fit for me, I also decided not to attend college. That's a discussion for a different topic, though, since I don't want to further derail this one.

The glass is neither half empty nor half full. It's just holding half the amount it can potentially hold.

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I had goals outside of high school, I went to college for a year and dropped out before I flunked out, which was entirely my fault since I didn't seek additional options for my reading material. They set me up to read visually, giving me a CCTV and so forth, but the amount of reading you have to do in college is immense, and it was just too much. But I stubbornly decided to stick with it, but it meant I was falling behind, I just couldn't keep up that way. When I realized I was in real trouble, I went to the Dean of Students and sort of hashed some things out, she put me with another visually impaired student, and we talked, but really his vision was better than mine, in fact, so much so that he could rive under certain conditions, very limited conditions, but he could nonetheless.

I lost my federal funding from the OVR because my GPA dropped too far. I was in scrabble mode for a while, and then I just hit a point where I was like, you know what, it doesn't matter, at this point, I can't salvage things. I was on academic probation, etc. I just took a few days, stopped doing assignments and hung out at the pool. It was then that I thought well, its better to drop out than flunk out, so that's what I did. At around this time, my dad crashed his motorcycle and broke his ankle, so it was sort of a good thing that I came back when I did because he would have had a hard time doing laundry and so forth getting down the basement steps with a cast on. My parents were divorced a decade or so, and he lived there alone, apart from me.

I didn't consider this much of a setback, OK, I'd just have to go straight into work, people got jobs without a degree, they might have to take a lower level position, and work longer and harder to get somewhere in the company, but it was certainly possible. So, not to be deterred, I started on the job hunt. My OVr counselor set me up with this agency called AHedd, which helped people with disabilities get a job. They also sort of acted like a liaison between you and the management, in such cases where it was warranted, because some of the people they helped become employed had certain mental challenges. SO they sort of kept a check on things to help you keep your job, but they didn't actually do your job, which is the way it should be. I was on this for nearly 3 years, sometimes a couple of months where I didn't do any searching, but I was mostly on it. I put in a lot of applications, and had a lot of interviews. One nice thing about AHedd is your agent, counselor, case worker, I honestly forget anymore, but they could provide you transportation to your interviews, which was a good thing considering some of these places I had no idea where they were at, so trying to fire out how to get there using the buses in a day, yeah. I mean I took what I could get, if they said can you come i tomorrow for an interview, I would say yes, and worry about the logistics after I got off the phone. If it was before noon, I could book a paratransit ride there and back for the next day, which I did in some circumstances, but a lot of the time, the calls came in after lunch, so that was a no go. SO I would have to get in touch with my AHedd person and se if they could take me.

I remember one time I booked a paratransit ride. Now, when you talk to them, if you mention its for work or medical reasons, they'll sort of make you a priority, so I would say each time that it was for a job interview. I was supposed to be in at this one place at 2:00, and I was standing there and my bus never came. I called them several times, and they said oh they're on their way, etc. I called the place and let them know I'd be a bit late etc. and they were understanding, but the bus never showed up and I had to call them back and reschedule. I was fuming, and I called the manager and complained vigorously. But, I was able to get another interview the next day, this time I was able to get my AHedd agent to take me.

Every interview I had to fight to try to convince the prospective employer I could do the job in question. Here's the problem, things that included me reading, I could do, but I would need a video magnifier to do it, a portable one, like the Ruby, which is actually a good product despite where it hails from. Also, Jaws installations on work computers etc. since at that time I didn't know about NVDA and even if I did, I couldn't have used it proficiently like I could with Jaws. I found this one place I really wanted to work at. It was a retirement home, but everyone was cool there. The position was for a dishwasher, but I honestly didn't care, this was a bit on in my job hunt, and my circle of professions or positions was expanding. The agent would always ask me what areas I was interested in, and at first I'd rattle off a concise answer, but after a while, I was like, ya know, just anything at this point, I don't care. Anyway, I didn't get the job at the retirement community since it involved cleaning the floor and the grout, and I couldn't see good enough to ensure the grout was clean, I could do my best to sort of sweep the area in a systematic fashion, but I couldn't guarantee it was clean. I was kinda more disappointed at that than the other ones, because I thought that was kind of lame. It's not going to be dirty if I literally take a mop with soap and water over it. Sure, I can't literally focus on just the grout and make sure I get every bit of it spotless, but its a kitchen, a staff kitchen, the residents never went in there. I do get it though on one level, they have to be on top of that sort of thing for health reasons. Anyway, the lady was really cool about it, and wrote me a nice letter wishing me good luck on my future endeavors. I now get to the point where I actually was hired. I interviewed at KMart, for those who don't know, it is a department store, and now is a subsidiary of Sears holding company, if they're even still around, I haven't been out that way in a while. I went in for two rounds, and the second round, I could tell she had some reservations and was about to drop me, so I fought like hell and finally won her over and she hired me. Now, the thing about this is, and I don't know if this is the same everywhere, or just in my state, but they would not even start the ordering process of getting equipment until you were confirmed hired. The process from requisitioning the equipment to having it in the client's hands took about two weeks. SO every time I interviewed, I had to sort of explain this when they asked how soon I could start. I also really couldn't do any testing or really prove I could do the job because I didn't have what I needed, namely, a magnifier like the Ruby. SO it was a leap of faith for the employer, and I don't blame any one of them for not making it, I blame the system for being messed up. They could have a sort of basic selection of equipment at at the OVR office that they could allow you to borrow for an interview, etc. Well, She told me she needed me to start right away, so I was like OK, what else could I do, I had the job, I wasn't going to make a fuss about it. SO I got with my OVR counselor and explained I had a job and needed the equipment, and he started the process. My AHedd agent basically did what he was not supposed to do and helped me do my job, because I literally couldn't do it without magnification, since it was involving stocking and the like, which required reading labels, sorting stuff onto palettes, etc. luckily, I was only part time, so he could do other stuff after, he really went out on a limb for me doing that and I definitely appreciated it. But, Since I was supposed to clock in at 10 to 8, and he couldn't get there until 9, I basically had to hide and pretend to be doing stuff for an hour since I couldn't do anything else. Also, they switched me out to different positions, like the warehouse and unloading trucks. That wasn't as bad but they never kept me anywhere long enough for me to figure things out. Still, they had this big almost rail system that the truck would back up to, so the trailer would open onto this rail system, and someone on that end would put a box on it, and just shove, and, the only way I can think to describe this is like a conveyor, but not a belt. It was nothing but bearings. SO, if you put a hand on the top of it, you would just feel the edges of the bearings, and if you moved your hand, you'd move it along, spinning the bearings etc. They were like close enough to each other to not allow much of a gap, but not too close they they would bind each other up, so each bearing would spin freely, and there were a fair few of them wide. This system even made a turn into the warehouse, so literally all you had to do was put a box on the top and shove it and the bearings would carry it to the people on the other side. Then one of them would take it, check the label, which was color coded, and put it in the correct area. Then another person would sort them from that point. I was just unloading the truck and putting them in the matching area.

