Saturday, November 5

Odds, Ins and Some Bitterness

Greetings. I have some reflections on the past day or so, and the events of the week.

First off, my sadness of losing my job is starting to be replaced with bitterness toward the company. Not because I lost my job, but because countless blind and disabled people lost an option for computer training locally. For blind people, there's only one other place in Dallas, the Lighthouse, where they can get computer training from, and in recent years, I have some difference in opinions with the Lighthouse. Several people have suggested that I work there, but frankly, I don't think I want to at this time. For one thing, I've heard that they are in financial troubles of their own, not to mention some of the training techniques that I've heard them using, or not using, in computer classes.

Anyway, the place where I did work, the Assistive Technology Center, was on track to have an evaluation center open up so that blind people could receive evaluations for different technology. In other words, say someone wants to get a Braille display. After they tell their caseworker and complete some of the initial paperwork, the person is sent to an evaluation center, where they can look at several different models and decide which they like best so the caseworker can buy it for them. The Division for Blind Services, the state agency, had been sending people to Austin or San Antonio, to these evaluation centers since there wasn't one locally. If anyone was wanting the center to open, it was the local DBS office, so they wouldn't have to spend money on travel as well as the evaluation for the consumers. Now though, the consumers will still have to go out of town to get evaluations. I'm not saying that the center would have saved the Assistive Tech Center, but it definitely would have brought in lots more business. And yet, the decision was made that the evaluation center might be too much of a risk (speculation on my part, but probably not too far from the truth), and it was closed this week.

In addition, what's going to happen to all that adaptive equipment; all the software and some hardware that was recently purchased in the past few months; all the copies of software, like JAWS, Zoom Text, Magic, Dragon, and others? My guess is that they will either sit in a warehouse somewhere, or maybe be given to the Lighthouse. Even though I'm not as fond of the Lighthouse as I once was, at least they will use the equipment, verses letting it sit and collect dust.

So you can see some of my bitterness. Again, I'm not bitter for myself, and the fact that I no longer have a job, even though that is depressing. Rather, I'm bitter for the closing, and thinking about the people that we might have served in the future by staying open and having this evaluation center. Along with the equipment that might or might not be used, that fills the Assistive Tech Center.

Yesterday was a better day for me. I kept myself busy with phone calls and other activities. I think I'm beginning to heal from all this, though in the quiet moments or the times when I talk with my friends and coworkers from the ATC, I'm sad again. So, I'm not quite there yet, but getting there.

That's about all for now. This is the, "doing ok" Wayne, signing off.

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