by Yvette Amistad, ATRIEV Trainer since 2015
“Lord, Help me. This is not the life I’ve wanted and dreamt of.” I felt stuck and fed up of the heavy responsibilities of looking after my cousins. I cried so hard and prayed on bended knees. I hoped to be more productive and not just to stay inside the house. I wanted to be free and do things on my own.
And God answered my prayers.
I was called to attend a vocational training. I arrived with all my required documents but I got rejected because they learned that I have diabetes.
It felt terrible until one of the social workers said, ”there are other oppurtunities for you. Do you know that blind can use computers? You can go and be trained in ATRIEV.”
It was April of 2013 when I first step in ATRIEV. I felt excited, curious, yet scared because that was my first time to be in a blind community. Through the use of assistive technology, with the use of talking application, I learned how to operate my computer. Through platforms skills and personality development workshop, I gained my confidence. I was able to share my sentiments and emotions about my blindness. I met and mingled with other blind people and gained new friends. I experienced falling and walking in line by the sidewalk. I sat and sang with them while they were alternately playing musical instruments even if I’m not a singer. I joined class activities while sitting and eating happily with them.
Through ATRIEV, I learned many things, not just about technology but also about life. I’m now one with them as a part-time trainer and we go to communities to teach and inspire more blind people on how to use computers and android phones. I also became a general transcriptionist, converting audio files into written documents.
Now I’m more productive. This is what I wanted for my life. Because of ATRIEV, my dreams are closer to reality. I may not know where I am headed to but I know that, as long as I spread my wings, the winds will carry me to where I should be. And that is in ATRIEV.