So basically, after doing several positions there, I sort of came to the realization I wouldn't be very effective, even with the equipment. I voiced this concern to my agent, who took it to another agent who I worked with previous, she came in and gave me this completely inane speech about how I could do anything and how I'd soon be the manager. That annoyed me to no end. I hate that kind of thing, I'm a realist, if there's a problem, I'd rather face it than pretend it doesn't exist. I was getting pressured from the store manager. I was organizing things based on what would be fastest, and using a shopping cart to load stuff in. So while there were a lot less items in the cart, I could organize them so that I could go out onto the floor and put the items on the shelf in an order that worked for me and that was quick, and I'd be making more trips back to the stock room, but I was able to get things done easier that way. The manager didn't like that though and insisted I bring a palette out each time. Which I did, but wasn't faster than my method. The guy was a jackass but I had a job so I just dealt with it, though the one day I wanted to deck him because of some remark he made. I did decide to leave though, it sucked, because I finally had a job, but I knew that even with the equipment I couldn't do that job as effectively and quickly as that manager was going to accept. The HR lady was cool about it, and she was the interviewer, and it also sucked because I liked everyone there. I was there a grand total of 6, yes count them, 6 days.

That was a big blow to me, and that was when things sort of spiraled downward. I couldn't do that, I couldn't do the cold calling or tech support stuff because I couldn't read the script with my screen reader while I talked on the phone, and I never developed a good reading speed with braille, 35wpm is not enough to be doing that kind of work. I know there are some people out there who do that type of work, but I don't know how, because I can't split my concentration off to two threads like that. I can if its people and separate conversations, I can follow a few at once with no issue, but the moment a screen reader enters into it, I need most of it for that. and then dealing with them on the phone plus doing the script reading, yeah just didn't work out. So everywhere I went, it seemed like I was trapped between the sighted world, and the blind world. I couldn't read print or braille fast enough to be useful at a job, and screen readers couldn't be used alongside other people, like a customer I needed to talk to. Before this point, every job  I didn't get was just another step in the process, I didn't really think much of it. I knew it would be problematic getting hired, but I was optimistic, driven, ambitious. That all changed though, and each failure after that was another blow, and it just made me completely uninspired and unmotivated. I tapered off to doing job stuff like 3 days a week, then one day, then stopped putting in applications, focusing on trying to get a work from home position. Most looked like scams, and my dad was like how can it be a scam, etc. and just try it, so I did, and I kept getting these texts, and I showed him the messages and the bill when it came, they made my phone bill like $20 higher because they texted me nothing but spam so many times. I had to call and get their number blocked from my phone company. I tapered off and just quit looking.

I was looking for a way out because my dad's gf, who he bought a house with, well, we didn't have the best of relations at the time, she was, and is a good person, but with... issues that I won't go into. We get along a lot better now I'm not living there though. My buddy moved up to the city with his dad, and they were like 10 minutes away so I could have my dad drop me off in the morning or something. Where I was living, the closest bus stop was 4.9 miles away, so that wasn't an option, though I did take a cab there a few times, before the days of Uber, etc. Well, his dad had a few health issues, and passed away. My buddy had to scramble to get into another apartment since he couldn't afford to keep up that big two bedroom on his own, so luckily, they had an open efficiency in that same building which he moved into. A year later, we moved in together, seeing how there was a two bedroom that opened up. He got the notion to take off down south, which he did after a year. I needed a room mate or I would have to leave as well, so my brother was looking to move out, so we did that for a while. That was 4 years, and was filled with its ups and downs, most of the downs being due to his girlfriends, anyway, that's too much to get into now and I'm sure people clicked off this thing long ago, so I'll try to wrap up.

I left there in 2016 because I lost it on his gf, who basically treated him like shit. I couldn't afford to get a place so I was looking at anything. So here I am now, its me, my mom, and my grandma living in the same house lol. And well, we kind of have to be here now, because we don't feel it would be safe for my grandma to live here by herself because she's got some form of alzheimer's or something similar. We don't know exactly what, and she usually scores pretty well on memory tests, but yeah, she's not fine. I think she might burn the place down if left to her own devices. So after all that, I just can't really get optimistic about much of anything. Though I'm not giving up on getting my own place. I would prefer to live completely alone, so somehow, I will try to make that happen.

