Annie's Mailbox: Blind son wants to find work

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Dear Annie: I am writing about my 18-year-old son, “Jacob,” who is blind. He is a bright, intelligent young man who lives on his computer. All his friends are visually impaired. The few people he knows at school don’t socialize with him outside of class. All his other friends are only online. I have watched him go from being an outgoing person to becoming a withdrawn young man.

Jacob would like to get a job, but there aren’t many people willing to take a chance on a blind teenager. I thought he might be able to volunteer, but where does he start? We live in an area without bus service, and there is no way for him to get anywhere during the day. I can’t drive him because I’m a single mother and take public transportation myself. I contacted an association for the blind, and they were no help. What do other families do?

— Concerned Mom in Pennsylvania

Dear Mom: The American Foundation for the Blind (afb.org) and the National Industries for the Blind (nib.org) have information about county associations, as well as job training and employment opportunities for the visually impaired. The Pennsylvania Association for the Blind (pablind.org) has links to local organizations, and you can ask Jacob’s ophthalmologist for guidance. The American Foundation for the Blind also offers support for families through their website at familyconnect.org. We hope at least one of these wonderful organizations can help you and your son.

Dear Annie: I would like to add my thoughts to the discussion of taking photos of a deceased person. My father died last year. I was only 29, and it was deeply traumatic for me. I chose to take a few discreet photos of him in his casket. I cannot imagine ever wanting to go back and look at them, but I also realized I wouldn’t have a second chance if I changed my mind.

There were only a few family members present when I took the photos, and I explained my reasoning to them. No one raised any objections. Seventeen months later, I have no regrets.

— Cleveland, Tenn.

Annie’s Mailbox is written by Kathy Mitchell and Marcy Sugar, longtime editors of the Ann Landers column. Please e-mail your questions to anniesmailbox@comcast.net, or write to: Annie’s Mailbox, c/o Creators Syndicate, 5777 W. Century Blvd., Ste. 700, Los Angeles, CA 90045. To find out more about Annie’s Mailbox and read features by other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit the Creators Syndicate Web page at www.creators.com.

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