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September 18, 2014

Eyesight problems haven’t hindered student in school or workplace workplace

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Posted: Friday, June 13, 2014 12:30 am

LINCOLN -- A Lincoln High School senior is proving that one doesn’t need eyesight to be successful in the workplace, serving as an office intern at Lincoln Elementary School this summer.

Katy Holman, a former student at the Alabama School for the Blind who transferred to LHS midway through her sophomore year, insisted she doesn’t let her light sensitivity and colorblindness impact her day-to-day duties.

“You just kind of adapt to it,” Holman said. “My brother is also blind, and I grew up watching him. As far as working here, it’s not too bad. I just memorize where the buttons are to press. In work and school, it isn’t that hard because I have the resources there to help me. Some things are more challenging than others, but I make do. I’m determined. I’m not going to let it stop me from doing anything I want to do.”

Donning a pair of pitch-black sunglasses to shield her eyes, Holman works in the school office from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. weekdays, fielding phone calls, taking down notes and buzzing in visitors.

“She’s been very helpful,” LES Principal Dr. Donna Hudson said. “She handles all the duties of basically any receptionist. She has a notebook set up where we have just lined notebook paper. She has the same thing, but her lines are just a little darker. She writes just a little bit larger, but that’s not a problem either. She is equipped to do what we need her to do here, and we appreciate her service.”

Holman received the opportunity for the internship after consulting with her vocational rehabilitation specialist and meeting with the LES staff.

“I told them I was interested in working over the summer and getting some work experience,” Holman said. “I’m glad they chose me. I really like it down here.”

By receiving the opportunity to intern as well as having a chance to attend school at LHS, Holman combined the two tasks as a way to transition into the mainstream, something she viewed as a crucial after seeing her brother struggle to make the transition into post-secondary education.

“I wanted to have that transition socially and technologically, so that when I go to college, it doesn’t just hit me and I’m more prepared,” Holman said. “I love going to LHS. They’ve been really good to me. The equipment has been right there, and I’ve been able to use the vision that I do have.”

Holman said after she graduates from LHS, she plans to attend Jacksonville State University, where she will major in communications and minor in creative writing.

But for now, she’s easing her way through the transition from a residential school to a standard school — a transition she said is made easier by her classmates.

“They’re awesome,” Holman said. “They are so nice to me. They’re very helpful, and they don’t just see me as the blind girl. They look past that.”

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