I'm a cat! What's mine is mine, and what's yours is mine to :P XD

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IME one needn't live in the city to be independent, although decent cab services and/or a lifestyle that can accommodate a ton of walking are nigh essential. It does help to live reasonably close to the most useful places in town, though, if you're out in the suburbs or where the suburbs and country meet. (I always have a hard time distinguishing suburban from rural. Do my parents live in a suburban area, because there are houses around and the elementary school is a mile away? Or are they in a rural area because there's a forest behind their property and rice fields at the bottom of the hill?)
Low Expectations™ don't help anyone.
The flip side of that is the Self Esteem movement. You know, how in the 80s and 90s people noticed a correlation between self esteem and socioeconomic achievement, and tried to focus on improving self esteem even though the causality might maybe be the other way around?
Add the world's most feared disability to that.
Add the post-80s-serial-killer-outbreak paranoia, and the helicopter parenting and coddling and overprotection that ensued.
Individual circumstances vary, indeed. I'm wondering if broad trends can give us any clues.
And yet, wasn't that 70% stat fairly stable since before the brittling of the millennial era?

You know what jobs are supposedly always available? Restaurants, construction, skilled labor, custodial/janitorial. Somehow, the disgust for those sorts of jobs got kinda extreme, in the US, at least. And those are the sorts of jobs people would not expect blind people to be able to do, because... ... ... because no one has any imagination, or something.
The question isn't why people give up, so much as why shouldn't they?
I mean, Braille was invented in the 19th century. Does that not seem odd to anyone else? Reasonably well-off, educated people have been going blind for millennia, and not one of them came up with literacy innovations before Napoleon? Does it require a minimum of 19th century communication options for something like Braille to get noticed? But if that's the case, why haven't we ever come across someone of mild historical interest who came up with something for themselves and their friends/family/whatever?

Time to start throwing things at the wall to see what sticks.
So, non24. That happens because the penial gland isn't working right due to lack of light. Seasonal Affective Depression? Lack of light. The sudden increase in minor vision problems in the late 20th / early 21st century? Lack of sunlight. Is it possible that affective motivation is actually, physically harder to come by, just because the brain has so many systems tied into sunlight? That's a remarkable level of bullcrap, but this is the same brain that has serious executive function issues in the absence of satisfactory socializing, so I wouldn't put it past biology.
But for all this waving wildly at social trends / attitudes / biology, I still don't feel any closer to understanding what's going on. (or isn't, as the case may be.) Any sociology studies? Anything at all?
I mean, 70%? I highly doubt even 50% of blind people are so incapable as to be unable to do some useful work. I am very confused.

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11 (edited by TJT1234 2018-06-11 00:34:10)

I don't always agree with Chris Hofstader, but I read something he wrote recently and thought it was very interesting:

I've been looking at the employment issue in our community for the past two decades and, frankly, find it to be the most perplexing collection of problems I've ever tried to comprehend. Intellectually, I started this journey sitting on Ted's knee and worked to make JAWS and the other HJ/FS products as good as possible but it turns out the technology wasn't the solution to the issue in seven out of ten cases. I then looked at education and, while there are massive problems educating blind people, I also found quite a few who worked really hard to get a degree from a top university who are, for all intents and purposes, unemployable today. We thought that bad over protective parenting could be the problem but we've found some blind people whose parents did everything the "right" way who never found their way into an employment situation and others with overbearing parents who turned out to be successful as adults.

Ironcross32, I found this bit of your post particularly poignant:

ironcross32 wrote:

So everywhere I went, it seemed like I was trapped between the sighted world, and the blind world. I couldn't read print or braille fast enough to be useful at a job, and screen readers couldn't be used alongside other people, like a customer I needed to talk to. Before this point, every job  I didn't get was just another step in the process, I didn't really think much of it. I knew it would be problematic getting hired, but I was optimistic, driven, ambitious. That all changed though, and each failure after that was another blow, and it just made me completely uninspired and unmotivated.

It seems that there are many reasons why blind people aren't employed.
1. lack of education in braille--and yes, I said braille, not large print, not magnification devices, not audio--braille.
2. lower educational prospects for blind people
3. lower societal expectations of blind people, e.g. getting a part-time job in high school/college, volunteering, doing chores, seeing themselves as people who are able to contribute to society in a meaningful way
4. employers not believing in the capacity of blind people
5. limited instruction in assistive technology
6. inaccessible technology
7. inadequate transportation

Does anyone have any other ideas?

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@turtlepower17 OK, so, let me see if I'm getting this strait. Your parents think you're a burden on them because you couldn't find gainful employment, and yet when you bring up computer work they scoff at the job and say that they'll stop supporting you if you get it? If that's true, I have something to say. Please don't get offended, and mods if you're seeing this please do let me know if I'm going too far, because this really pisses me off and I just lost my filter. Tell them you're getting the job anyway. If they kick you out and force you to survive on your own, then leave them in the dirt. If they get to a point where they either lose their home or get too old to wipe their ass anymore and they ask you for help, tell them that they should have supported you when you needed it most, and they can go fuck themselves. There, I've gotten my 2 cents in. Again, if I went too far with this please let me know. This post was genuinely meant to be helpful, not harmful.

If anyone wants to add me on Skype, it's garrett.brown2014.

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Firstly, one distinction we should make here is what we mean by "job"

Sadly, the main aset, and the one thing blind people have which is the same as sighted people, namely the brain, is not a thing which is appreciated in society. Most jobs these days tend  be more cases  companies deciding on a position in a raw production line model, a model which requires neither imagination nor intellect, since such positions are created not to actually take advantage of people's real skills but simply fulfill a set of expectations, of course blind people are going to come up short, indeed ironcross put it very well in his post.

