Vision loss can sometimes be a devastating reality to cope with. Along with restoring mobility and learning new ways of doing everyday activities, there are also many emotional factors to consider. Some people adjust well, while others may enter into a state of depression and/or denial. Some people find it easier to simply not “deal” with the reality of their conditions. Such was the case with Shaunell Young, former CLB consumer. Now 43 years old, Shaunell was born with cataracts and has had vision issues ever since birth. Early experiences of job rejection based on his vision condition left Shaunell emotionally scarred and afraid to pursue his professional aspirations.
Shaunell was first introduced to Columbia Lighthouse for the Blind (CLB) in 2008 through the Maryland Department of Rehabilitation Services (DORS) and participated in CLB’s Employment Marketing Training Skills class (EMST). Through EMST, Shaunell was taught valuable skills needed to obtain a job, increased his self-confidence, and was connected to employment opportunities. “I learned how to speak and represent myself. As a result of CLB’s services, I do more on my own now than I have ever done! I down-played my condition, initially, and was in a shell. EMST helped me build my confidence.”