Celebrating 100 VR Stories: Samuel Olanrewaju

Blind man with cane standing in front of a counter that says LightHouse
Custodian – LightHouse for the Blind and Visually Impaired

Tell us about you?

I was diagnosed with glaucoma in 2014. …The disease became aggressive and I lost a large proportion of my sight in that year. The bad news was hard to digest when the doctor told me that I was now legally blind. Without my sight, I ran into people and things on the street such as iron chairs, fire hydrants, poles, and trash cans. … I used to cry every day thinking, “It’s all over.” … I could not work or find a job and had no source of income.

How have VR Services impacted you?

Vocational rehabilitation … marked the unforgettable turning point of my life … I attended the Orientation Center for the Blind (OCB) where I regained my independence through training such as mobility training with a white cane, daily living skills, computer training, and more. … DOR helped me find a new golden compass to navigate life freely without any fear. Now, I have my confidence back and my independence to work and I have hope and direction as I’m living a promising and purposeful life. I am proud to be a staff member of the Lighthouse for the Blind and Visually Impaired, earning a salary while I pursue a college degree for a future I couldn’t imagine only two years ago.

What does 100 years of VR mean to you?

It’s a hundred years of giving hope back to the hopeless and comfort to the miserable. … Having a job makes me an independent person and allows me to have total control over my life.