There is then the other problem that blind people just naturally take more energy doing something, from a commute to work to reading a document with speech or braille, to finding their way around, this is something  current bennifit system takes no advantage of, since either now you are completely unemployed and receive minimal support, or you work and recieve nothing, meaning that say working part time isn't an option.

To illustrate this point of effort I remember a friend of mine who was blind and worked five days a week. He was desperate to have a job, and finally got an office position. What happened? He worked and slept, that was it.
He spent every day going in to work, came home and pretty much  went straight to bed. He had no time at the weekends to practice routes, do any activities etc, since basically he was so completely shattered.

A year later he had a breakdown and lost his job and admitted it was the best thing that ever happened to him.

Then of course, there is the problem that the system is inherently biased since  interviewing blind people for a  no nothing about blind people beyond a grab bag of social assumptions.

Take my brother's case.
He was desperate to have a job in law, that is a job requiring legal knolidge such as a solicitor. there are blind solicitors, even blind judges, there is plenty of pressidant, yet what happens?

he does a degree, and an extra legal qualification then what.
Nothing! He sends out over 400 cvs a month for three years. He goes to an agency for help who give him a placement at the crown prosecution service, he then applies to the crown prosecution service with a reference from the crown prosecution service, but because their hiring is out sourced to an agency the agency didn't want to submit a blind applicant.
He was on one occasion told that he was underqualified for a job that didn't require a degree when he was applying with a degree, and it turned out this was because the interviewer decided he couldn't do the job because he didn't have a car.

he did get a temporary position copying legal interview transcripts just so he could claim he was working in law, and the disabilities agency then tried to persuade him that he should make that position permanent, they even told him "stop thinking solicitor, and think file preparer"

Eventually he did get a job in law but by doing something nobody does. My dad was a character witness in a trial, and in chatting to the defending solicitor my dad mentioned my brother's problem. The defending solicitor invited him to the firm to do some unpaid shadowing. My brother did this, he did unpaid shadowing for three solid years, essentially doing the work load of a fully qualified solicitor, Finally! he was offered a contractt, and even that was at half wage doing work the other solicitors didn't want.

things did work out eventually, since his original firm was taken over by a different firm, a different firm who made redundant all their disabled employees, and he was lucky enough to run into someone setting up another firm who offered him a position.

so all in all, from the second my brother qualified with his legal practice course, getting an honest to goodness, paying job doing what he'd qualified in took him 14 years, including several years working for literally nothing, and probably several thousand attempts.

This is why personally my feeling is "Screw the system" I have a degree and a masters and will hopefully soon have a Phd (which I've had to do part time). I intend to write and pursue any musical or stage performance opportunities available to me (I've already publically performed some of my poetry), I already do voluntary work for this site and  look for more voluntary work when my phd is finished, possibly something in publicity or journalism or something else using words.

But do I care that one of the huge corporations isn't paying me? hell no.

Heck, if someone wanted! to pay me to perform or write or do one of the things that I can actually do myself, I'd gladly take it, but I don't honestly see that happening.

the plane fact is being blind is an arse!
You miss out on lots in society, people treat you as if you don't exist, so you might as well take the few good things, and if one of those good things is not having to waste time doing something entirely pointless for some faceless corporation, so it goes.

of course, this isn't to say I want to sit on my arse and do nothing, and don't want to help anyone ever, one reason I'm so eager to do something voluntary, however I'm realizing that the metric between "employment" and "achievement" really doesn't stack up the way it used to, especially with the amount of trouble you'd have to put in to get employed anyway these days, even in something that did not actually utilise your qualifications.

Actually, on a more general level, the older I get and the more I look round, the more I  see that the old fashioned idea that "you work hard, you get paid you achieve"  just isn't working out.
I know people with phds who are shelf stacking, there was the famous case a few years ago of the  qualified geologist whom the government forced to take a low paid job in a cafe rather than doing her far more useful (and specialised), work in a museum where she'd been volunteering her time.

I will lastly say that for me there is also a mental illness component as well, since I have been diagnosed with depression and ptsd due to other things in my life, circumstances which ironically the state system is directly responsible for.

With our dreaming and singing, Ceaseless and sorrowless we! The glory about us clinging Of the glorious futures we see,
Our souls with high music ringing; O men! It must ever be
That we dwell in our dreaming and singing, A little apart from ye. (Arthur O'Shaughnessy 1873.)

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14 (edited by Jaseoffire 2018-06-11 03:31:50)

I'm currently a student on tax payer support and well, doing what I can to get away from it cleanly. It's definitely not the easiest thing in the world, and I do see why morale tends to fall really low. It's kind of even stranger since the current Social Security system seems to reward remaining on the system while punishing (or at least not helping) attempts to go further with your life. It is what it is, though. I have no intention of backing down. I do intend to take the four years I alotted to myself and try to form self sustaining revenue streams. Even if they aren't your typical employment avenues. Now, don't get me wrong, I would love to make such prospects easier, but that will require a bit more time, money, and, most importantly, influence. In the mean time, it looks like there will not be an easy of doing things, but then again, nothing easy is worth doing, anyways, so...Onward to the future, I suppose.

