Quick Note from the Author:
Wow! Let me just say that this is one of those stories that stuck with me; a constant reminder that the only things in life that we have control over are the choices we make for ourselves. After reading Karina Fuentes’ response to our Personal Story Questionnaire, I couldn’t wait to share her story with as many people as possible! So without further ado….
“The whole migration thing is such a struggle, it’s like we were back to zero.”
Karina was born with a visual impairment because she has Albinism. Until recently, the 22 year old lived in the Philippines where she was prescribed the Ocutech VES-Sport bioptic by her low vision specialist, Dr. Carmela Ongsiako. After finishing school two years ago, Karina and her mother migrated from the Philippines to the United States. “My Ocutech bioptic has been such a great help to me at school when I was studying.” In her home country, Karina used her bioptic and excelled in school. She attended the University of the East where she graduated with honors (Cum Laude) and earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology. In addition to being smart and driven, Karina is a talented and passionate writer – she has an online presence where many of her poems, song lyrics and short stories have been published. Oh, and did we mention that she can sing too? Karina is an avid choir member and featured soloist.
Karina talking about her time at the Braille Institute of America:
“I have learned a lot from that wonderful community” After movng to the United States, Karina was an intern at the Braille Institute of America. Currently, she works as a full-time receptionist and uses her bioptic daily for clerical tasks that require a significant amount of reading. Karina prefers her Ocutech bioptics over other devices such as hand-held magnifiers because of the versatility and efficiency that comes with the ability to seamlessly move between viewing an object up-close and at a distance, such as reading a book and then looking up at a computer screen. “I do a lot of clerical tasks that require me to read a lot and my device Ocutech Sport has been a really big help for me to do my job well.”
Karina talking about the lessons she’s learned:
- One very important thing that I have learned recently, is that you have to keep on looking for ways to innovate or improve yourself and your capabilities, learning and growing should NEVER stop.
- Even if you have limitations – such as someone who is visually impaired, you can still do so many things that those without physical impairments can do. There are many resources available, people who care and people willing to help.
- If you have a disability, you are also capable of helping others who need assistance. When people see a visually impaired person striving to be better and do better, it is a source of inspiration in and of itself. And that is another way of helping. 🙂