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He lost his sight, and gave up on life: Then, he got a hand up; “People who are blind can do it”

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MILWAUKEE -- Imagine a job market where seven out of every 10 people are unemployed. That number is a reality for a community in Wisconsin.

Form, load, tap, close -- repeat. It is a cut-and-dry factory job, but it keeps Julius Perez moving. It's something he couldn't do just a few years ago.

Julius Perez

Julius Perez

"I was about 370 pounds," Perez said.

Perez was running his own vending machine company, and as he puts it, life got the better of him.

"I was living in a wheelchair running a business and then I woke up one morning and I was blind," Perez said.

Perez had lived his entire life with congenital glaucoma, but then, his limited vision disappeared overnight.  With it went his career.

“I really kind of was in a depression as to what I was going to do for a living," Perez said.

As a member of the blind community Perez faced a 70% unemployment rate. That's where "Beyond Vision" comes in. The organization works to provide opportunities for sustainable employment to individuals who are blind.

“Somebody gave me the number here. I called them and I set up an interview. I tried to sound optimistic and enthused, but I knew that I didn’t look the part. I didn’t sound it, and I was not healthy,” Perez said.

Beyond Vision

Beyond Vision

“People who are blind can do it and that’s really -- they don’t want a hand out. They just want a hand up or an opportunity to show that they can do it,” Jim Kerlin, president and CEO of Beyond Vision said.

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“I started listening to the conversation he was having as he walked down the aisle. I felt really touched because there’s a lot of people around here that were blind. People were working and I thought maybe I could get a job,” Perez said.

“From limits in peripheral vision, center vision loss, cloudiness in the vision -- there’s glaucoma, retina dispigmentosa, diabetic retinopathy, macular degeneration, star guards -- there’s a whole spectrum of different disorders that cause people to become legally or totally blind and we employ all of those people here,” says Jim Kerlin said.

The types of jobs may surprise you.  In addition to a call center and packaging facility, Beyond Vision is home to a full-fledged machine shop.  Products are created for Harley-Davidson, Briggs & Stratton, AbilityOne -- all of it done by people who are legally blind.

“With every job we do here, our challenge, our goal really is to make it efficient and accessible for anybody -- no matter what level of vision or lack of vision that that person has,” Kerlin said.

“At the beginning I was always, had a lot of trepidation, but today I can, they can put me in front of a machine and I know that whatever’s dangerous is taken care of, whatever I need to know they’re going to let me know so it’s a matter of my effort at that point,” Perez said.

Perez can once again support himself, but in reality, this job is much more than a paycheck.

“When I went blind, the next conversation I had with the social worker was to go live in a nursing home. They were convincing me that I couldn’t take care of myself, I couldn’t do nothing. What was I going to do for a living? It’s not just that I have a job -- but I have an opportunity to live a normal life," Perez said.

It's a life Perez is now excited to be living.

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7 comments

    • wisill

      I would guess who knows where medicine will be in 5 or 10 years from now. Better to protect the physical structure of the eye now, then wish you had a few years down the road should a cure possibly emerge.

  • MCCARTHY

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  • yahoocom274

    I will start by introducing myself to the entire world, My names are Bruce Hale. To start with, I am the kind of person that hardly believe on spell casting as i felt and see it to be an evil thing that is not suppose to be practiced in the world that will leave on. Not until i keep on loosing hundreds of dollars on my business and always going to try my luck on winning of lotteries and other profitable drew games that were fruitfully-less. I kept on wondering if i was the most on lucky person on earth by God that my business is going down, Have tried several times to win lots of dollars on casino, lottery drew to no avail. I was so confused to the extent i worked into a moving vehicle that knock me down and i was rushed to the hospital for treatment, I spent two weeks on the hospital before i could recover back. Despite my mistakes and carelessness and over thinking on the way forward and while my whole life is going down, The owner of the car that hit me was so kind and good to me “infect he was a heaven sent from above to heal all my wounds in life” To the extent that he has to take me to a spot after i could walk on my fit and ask me just this one question ‘ MY FRIEND I DON’T KNOW YOUR NAME, BUT MY NAME IS ANDREW, WHY WERE YOU SO FRUSTRATED THE OTHER DAY TO THE EXTENT YOU DID NOT HEAR A CAR COMING AND YOU WORKED INTO THE ROAD THAT CAUSED THE ACCIDENT THAT ALMOST TOOK YOUR LIFE? I was quit for sometime before i could answer him and i told him the story of my life how my business is going down and i don’t find luck in anything i do. He really felt so bad for me and gave me a story on how he has all the money in this whole world, I mean how he is so rich and was not having peace and rest of mind all just because his wife seek a divorce and took his two daughters out from him. According to him he said he came online to be searching for how to restore a broken marriage, He said that is how he stumbled on Ajayi Ololo email address were he said he was a real, accredited and approved spell caster by the government and he contacted him and narrated his problem and the spell caster told him that he will have to provide the materials needed to get the spell casted or send down the cost of the materials via his messenger western union payment information’s if he is not sure of been able to get the items from his end. According to him, I mean Mr Andrew, He send them the money and he promised to grant my wishes same day if i am serious. That is how i followed suit on all he asked me to do, My friend, to my greatest surprise in 8 hours, i repeat in just 8 hours i got a call from my wife for reunion. So my friend what i am trying to tell you now and let you know is that it is not the end of the world at all, As that man called Ajayi Ololo i just told you about is a very good and best spell caster in the world that you can also contact and tell your problems and i know and so sure you will get urgent solutions to any form of problem that will make you to start thinking it is the end of the world.Mr Andrew gave me his email address which is: ajayiololo “@” yahoo . com rewrite to standard form.and i contacted him and i was also ask to get some materials and if i can not get it i will have to send the cost attached to the mail, As it depends on the work you want him to help you with, That is what determine the kind of material to be used. To all, just as Andrew said he was surprise, i was shocked everybody, After this man finished my work, Everything started turning around for my good. Now i see why he is be honored with lots of testimonies online as a great spell caster that has really affected so many people positively and in a good way in the world. This man called Ajayi ololo specialize in so many things and there is no problem he can not solve on earth. Just contact him for your problem to be solved on the above email as that is his direct email to see his powers.

  • Abigal

    Je suis Abigail, Quand je finalement trouvé des témoignages sur ce lanceur de sorts Dr Obiedia, comment il a aidé beaucoup de gens à obtenir leurs amants et foyers brisés en arrière, je l’ai contacté par le biais parce que je suis absolument désespérée pour obtenir mon mari. La vie sans mon mari était un véritable gâchis pour moi et mes enfants. je voulais un changement dramatique et je pensais que l’amour sort pourrait être la solution. Après avoir discuté de la résolution avec le Dr Obiedia, il m’a donné l’espoir qu’il va rétablir mon mariage. Je me suis senti confiant qu’il fera réellement mon mari de rentrer chez eux et il a fait! Il est fantastique ce que ce grand lanceur de sorts ont fait pour moi, son aide est inestimable! Je ne sais pas ce que je l’aurais fait sans le Dr Obiedia, Il fait son travail si bien qu’il est organisé et hautement fonctionnel, je crois qu’il est le meilleur lanceur de sorts que je peux compter sur quand il vient à toutes sortes de sorts, j’étais parqueté que ses sorts ont travaillé, si vous avez besoin d’aide, contactez-le sur izedunorspiritualtemple@gmail.com. Bonne chance

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