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15

[wow]. I don't really know how to explain how much reading this topic has helped me. Reading everyone's thoughts and experiences has helped me to better understand the idea that many of us go through so much struggle (myself included) and that a lot of it comes down to factors we can't really control at the moment. God does it make me sad, but it's comforting in an odd way as well. I mainly just wanted to encourage people to continue voicing their thoughts in this topic because there's the potential for some great insight to be shared. There are many online resources leaning more on the academic side that provide guides, materials, and positive experiences relating to blindness, but as far as I know, there isn't really a resource or community where real thoughts and experiences like these can be shared. I don't really know where I'm going with this, but a place for deeper, more contemplative discussions like this would be nice.

Go to Heaven for the climate, Hell for the company. - Mark Twain

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16

Hi dark.
You basically hit it on the head.
To be honest, I would have prefered that I was blind, poor and helpless rather than fed a lie.
At school you got told you would succeed, find a job, office or maybe something that you would be good at.
Both mainstream and special, and up and up you went.
If something was hard, there were ways round it.
If things didn't work, you could skip various things and still pass.
This got me mostly to university, visual papers meant I couldn't go to far past a certifficate in a few things with a scholarship and later I did a certifficate in radio broadcasting and passed.
I did some work with math theory which wasn't worth much and some spreadsheeting work where everything was done for me so I could pass the course.
Not to mention the agencies, the burnouts, the round and round she goes looking for a job and not really doing much about it, the endless advisers telling me to jump on this or that board and or list to look for a job and finding things I didn't have an idea what to do.
When it came to ask them something outside the realms of what was boilerplate they couldn't answer me.
Not to mention, technology, late arivals of screen readers, computers from cheap and nasty suppliers that didn't care they were faulty, and a lot of rubbish like that.
Like everyone else I was told I would succeed not fail.
For 10 years afterward I actually had a goal like just about everyone else had at that time.
Even when I knew it may be a lost cause I kept at it.
Eventually reality dawned on me.
Sure I got through the system maybe there were laws and factors meaning that I the blind poor and helpless sod I was couldn't know reality because of some discrimonation law or something.
So I wasted energy and time sitting on my ass because no one told me the truth, and that to survive I needed to fight I don't know how I would have acted but I wouldn't have been well I hope I wouldn't be like I was.
I did everything as far as I could find out right, but that didn't get me anything.
Technically I am looking for work but thats only to stop the government putting in a place a lot of disabled go, packing things for various places or something.
I had goals, I had wants.
I was ready to contribute, now though I want to survive at least for the next 20 or so years long enough so I can eventually get into some disabled institution rubbish that that is.
But I am not the system, I never was, earlier just in fact before my time the disabled lived in institutions, the system had a place for the helpless.
True they probably didn't have rights or opertunities but what are the use of opertunities if there are none.
I personally think I would have been better before, knowing where I would end up and none of this uncertainty rubbish.
I have an autistic friend he is bright, has a brain, but issues with depression, and energy issues so if he doesn't watch it he can fall over and run out of power but he is mostly ok.
He got a job for a couple hours a day at schools doing work and assisting others with work for a year, then suddenly he got let go with no reason.
Some of my family say people that are disabled get jobs to make them or those they depend on happy, these same people say touch screens are not for the blind.
If this bias still exists maybe the system is not ready for us just yet.
Giving the disabled rights and opertunities is a good thing, but maybe the system the world aint ready yet and may never be.
With the closing of institutions there isn't exactly any fallback for us to go either.
I'd still like the option, the option of a life, but if there wasn't one about a place to wait that I could wait for ever if I wished and not this.
Right now when you are born up to leaving school and higher education you are supported.
Only if you get or get into a business will support continue and some places will cut your alouences if you do get work.
When you get to a certain age, you can move into another institution for the old disabled person where you can wait to end life eventually.
Right now, we have a chance of something but its like a development framework without any programs.
There is a procedure for building and instalation, a procedure for shutting down and throwing away.
But no procedure for every day running and the administrator has lost the main password, and the funding officer has gone on strike.
And the drm is broken and doesn't display everything properly, and everyone is on hold for ever on tech support lines.
I am not saying I would have liked to stay all my life in some sort of disabled assylum for the retarded, but well, think I am ready to disapear, this life isn't in itself much to be honest.
Family I do have, dreams I do have, goals, well they kind of got compacted, crushed and bulldozed to nothing.
Some of us get lucky, how lucky well who knows.
The same is with upgrading, bar security unless it breaks big time there is no real push to upgrade, I know people still on xp because they can't afford upgrading.
PUt it this way, I live at home, and I don't follow the natural curve of the world, a job like office or company, a wife, a house, a life I don't fit the profile.
And someone took away the instatutional backup drives so I can't even hide somewhere.
I am not saying its hopeless but thats only because I have somewhere to be right now.
But that won't be the case its my 1 fear.
I do think institutions should still exist maybe with extra support.
If you can get out you can do so, but if you need a break from life you can do so.
If you want after say 10-20 years of trying say want to leave and drop back to a meaningless helpless existance you should be allowed to do so.
Ofcause if the system was fixed, but the system is always broken thats why technitions have jobs.
Most people I know either have their own business or are at home.
And most of them disapeared somewhere else.
Only a few get out but you need to be lucky.
With visual everything and this ai business, the disabled will probably be the first to go.
The only comfort to me is that I am one of the last with my condition of rop.
Thats not happening anymore or greatly reduced.
When I die there will probably be no more like me.
THat would be nice to be the last disabled, if it can be helped, I would like that even if my life sucks no one else needs to have the same life I have and I am not even bad.
There are others poorer others worse off, maori friends I know from flatting when I did that sort of thing worse off than I am and I am complaining about nothing.
Thats probably one of the only things that keeps me soldiering on.
I have a place to go, its not perfect, nothing is, and as long as I am looking for a job the government won't come after me, eventually though the system will catch up with me, by then maybe I escape it or maybe there is another way to get out of the system.
Or maybe I will be past caring by then I don't know.
I havn't had an actual normal goal for ages.
Getting up, excercising, andliving are my only real goals.

