SAN ANTONIO -- People with disabilities need jobs too! That's why the Texas Department of Assistive and Rehabilitative Services (DARS) was created.
"I didn't think there was a future. Its pretty scary to imagine and I thought, 'What am I going to do next?'" said Elsa Garza, who was going blind and worried about her place in the workforce. "I have a brother who is also going blind, but he had the same version I did, the functional version throughout his young adult life."
Most people with 20/20 vision have complete peripheral vision. But over the last 10 years, Elsa's vision has progressively declined. Eventually, she won't see anything at all.
"There are hundreds and hundreds of disabled Texans looking for gainful employment," said Gail Hathaway, the CEO of Workforce Solutions Alamo.
Workforce Solutions says that there are over 311,000 people with a disability in the Alamo Region, and over 232,000 in Bexar County alone.
"We here at Workforce Alamo are here to help the employers with reasonable accommodations so they can more freely employ the disabled," Hathaway said.
And that's exactly what happened with Elsa thanks to the Texas Department of Assistive and Rehabilitative Services.
"I really think employers should take advantage of the amount of players that are out there," co-worker Lydia Elder said.
Employers can do that by giving them a job and the tools they need to do that job successfully, they can succeed.
"You can turn any color you want to, so it might go to different colors," said Garza as she described her customized work environment. "I also have Zoom Text that enlarges print or text from the document."
"We wanted to put our money where our mouth is and hire an intern from DARS in hopes that other employers in the Alamo Region would do likewise," Hathaway said.
"They helped with learning skills, to everything adapted around my home," Garza noted. "I don't know what I would have done."
(© 2017 KENS)