Her sight had been fading for years, but by November, she could not see enough to continue her longtime job as a business manager for a
She arrived in late February at Blind & Vision Rehabilitation Services of
She signed up for the
"That is basically the whole purpose of this, to find new ways to do things that I used to do before," she said one morning last week, as an instructor guided her through the process of using Microsoft Word.
The mission of the rehab center, which serves more than 900 people, is staying the same, but next year the location will change.
The step will not involve county funds, but it will allow the rehab center to receive tax-exempt bonds, and it will help finance an
"We're really excited about this move," said
The center has been on
"We really needed to find a place that the individuals we serve can get to," she said.
She thinks they've found it in Uptown.
The agency's new space, an 87,000-square-foot building that formerly housed used store fixtures, will be at 1819 Boulevard of the Allies, a location with ample bus service.
The building will have enough space to house the center's
There will be a garden on the roof with an orientation and mobility course so the rehab center's clients can learn how different structures -- such as grass versus a sidewalk -- feel when using a cane.
There also will be two apartments at the site, so that when a person is nearing the end of adjustment training they can better experience what they will need to do at home, such as cleaning and cooking. For commuter students such as Ms. Faust, there will be a lounge area and lockers for belongings.
Ms. Arbogast hopes to see construction start mid-summer, with a tentative move-in date between April and
Ms. Faust said she likely will return to Blind & Vision Rehabilitation Services in the future for help learning to use new technology for the blind or to receive guidance on re-entering the workforce, but her personal adjustment to blindness training -- five days a week since late February of learning skills such as reading Braille, learning to take notes and give herself reminders with a tape recorder instead of a pencil and paper and learning how to walk with a cane -- ended last week.
Ms. Faust, who lives with her father and two daughters, has been coming to the rehab center for a few years, receiving more help as her vision loss increased.
On a recent morning, she practiced crossing a busy intersection at The Waterfront, where an instructor from the rehab center told her to listen to the sound of the traffic to tell in which direction cars are moving so she knows when she can cross. Even after a few months of training, it is still a scary thing to do, she said.
Her self-described "biggest challenge" -- and the task that took up most of a morning -- is re-learning how to use a computer.
"It was so much easier to click and drag: Two seconds, and it was done," she said at one point.
It will get easier, Ms. Burgoon told her. And Ms. Faust said that it has. She has gotten better at cleaning and cooking at home and at organizing and arranging things, such as her clothes so she knows she is putting on items that match.
"I have noticed I'm a lot more comfortable than I was on the first day I was here," she said.
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