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17

You know, I never explained what my goals are, I'll do that now. As most people may know, I wanted to do voice over work, so that should come as no surprise. I also want to go to college and study foreign languages, as well as broadcasting and possibly programing. That's pretty much it, for now.

If anyone wants to add me on Skype, it's garrett.brown2014.

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18 (edited by braille0109 2018-06-11 12:13:42)

well. I've no ideas where to start. I'll start by pointing out that post 9 was a rather interesting read, thanks for posting it. so let's see here. I am currently in education, hopefully looking for an employment. with that said, I have no short term, or long term plans. I've no ideas what I want out of life, don't exactly have anything special about myself, either. I graduated in 2016, done 1 year of college, then while changing colleges, my EHCP (some of you will know what that is) got fucked over, resulting in a gap year. I'm in the UK, so things may be different elsewhere, but around my area, since I have GCSE's and a college qualification, I was literally over qualified for any of those functional skills, or whatever else. I'm also over qualified for life skills, the only thing I have troubles with is mobility, which isn't something those guys could help with. my family didn't want me to go to work, since they think it's unfair on me. even if I went for a job, transportation would then have taken me back to step 1, whatever I get as the money, would have went for transport, that is, if I could even find one. so at the end, I'm sitting home since last June, and I hate it. sure, it's fun at the start, but doing the same shit every single day, I can't do it. I've already found a college placement for next year, and I'm going back, but sitting at home, got nowhere to go, got no local friends or anything, is sending me crazy. so after these 2 years of college, I'll probably go for university, or something. I guess as long as I'm in education, I don't have to worry of not getting employed. while I will probably not find anything even with all those papers, at least it keeps me occupied. I'm not great at teams, I don't trust people, most people either find me weird, or can't stand me at all, could never fit in with the others in school or college either, so I really have no ideas. not thinking of kids either, so family doesn't inspire  me either. I mean, I've got rough ideas of jobs, that aren't impossible, but will they happen? I have no ideas. all I know is I'll go crazy if I have to sit at  home for years to come. I could never get used to it either. I see education as a nice way of escaping reality. and that is sad. at the end of the day, the more paper you have, oh and experience, you will get the job. even if you're a professional in something, if I have evidence, I will be taken over you. so yeah, even with the qualifications, I probably won't get far because of the lack of experience. but I'll have to try and see. lack of mobility, the older I am, the worse it is, and the less help I get. we have to work almost twice as hard to achieve half of what sighted do. I remember this very same issue. I can read up to 40 words per minute in braille, last I looked. it's probably less, since I don't really use braille devices these days.
plus, even if I had local friends to go out with, I don't drink, don't see the point of smoking, and weed, so I wouldn't exactly go to parties or anything. I guess I'll have to wait and see where future, or in my case, science leads to. I'd still go for sight if it was possible, so I'll continue playing the waiting game. I guess I'm a little afraid of say, breaking down in 10 years, facing reality, but it'll be too late by then. I'm not even sure who to speak with, and most of those wouldn't even take me seriously. never felt like people understand me either.

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19

Hello folks. Well, one thing I must say is that you guys have a certain kind of courage that most people lacks, and it somehow made me want to get up and step forward to share my experiences.
I've wasted much time trying to achieve what people expected of me rather than going for my own goals. I tryed university a few times, but honestly I never had the patience for it. The reason for my blindness is genetic, and I have high chances of carrying it over to my children, plus the fact that I am really disapointed with education in general makes unconfortable about setting up a family. Now I work as a freelancer, writing and translating stuff, sometimes even doing some basic sound editing. I have a helping hand from the government to aid keep me going, and honestly I'm not proud of it. Specially because the system here is crappy enough to cut your money if you are somehow getting officialy payed to do something, one of the reasons for me to work as a freelancer. Recently I decided to go wild and pursue the voice acting carreer. I will eventually lose my easy money, but if I wait much longer I'll be too old to risk things to hold on to a dream. And now there's the part that really drives me crazy. My parents battled to have their salary transferred to me when they pass out. But I don't want to live my life as a vulture, waiting for people's death. And if I get to work independently I'll lose this right, and they will go mad at me. Besides all that, I don't plan to stop.
Best regards, Haramir.

The true blind is the one who refuses to see.

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20 (edited by afrim 2018-06-11 20:20:52)

