Press release provided by The Carroll Center for the Blind
Five people were honored June 6 by the Carroll Center for the Blind and the Massachusetts Commission for the Blind for re-entering the workforce despite their loss of vision.
Jini Fairley of Newton was named 2013 Blind Employee of the Year.
Fairley, who works at the MetroWest Center for Independent Living in Framingham, lost her sight as a result of Retinitis Pigmentosa, an inherited, degenerative disease, and was declared legally blind in 1994. When her husband died soon after, Fairley was left to raise five young children. She attended the Carroll Center's independent living and office skills training programs where she gained the skills that have made her so successful in the workforce.
"The Carroll Center’s vocational rehabilitation programs, combined with Jini’s personal drive to succeed, gave her the confidence she needed to return to the workforce," said Joseph T. Abely, president of the Carroll Center. "She is a great example for other people living and working with a disability.”
Receiving Carroll Society Awards were Jay Blake of Barnstable, who is president and founder of Follow A Dream; Myra Ross of Amherst, who is director of independent services at the MetroWest Center for Independent Living in Framingham; Roslyn Nadler of Arlington, college advisor at Amherst-Pelham Regional High School, and Martha Steele, also of Arlington, deputy director of the Massachusetts Dept. of Public Health.
The Carroll Society Awards, a collaboration between the Carroll Center, a private non-profit rehabilitation and training center, and the Commission for the Blind. publicly acknowledge contributions in the workforce by people who are legally blind. The award is named after the late Reverend Thomas J. Carroll, who pioneered breakthroughs in rehabilitation and vocational development for World War II veterans.