Monday, April 27, 2015
FAIRFIELD-SUISUN, CALIFORNIA
99 CENTS

Women navigate a seeing workforce while visually impaired

By
From page OSF7 | April 10, 2014 |

VACAVILLE – At a time when most people are thinking about retirement, Sandy Nelson, 57, and Sherri Gabrielson, 60, plan to keep on working. But it is not just age that might make some curious. Both women are visually impaired.

Nelson began job searching in January after 13 years of being out of the workforce. Gabrielson has been working since 2011 at a call center located on Travis Air Force Base.

Both women not only must navigate the workforce at an older age but do it with visual impairment, as well. They both received help from the Lions Center for the Blind in Oakland and the California Department of Rehabilitation in Fairfield.

Both women also belong to the Solano County Commission for the Blind. Nelson joined the commission several years before – she even kept in touch with them when she moved to Washington.

“Then when we moved back to Vacaville, they wanted me to be their treasurer. It was intimidating, but I didn’t want to say ‘no,’ so I did it,” she said.

Working with the commission has given both the confidence to face the adversities in the job market knowing that they have the support of friends behind them.

Nelson quit her job as a registered nurse in 2001 because of complications with her diabetes.

“I had been working for 18 years, and I just couldn’t do it anymore,” Nelson said. “I would pass out. I stopped driving.”

Then in 2003, the majority of her sight went because of diabetic retinopathy.

For Gabrielson, her blindness began at birth after receiving too much oxygen as a premature baby, she said. By the time she was 15, her sight was gone. She married and raised her family, but continued with her education. For 13 years, she was at home then, after her divorce, she started job hunting.

“I just thought it is time,” Gabrielson said. “I got training from several support groups. It was frustrating because I wanted to learn the technology all at once. They would tell me to slow down.”

The technology for Nelson has been a huge learning experience.

“I never used computers back in the ’80s, “she said. “I didn’t have to. Learning how to use a computer has been really intimidating.”

Nelson may not have to work, but she wants to work again. The need to help people is a driving force that pushes her forward each day she applies for a job, she said.

“I still have more to give. I want to help people,” Nelson said.

Gabrielson had similar feelings and said, “I want to contribute to society.”

So far, Nelson has sent out 22 applications for telephonic case management work. She is aware this is a narrow, and emerging, field in medicine, but is one that, she said, will work with her limitations.

“It’s a job where you can work from home, or work from an office; on the phone or in the field holding educational seminars talking about medicine,” she said. “I think my biggest hurdle isn’t my blindness, it’s my age. They look at my resume, and see when I got my degree and think, ‘She’s too old.’ Or I have been out of work for too long.”

Gabrielson heard about the call center job and called them up and sent a resume.

“(I) basically pestered them to give me an interview,” she said.

For Nelson, the process will continue until she finds work.

“Each person handles blindness differently,” she said. “We each grieve for the loss of our sight in a way. When you’re born blind, you don’t know what you have lost. Some people tend to focus on what they lost, but instead they should focus on what they gained. I have gained so much more than what I have lost.”

Reach Susan Hiland at 427-6981 or [email protected]

Susan Hiland

Susan Hiland

Susan graduated from Southern Oregon University in Ashland, Oregon with a B.A. in Communications. She has eight years experience working for newspapers in Nebraska.
LEAVE A COMMENT

Discussion | No comments

The Daily Republic does not necessarily condone the comments here, nor does it review every post. Read our full policy

.

Solano News

County action speeds Solano fairgrounds plan to next phase

By Kevin W. Green | From Page: A1, 1 Comment | Gallery

 
Paint the Town Purple; and Roxie

By Tony Wade | From Page: A2

 
City Coach hosts first block party

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A3

 
Bid Corderos Park, city staff recommends

By Ryan McCarthy | From Page: A3

White minister fought for civil rights in the south

By Amy Maginnis-Honey | From Page: A3 | Gallery

 
Farmers markets herald return of summer

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A3

Denim and Diamonds fundraiser set May 16

By Amy Maginnis-Honey | From Page: A4

 
Crash claims life of Concord teen

By Amy Maginnis-Honey | From Page: A4, 1 Comment

Biz Buzz: Dutch Bros. plans ALS fundraiser

By Susan Hiland | From Page: B7

 
Biz Buzz: Company schedules pasta class

By Susan Hiland | From Page: B7

 
Biz Buzz: NorthBay offers extended hours for primary care

By Kevin W. Green | From Page: B7, 1 Comment | Gallery

 
Biz Buzz: Retail store helps those with autism

By Susan Hiland | From Page: B7

Biz Buzz: Committee schedules contractors breakfast

By Kevin W. Green | From Page: B7

 
Biz Buzz: Budweiser kicks off new parks campaign

By Susan Hiland | From Page: B7

.