Hello,
I live in a country with a conservative society, where blind people are mostly seen as helpless and utterly disabled, and where the case proves otherwise, the society endows the person with profit-like qualities.
I lost my sight in 1997, when I was only one year and a half years old in an accident which changed the course of the life of my family. In 1998, in hopes of bringing my sight back, my father sent me to a clinic in Russia, where the doctor explained to my father that the sight might be returned some day, but advised him that he shouldn’t lose time waiting for this to happen. Instead, he was encouraged to send me to the best school for the blind in our country and do everything he could to support my education, as this is the only way blind people can step up the latters of society and enjoy success in their lives.
My mum, upon hearing this, devoted herself intirely to grow me with the opinion of being on the top wherever I’d go, especially when it came to education. And so I lived long with this idea. I went to the school for the blind for nine years where I proved to be one of the two best students in my class. With an ever-growing confidence, I went to high school where I had my best years in education. Not only did I have a good time studying there; I also had a lot of fun with my classmates whom I miss so much today. Being the best and most successful student in my class, and one of the three top students in the whole school, I graduated from there too, and dreamed of pursuing a university degree in English Language and Culture. I applied and got  a positive answer within the first round of applications. The university started and I was faced with a totally different environment; different students; different professors; different ambient which seemd only cold, distant and unfriendly. I had no friends, and the new classmates felt quite weird to me. They felt dumb, boring and never showed a sense of liveliness. They would come to the auditorium and never say a word, never interact with other students or participate in discussions. The whole first year was like this. It caused an insurmountable amount of stress which was compounded by the lack of accessible books and extra school materials that had a direct impact on my performance, with many grades falling below average. That was a turning point for me. However, I started the second year with a sense of optimism and so I did till the end of the second term. My performance was significantly improved and it could have been better were it not for my negligence. I started the third and the last year. I didn’t have any particular feeling towards it, I just wanted to try and make up for what I had lost in the previous years. But it didn’t turn out to be as I had expected. Very often I fell into a wave of pessimism which made me think that everything I had done so far; every attempt, every long night of study was in vain and nothing good would come out of this in the end. I wasn’t satisfied with the educational system in the third year; it gave me the impression that there was so much to learn, but so less time to practice it. My dissatisfaction came also with my classmates. They didn’t inspire me at all throughout the year. I wanted to have a rival in my class who could really challenge me, but that never happened. Most of them were scilent all the time. Now, I’m near the end. After the final exams of this semester, I will get the long-awaited degree in linguistics. Do I have goals? Yes, certainly I do. I want to go somewhere abroad and pursue a masters degree where I have better support and better facilities. It is simply that I can’t stay any longer in my country which never gave me, neither what I wanted nor what I deserved.
As for jobs, I applied for two consecutive summers to a call centre group just to gain a little work experience, but in both cases, they didn’t accept me. First time, I applied after I finished my first year at university. I attached the CV with all the relevant information and explained to the lady that I was blind, but as soon as she heard it, she hurried to tell me that we can’t accommodate you, in spite of telling her that I can provide the necessary equipment required for the job. Last summer, again I applied to a call centre company providing services in English. I attached the CV where I strongly emphasised that I had a certificate of English at level C1 and that I was studying the English language in all its aspects but they didn’t consider me. I asked the secretary for their choice, and she told me I hadn’t written a letter of motivation. I was pissed off by her answer and hastily replied that I’d rather write a letter of lament than one of motivation if I ended up working for your company. Now I have given up looking for jobs here. Call centres do not really count when faced with my capacity and what I can do. It's even out of my profession. What should I do with a customer on the phone? Should I tell him that an adjective as a rule stands before a noun in English? Should I tell him that there are different modes, techniques, and registers of writing? Or should I talk about the characteristics of Victorian Literature? Call centres won't offer me this, and even if I apply for a position in any such companies, I will do it only to support my family. I will pursue a masters degree first, and if I am very successful I will opt for  a PH.d. in my discipline. Only then will I seriously look for any job which involves teaching, writing, redacting, translating or interpreting.
In the mean time, however, I have helped many blind folks with their computer problems, completely voluntarily throughout all the last summer. Seeing the happiness they felt when they learnt something new, it made me feel very gratified. It seems like you’re changing the life of someone else and they can’t express their gratitude in words for you. Most of those I helped were people who had had not much training in computer and learning something new was a kind of privilege to them.

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21

You know what really sucked about looking back at all that, I had a harder time getting a job than a sighted, but mentally challenged person who could do his job, but would often times wander to the electronics section and watch TV. We do have to work harder, a lot harder. When I was in middle school, my dad saw me struggling with large print books. I got tired of it, and he told them look, he's doing work from the time he comes home until the time he goes to bed minus dinner, and that's not right, so find another way. I do feel bad for the people here who have parents that just don't get it, or parents who are overbearing and pushy, etc. My dad really did get it, and made sure as a kid, I would get the same opportunities as everyone else. And before I learned to advocate for myself, he would make sure I wasn't being treated unfairly by the school system. My mom a little less so, but she tried.

I accepted the fact that I would have to work harder for the things I wanted to achieve, but the level it reached is just crazy, and everyone who said they punish you for trying to work totally nailed it. I don't really feel bad about being on that gummint money, the reasons being is that the damn government partly hindered me from getting a job, also, one thing I forgot to mention in that story in post 9, OVR cut the funding to AHedd, so they had to stop working with me. Not cut funding to the agency as a whole, cut funding for me specifically. I guess I can't really blame them, but at the time I was super heated. I guess they have to help people who actually have better prospects.

It's funny in an ironic way that I had my life all mapped out in high school, and it turned out nothing like I planned, but what does. Still, when the OVR office has a shit policy that means you can't get the shit you need to the job you're trying to get hired for, then wants to cut the funding to the agency helping you put in applications and so forth, yeah, what the fuck. This was back in sort of the transitional phase where you did have some places that had online job applications, of those that were accessible, I did them myself, but a lot of them had physical machines on site, that's where I needed help, because it was a machine just for that application process, and all other features of the OS were locked out and you couldn't focus any other window but that one, so no screen readers there. My point is that, OK, you don't want to order me equipment so I have to go in there and talk myself up with no fucking backing whatsoever, and hope they take pity on me? Next, you want to limit how much the agency helping me can do, so its really a sandboxed operation. I do get it though now that I'm a bit older, you can't bleed money on a lost cause, but perhaps I would not have been a lost cause if you'd have fucking figured out how to get me the shit I needed. Also, a magnifier and a JAWS license are sort of universal things, so its not like me having those is going to stagnation. Like, I can use those things outside of work in daily life. But, he was saying oh we can't get you anything unless its for work or school. Then, how the fuck do you think I'm supposed to do shit like reading my mail ass hole. I used to use a scanner I had lay over from school, until that quit working. Then I just got people to read the shit to me, now I just use my phone.

