Local organization gives independence to the legally blind through jobs

Posted on: 3:28 pm, February 21, 2014, by , updated on: 04:38pm, February 21, 2014

OKLAHOMA CITY – A new series, which is scheduled to air this weekend on NBC, is shedding light on Americans with disabilities.

‘Growing Up Fisher’ is a comedy about a quirky family going through a major family change.

J.K Simmons plays a father, who attempts to lead a normal life despite being blind.

Laura Branch, CEO of NewView Oklahoma, said, “I think that there is a perception within our community of people who are blind can’t do certain things, jobs and so we try to educate our community that’s really not true.”

NewView Oklahoma caters to those who are blind and visually impaired through rehabilitation services, outreach programs and jobs.

Branch said, “You know, there’s so much technology available that we’ve got synthesized voice output on the computers, we got magnification.”

Wilton Lombard works in the fire hose department at NewView Oklahoma, where they can make up to 600 hoses a day that are sent to places throughout the country.

Lombard sang professionally in New Orleans.

He started at the not-for-profit a year ago and is just one of 50,000 legally blind people in Oklahoma.

He said, “I lost my sight at 15 playing high school football in Mobile, Alabama. As we were getting off of the bus, someone began shooting and I got shot in the head.”

Wilton will never see again but he regained his independence and says he can work just like anyone else.

He said, “We try to be as independent as we can and that’s what the whole place is for. Not to depend on someone else to get us from point A to point B.”

Branch said, “They’re able to come in here and work and earn a living and then go back out there and buy a home and participate in our communities. And so, they’re just like us and we give them the opportunity to be that.”

For more information visit NewView’s website.