Blind woman seeks IT career

October 27, 2020
Roshae Darby
Roshae Darby

In 2018, when Roshae Darby lost her vision, she gave up her dream of pursuing a career in nursing.

But today, the 21-year-old hopes to try a new path. Her intention is to enrol at the Jamaica Society for the Blind (JSB), where she can be certified in information technology training. This can then land her a job at a call centre.

"Persons always tell me to go to the blind school, but I used tell myself that I'm not going because I will eventually see again. But time is passing by and I'm not seeing, so I make up my mind to go to the school," she said. Darby used to attend Portmore Community College, where she did human and social biology and English.

"But just as I finish school, I lost my vision. I did my subjects in June, and [in] July I lose my vision," she said. "I was 19 years old. I woke up with a headache, and after the headache I realised I had to start to squeeze my eyes to get a good look. Me go Kingston Public Hospital (KPH), me do a CT scan and it show that I have cranial pressure, so that was affecting my sight."

Darby said she visited the KPH several times to be examined and got some medication, but nothing helped.

She finally sought the assistance of a Cuban specialist, who told her that her eye was fully damaged and she wouldn't be able to see again.

While she has the willpower to embark on the one-year training at the JSB, the financial aspect is posing a challenge for the Cockpit District, Clarendon resident.

"The school is basically free, J$500 to register and J$3,000 for the cane I need to move around," she said. "The only problem is that I need help for bus fare, because there is no boarding facility and I have to travel from Clarendon." Daemion McLean, chairman of the JSB, said the entity has been trying to find a solution to the boarding issue.

"What we try to do is offer assistance with fare for persons who are living far and want to come in for assistance," he said.

Darby has been solely dependent on her mother, but she recently lost her job and can't assist.

"My father has cataract, so he wants the help just as much as me. Here and there, people give me, but it is not all the time they will have it," she said, adding that she is determined to remain positive.

"It was so hard after I lost my sight. I used to cry so much and feel like life didn't make sense anymore," she told THE STAR. "I stop doing all of that now though, and I'm ready for a new start, even though it will not be easy."

Those who wish to assist Roshae Darby can contact her at (876) 294-7584.

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