You know what though, if they'd have actually gotten me a job, I wouldn't have had anything against paying back that equipment, sure let's do it on a payment plan so I can still afford to live, but I wouldn't have had a problem. If I have the means to do so, I don't mind paying my way, in fact, I'd rather do that. Especially if paying them back their money would enable them to use that to help someone else, sure, why not. Bah, fuck it though, they want to fuck around with my prospects, now I just could give a fuck less, and I do what I want when I want and its great.

I'm a cat! What's mine is mine, and what's yours is mine to :P XD

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22

I'd like to jump in quickly with respect to @Dark:

I've made this distinction in my OP, including people who are doing other things:

We also included people who, while might not be gainfully employed, have no future goals or plans.

I agree re: corporate mind set, but this isn't the topic for that so I'd like to keep it on track, and correct you here. I'm asking more that what are the reasons for under utilization of skills among blind people? Not why corporations are not good for statistics. Why is it that even if many of us lack employment, our skills aren't utilized? A good example is singing. many of us in the blindness community are great singers. So where are the YouTube channels created by blind singers?

As an example (and I hope he doesn't mind that I'm mentioning him directly,) Liam Erven is an avid gamer. He got to the point where he's become immensely popular, because he went that extra step that other blind gamers I've come across simply haven't taken.

So let's keep the "bad evil corporate" stuff out of it and focus along these lines. In other words, I'm not interested in why you personally choose not to seek employment; it's more the question of what is hindering you.

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23 (edited by braille0109 2018-06-11 14:32:28)

a few things. first, I'm not sure about you guys, but people always tells us that we'll be successful, we'll do this, that, and the other. I'm honestly not sure if they do that because of the lack of experience, or to try to make us feel better. I'll personally believe it when I see it. post 22 touched upon something, that I have quite strong feelings towards. many blind people code, sing, audio edit, etc, for whatever reason that happens to be. not trying to come across rude, but how many of those are actually good at it? how many are actually taking it to a professional level? pretty much most blind has a youTube channel at this point, and most of them think they're good at something. so this leads me to a question of, are they actually good, or are they doing these to make their selves either feel better, or because they were told to do so? yes, I often think negatively, and therefore, even if someone tells me I'm good at this and that, I usually know I'm not. so curious minds wonder, for those that are into things like coding, and singing, just what the reasons and intentions really are. as for living off benefits, I have mixed feelings towards. since things like the government itself rips us all off, I have no issues living off their money. with that said, that is not the life I want, or have planned. I'm honestly looking forward to getting back to college. oh and BTW, if not for my VI teachers in what would be considered high school in the US, I probably wouldn't be where I am now. when I joined my first school after moving, I had to first learn English. oh and we had to fight for them giving me a reader and a writer for my exams, both because of time, and speed. since I started learning the UK braille code, then transfered over to UEB, I never fully learned the math code, plus my poor little brailleNote at the time was not capable of math. and the school kept claiming that having a reader and a writer is an advantage, but they couldn't justify as to why. now parts of me wishes I could go back there, got away with doing absolutely nothing at all... happy memories,  really.

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24

Hello.


@The Dwarfer


His words were, "No one's going to fucking hire you so wipe that fucking smile off your face!"

This was after I got back from the job centre (a place that is shit here in London but that's another story) and they said they might be able to find me a job.

I was truly happy for the first time in my life.


A couple of years later i tried my hand at massage, even though my grandad said it was a con (a scam, a  waist of my time, in other words.) I think he told me that "You're going to give up just like the other times I drove you to college and you gave up." Turns out that i couldn't do the coarse due to my hands and a problem I have where the blood doesn't flow properly. So I eventually get a person from an orgonisation for blind people involved and we talk to grandad about this and all he basically said is that "Perhaps what I told him was wrong but I'm just telling him the truth" The guy said "Oh no! You should see what they can do these days" We ended it either hugging or shaking hands, then the guy left. After about 10 minutes of staying up stairs and doing my own thing, I thanked grandad for the talk and he said it#s ok. Then about 10 minutes after that, it all goes back to normal again. So, I have tried but it's gone nowhere.

But my grandad and uncle are both "men of the house" type  people. They argue, my uncle acts like a big kid when he doesn't get his own way, swearing, screaming, banging around in his room and grandads no better. Nan doesn't do anything because she's used to it. Well I'm used to this kind of shit  but I'm not going to just sit there and deal with it for another 30 years. I'm going to move out eventually. It's hard but I'm pushing and pushing, so hopefully I'll get there one day.

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25

Munawar wrote:

In other words, I'm not interested in why you personally choose not to seek employment; it's more the question of what is hindering you.

Take all that fluff out of post 9 and my answer, and a form of TL:DR is this, the government. Simple as that.

When I set out for college, which I've recently learned is different from the way Brits use it, so I'll explain. College and university are synonymous here. If I have it correctly, college in the UK is sort of post secondary school you attend which is separate from your high school, or whatever word you have for it, and that you attend for 2 or so years. It is before University. So when I say college I essentially mean University. I didn't set out to fail, I set out to have every chance of success, now I'm not going to claim I had nothing to do with my problems, because some of it I did, but I could have recovered from that and been on my way again. So after college when I was on the job hunt for all that time, I wasn't making any choices, I was just doing what everyone else does, trying to work, be productive etc. Now it is a choice because I have no interest in it anymore, but before, I had every intention of joining the work force.

I'm a cat! What's mine is mine, and what's yours is mine to :P XD

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