Freshly Cut

Meet the SEED20 Class of 2020: Metrolina Association for the Blind

Representative: Tracy Libertino-Fegarsky

Metrolina Association for the Blind provides independent living skills directly to clients and delivers transformative accessibility solutions in Charlotte. Metrolina Association for the Blind has a new program to provide B2B consulting services designed to support any organization’s ability to hire and employ people with disabilities due to visual impairment. This program means that every employee can thrive at work and positively impact a corporation’s bottom line.

How did your organization get started?

Through MAB Vision Rehabilitation and Accessible Document Service programs we learned the challenges people with vision loss face when preparing to enter or re-enter the workforce. Additionally, employers struggle to provide accommodations to people with disabilities at great financial loss. MAB’s 85 years of experience provides a foundation to create an innovative B2B program to provide a path forward for the visually impaired community.

From where does your passion for this cause come?

In my youth, we learned that my father had Retinitis Pigmentosa after a dangerous fall at work. He experienced symptoms for years and suffered in silence before officially being declared blind. His decreased night vision and tunnel vision caused car accidents, and he was fearful of losing his job and not being able to support our family. He later died crossing the street while using his cane my freshman year of college.

Why is your work important?

Imagine you woke up tomorrow and were unable to see. What would you do?  Who would you call? How would you find your toothbrush, dress, travel to work, do your job…..cope with an overwhelming feeling of hopelessness?  Who would you rely on and would you be on government assistance forever? MAB answers this question and facilitates the ability to survive and thrive through becoming or remaining a valuable neighbor and/or co-worker.

What excites you most about the SEED20 process?

MAB is most excited to have access to the many talented individuals that will be made available throughout the SEED20 process. The strategic advice and coaching will accelerate our ability to market this new program to the community. This will allow us the opportunity to assist more people with visual impairment while providing a means to support our vibrant business community to fill skill gaps in their organization.

What do you hope to gain from the SEED20 experience?

MAB has supported the visually impaired community in Charlotte for 85 years. MAB’s hope is to share the compelling work we do every day and bring awareness about the challenges of visual impairment to as many people as possible. The work we do is complex and unique to each individual and we need help to simplify our message in a way that the community will understand and support.

www.mabnc.org

Facebook: @MetrolinaAssociationForTheBlind

Instagram: @mab.nc

Twitter: @MAB_clt

Be a part of the SEED20 audience! Tickets on sale now.