Alan Goldthwaite, a 69-year-old man, is a MOVE Program graduate. More Opportunities through Vocational Evaluation is a program that strives to provide students who are blind or have low vision with an opportunity to develop skills that will enable them to re-enter the workforce. The program empowers adults who are blind or have low vision students to overcome anxiety and rejoin the workforce. Furthermore, students focus on developing a variety of skills centered around basic communication, technology, and career readiness.
In 2019, Alan was working as a Nurse Technician at Saint Anthony’s Hospital. One day, Alan went to the eye doctor due to fuzzy vision. It was there that he learned that doctors would have to perform emergency surgery on his eyes or else he would soon be completely blind. Through the surgery, doctors were able to save 10% of Alan’s vision, leaving him legally blind. The severity of his vision loss meant that Alan would soon be out of a job. His position as a nurse technician required him to be able to read very small print on the computer, and the visual acuity to evaluate patients effectively. Everything Alan had known and worked for seemed lost, but that didn’t stop him. Alan’s wife stepped up to take extra shifts at work so they could stay afloat and make ends meet each month, and Alan had just enrolled in the MOVE Program.
Through the MOVE Program, Alan has developed life skills in communication and computer education. Through assistive technology, he has been given the technical knowledge he needs to excel in the digital age without his vision, like learning proper typing techniques and maneuvering through apps easily using assistive technology. Alan hopes to be able to work until he is 102 years old. He believes continuing work and staying active are crucial factors in living longer and having a higher quality of life. “I’m just too stubborn to let this get me down,” said Alan. Through the MOVE Program, Alan has kept his dream of returning to the workforce alive.
Alan credits his newfound confidence to NewView and the MOVE Program. He states, “a side benefit [of the MOVE Program] is an increase in your confidence.” Later saying, “after all these blows to the head, you tend to doubt yourself because what you depended on is no longer there.” Regaining his confidence has been a game changer for Alan. As of today, he claims his wife is his biggest motivation to learn every day. Her work ethic is what makes him want to work even harder to get back home to her. He also credits his progress in the MOVE program to Katy Ng, a skilled instructor in the program. Katy, who is totally blind, helps Alan do things he never thought possible. Her motivation helps Alan continue to stay positive even when faced with adversity.
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