by John Sebastian Procoro Masbad
Ask a child about his dream and he will tell you such hopeful words, “I want to be an engineer,” or “I want to become a pilot,” or “I wish I could be an astronaut.” How does a child come up with those professions that he does not know the hardships of those working industry? It is obvious that he uses his eyesight in watching TV, playing toys and reading books that attracts him to aim those dreams. A person with visual impairment does not have the eyesight to see his environment, however, he is given the free will to develop the rest of his senses and his abilities more than the persons with eyesight have. I am Justin, and I believe that being an ATRIEVER is also a great achiever.
It was June 2006 after high school graduation when my life became gloomy. My skills in technology and internet were too meager to have a decent work. After I took my breakfast, a call on my mother’s phone came.
The call was from ATRIEV. I recognized the voice on the other line and I said: “Oh, it is Ms. Des.” She offered me a 6-month training of Access Technology for Computer Literacy, which is mostly similar to Digital Literacy Training.
Ms. Des and Dandy Revale were the ATRIEV personalities who were also my schoolmates in Philippine National School For The Blind before. I also remembered once that Dandy came to PNSB’s campus to distribute ATRIEV’s brochures with the list of all programs and services.
During high school days, I spent my time in academic achievements and not in technological skills, so after the call, I felt so excited and hurried to ATRIEV’s office in STI College Cubao to fill up the registration form and submit the training requirements.
It was an exhilarating first day of the training and I met new classmates. It was the time when I started to broadened my skills in a screen reader named None Visual Desktop Access (NVDA beta versions) and Job Access With Speech (JAWS) to navigate Windows Environment as well as different software user interfaces and internet sites.
back in high school, by relying to my own ability, I did not spend my time to meet the blind communities. Once I said to myself, “I can do it alone without the help of any institutions that deal with persons with visual impairment.” Thanks to ATRIEV, through its life-changing trainings, I transformed myself from snobbish attitude to open mindedness that can work with different teams. It helped me to uplift my technological and internet buff skills and treated this field as my safety lane to an excellent career. It developed my communication and interaction skills in highest level of confidence.
As one of the trainers since 2016, many valuable principles were added in to my consciousness: “It is not enough to master all the skills in this world, you must also have to establish the ability to share your skills in a simplest way. Growth is a huge thing that I gained since I became an ATRIEVER. I met different persons with different attitudes. Another great value I kept was: “I am comfortable being uncomfortable.” It started when I became one of the two emcees in DLT final presentation. It is my first time to nervously speak on the crowd. After the program, my shyness turned in to dust.
There are countless moments that I become so mischievous, naughty and playful with my co-trainers. There are also times that I must keep myself on silent mode while observing other people.
ATRIEV is the star gate of my life that brought me to an astronomic level of my being. From establishing career to thinking skills until meeting all types of persons comfortably. Through ATRIEV, I am free to share my knowledge to anyone through its numerous projects as a trainer, blogging, operating system and online platform administration, technical writing etc. From the boring life prior to ATRIEV to dynamic life inside ATRIEV, curious-driven attitude enabled me to explore different world of persons, careers, minds and technology. Living independently through ATRIEV will never turn me down to the earth of close mindedness and fear. There is a saying from Robin Sharma: “Where victims see adversity, extreme achievers see opportunity.” And I must say: ““Where victims see their disability, great ATRIEVERS see opportunity.”