US / World

Picture it: A 1,000-year exposure showing a changing Earth

By The Associated Press | From Page: A1

 
Corinthian Colleges to shut down all 28 remaining campuses

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

No time to lose: Global response to Nepal quake gears up

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

 
Japan’s prime minister goes to US to showcase close ties

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

Israel says airstrike on Syrian border targeted militants

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

 
Family, friends in Baltimore mourn death of arrested man

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

‘Batman’ killer studied brain disorders before mass murder

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

 
Image from the quake: Heavy damage in Nepal ancient city

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

Fighting rages in Yemen’s 3rd-largest city, strikes continue

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

 
Mountaineers, guides stream from Everest after avalanche

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

Putin accuses US of supporting separatists in Russia

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

 
Death toll in Nepal quake rises to more than 3,200

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

Late spring complicates already perilous amphibian migration

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

 
Quake agony revealed quietly on trip from Nepal airport

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

 
.

Living

Community Calendar: April 27, 2015

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A2

 
Today in history: Monday, April 27, 2015

By The Associated Press | From Page: A2

Parenting: How to set boundaries on screen time

By The Washington Post | From Page: B5

 
Horoscope: April 28, 2015

By Holiday Mathis | From Page: B5

Horoscope: April 27, 2015

By Holiday Mathis | From Page: A7

 
My husband doesn’t want me to redecorate home he had with first wife

By Kathy Mitchell and Marcy Sugar | From Page: A7

.

Entertainment

TVGrid April 27

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

 
TVGrid April 28

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B7

.

Sports

Warriors confident after sweep of Pelicans

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1

 
Giants-Rockies game postponed by rain

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1

 
Justin Rose wins in New Orleans for 7th PGA Tour title

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

Wall, Beal lead Wiz past Raptors 125-94 in Game 4 for sweep

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
Paul, Clippers even series with 114-105 win over Spurs

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
Ko wins Swinging Skirts for 2nd straight year

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

Motorcycle rider from Livermore killed in Nevada race

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
Billy Andrade and Joe Durant win Legends of Golf

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

Cavs sweep Celts as James scores 27 in 101-93 victory

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
It’s here: Fight week begins with Pacquiao caravan to Vegas

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

American Pharoah completes final pre-Kentucky Derby workout

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
Newgarden claims first IndyCar Series win not far from home

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

.

Business

.

Obituaries

Elizabeth Cepeda

By Nancy Green | From Page: A4, 1 Comment

 
Kirk Noonan

By Nancy Green | From Page: A4, 3 Comments

Sandra King

By Nancy Green | From Page: A4

 
Janis Ruth (Sefzik) Skinner

By Nancy Green | From Page: A4

.

Comics

Get Fuzzy April 28

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

 
Dilbert April 28

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

B.C. April 28

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

 
Blondie April 28

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

Frank and Ernest April 28

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

 
Wizard of Id April 28

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

Peanuts April 28

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

 
Baldo April 28

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

Garfield April 28

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

 
Beetle Bailey April 28

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

For Better or Worse April 28

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

 
Sally Forth April 28

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

Baby Blues April 28

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

 
Zits April 28

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

Pickles April 28

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

 
Rose is Rose April 28

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

Bridge April 28

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B5

 
Cryptoquote April 28

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B5

Word Sleuth April 28

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B5

 
Crossword April 28

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B5

Sudoku April 28

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B5

 
Blondie April 27

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A6

Get Fuzzy April 27

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A6

 
Pickles April 27

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A6

Wizard of Id April 27

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A6

 
Baldo April 27

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A6

Rose is Rose April 27

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A6

 
For Better or Worse April 27

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A6

Zits April 27

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A6

 
Frank and Ernest April 27

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A6

Peanuts April 27

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A6

 
Dilbert April 27

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A6

Baby Blues April 27

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A6

 
Sally Forth April 27

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A6

B.C. April 27

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A6

 
Garfield April 27

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A6

Beetle Bailey April 27

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A6

 
Cryptoquote April 27

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A7

Word Sleuth April 27

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A7

 
Sudoku April 27

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A7

Bridge April 27

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A7

 
Crossword April 27

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A7