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NDEAM Employee Blog: George Mason

NDEAM Employee Blog: George Mason

NDEAM Employee Blog: George Mason

picture of George Mason

The following employee blog was submitted George Mason, an LCI warehouse receiver in Fort Bragg, N.C

I was born blind. I have several eye conditions. The two primary eye diseases I have are Aniridia and Glaucoma. I have gone through several eye surgeries for the glaucoma and cataracts. I have also had a cornea transplant that failed.

As a child, going to school was difficult. Most schools were not equipped to educate people who were blind/visually impaired. I enjoyed going to school despite the obstacles I had to face. In high school, I enrolled in extra courses and I was an athlete. Cross Country, Track and Field and Wrestling were a huge part of my life then. I graduated high school in three years with a 3.85 GPA. After high school I attended a local community college. My courses of study included Computer Information Systems, Desktop Publishing and Computer Repair and Upgrades. I earned an Associate of Science Degree in Computer Networking and Systems Administration.

Entering the workforce was quite challenging. Although I had a good education, employers refused to hire me. I took whatever work I could get at fast food restaurants, but these were dead end jobs that didn’t pay well. At one point I went to work for a nursing home. They trained me, I took the state exam and became a Certified Nursing Assistant. I worked in the healthcare field for fifteen years. Staying current with the latest information in computer technology was extremely important to me. I even opened my own computer repair business.

During this time my vision began to fail, and I had multiple eye surgeries. For more than three years I was out of work – I felt useless and worthless. It was my job to provide for my wife and yet I couldn’t get a job. My wife said to me, “You’ve got to get a job or something. You have got to get out of the house. You’re driving me crazy.” She was right, of course.

It was at this point that I contacted Services for the Blind in Cumberland County, told them that I needed to get a job and that my own efforts had been fruitless. Services for the Blind put me in contact with SSSC Store on Fort Bragg. I was given a tour of the store and the store manager told me about the mission of LCI: To employ people who are blind and visually impaired. For the first time in a long time I saw a glimmer of hope. I placed an application for employment. A couple of weeks later I received an offer for employment as a CSR at the Fort Bragg store. I have been with LCI almost nine years now. Two years ago, I got my first promotion. Now I work in the warehouse and I do receiving.

National Disability Employment Awareness Month means a great deal to me. Companies like LCI that employ those of us who are blind or disabled have given us a chance to make our lives better. We can hold our heads high and be productive members of society. Working at LCI has helped me to regain my dignity and self-respect. I believe that if I work hard, I can reach my highest potential.

5 comments on “NDEAM Employee Blog: George Mason

  1. george thank you for your inspiration in the fact that people with visual issues have the same desires, dreams and hope as people who dont have visual issues. i wholeheartedly felt all that you said and it could not have been said better. thank you because you restored my faith in lci. i appreciate all they have done and i dont want to ever lose that.

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