How My Dream Transformed Into A Reality

While a senior at Lenape High School, I applied to a couple of scholarships. One of those applications went to the Medford Business Association. In that scholarship essay, I dreamt that five years in the future I would be employed at a company performing bookkeeping. That was in 2006.

In November 2006, I was on the job hunt for that type of position. On November 4th, I attended an interview at a local accounting firm in Medford called Padden Denn Drewry. When I went into the interview, I was hoping to be hired to assist with some of their office work. But, I received a curveball. Dan Padden, one of the firm’s partners, suggested that I set up a self-employed company to do what I like to do best, data entry and bookkeeping. Later that month, my dream was transformed into reality, with a little tweaking, when I launched Mackey Enterprises.

My first couple of projects were subcontract projects for Padden Denn Drewry. Two involved with profit and loss statement generation from bank statement information, one involved with creating an Excel spreadsheet consisting of a client’s business related credit card expenses, and one involving performing bank reconciliations for two bank accounts. The last project concluded in 2014.

In June 2014 I began to self-advertise my company via word of mouth, emails, and flyers. In 2015, I obtained business cards and launched my company website. Also in 2015, Mackey Enterprises made its debut at the National Federation of the Blind of New Jersey state convention.

In Spring 2015, I acquired my first two personal clients. The first one involved generating an inventory listing in Excel of his extensive model train collection for insurance purposes. The other involved tallying up their sales receipts from a bathroom remodeling project.

When NFBNJ was in need of a new webmaster, I was their first choice. I was up to the challenge. With the assistance of the Website Committee, I completely rebuilt their website and had it back up in late June. After the many compliments that came in, I added website design to my listing of offered services available through Mackey Enterprises, LLC.

In early October 2016, NFB of Illinois sent out a notice stating they were in need of a new webmaster. When I saw it was a WordPress powered site, I jumped on that opportunity to expand my knowledge of designing a website.

During the 2016 NFBNJ State Convention, I was approached by the president of the National Federation of the Blind of Delaware. She informed me that she would like to hire my services to assist with their website. But she didn’t get back to me until about March or April 2017. At that point, they completely lost their site and in the process of reacquiring the domain name. I began rebuilding their site from scratch, using the NFBNJ website as my template, and had it completely rebuilt prior to the 2017 NFB National Convention.

In early 2017, I assisted the Middle Atlantic Blind Golf Association with rebuilding their website. They needed it rebuilt on the WordPress platform since the current platform was no longer being supported by Microsoft. I completed the rebuild in time for their 2017 Spring General Meeting in late March. Shortly after this project, the president of MABGA who is the webmaster for the Blind Center of Jersey Cape, hired me to rebuild the BCJC website on WordPress. I completed that project just as I was getting started with rebuilding the NFB of Delaware site.

In late 2017, I volunteered to assist with maintaining the NFB of Pennsylvania website, which was already on WordPress. The individual already maintaining it needed some assistance with keeping content current. Currently, the website is on its way to having more current content.

In late January 2018, I was approached by the NFB of Nevada to take over as webmaster. I am currently maintaining the current version of the site while converting it into a Drupal powered site. I hope to have the Drupal powered site up in the next couple of weeks.

Finally, last week I was approached by the NFB of California. I will assist them with moving their site to a new host provider, owned by the National Federation of the Blind, and rebuild their site using WordPress. Once the rebuild is completed, a representative within the California affiliate will take over maintaining the site.

I have the experience, I have the skills, and I have the desire. The only thing missing to grow Mackey Enterprises is the opportunity for you to allow me to demonstrate what I am capable of doing for you.

Whatever your dream may be, be willing to take an open opportunity to transform it into a reality.

Literacy for the Blind

The large majority of individuals are able to read printed materials with their eyes. But what about the blind and visually impaired community?

Most blind and visually impaired individuals read printed materials through speech output. This includes audio books, scanned materials, or materials read through a screen reader on their computer.

About 10% of the blind community are Braille literate. There are a lot of stereotypes out there regarding Braille. Since the founding of the National Federation of the Blind in 1940, they have been advocating for Braille literacy. Since about 2010, the NFB has been educating blind youth how to read and write Braille through its BELL (Braille Enrichment through Literacy) Academy.

If you are interested in learning the truth about Braille literacy, please view and share the following video.

If you wish to learn more about Braille, please contact New Jersey Association to Promote the Use of Braille president Mary Jo Partyka at 609-888-5459 or choirnfb@gmail.com.

This post can also be viewed at www.perkinselearning.org/technology/blog/literacy-blind.

The Meaning of “Blind With Vision”

When most individuals learn that someone is blind, they believe that individual has complete or partial loss of vision. What they don’t realize is that the blind individual has only lost their physical vision, and still has the use of mental and tactile vision.

An example of mental vision is imagining something you want done through your mind’s eye. This is possible regardless if you have vision or not.

An example of tactile vision is using your hands to feel tactile objects or text. Some tactile objects or texts include LEGO bricks, 3D photos, and Braille.

As stated in the National Federation of the Blind’s one minute message, “blindness is not the characteristic that defines a blind person and their future.” Through learning how to use nonvisual tools and techniques, having a positive attitude in life, and willingness to think outside of the box to accomplish tasks, they are able to live the lives they want. This has been the NFB’s philosophy since its founding in 1940.

 When I was looking for a tagline for my company, Mackey Enterprises, I asked several individuals for their ideas and suggestions. During one of my workout sessions with Steve Murray of Rezults Never Lie, he reminded me that even though I might be blind, no one can ever take away my vision. That was when I came up with the tagline “Blind With Vision”. It falls in line with the NFB’s philosophy.

So what does “Blind With Vision” really mean? The best way for me to explain it is by giving you an example. A blind individual needs to take notes independently. So the best way for him to do so is by using a slate and stylus to write notes in Braille. Another method is by using a note recorder and type up their notes on a computer with the aid of a screen reading program. The individual is using his nonvisual vision to “see” this task from another perspective. Many blind individuals do this in their jobs, self-employed businesses, and personal lives.

So I encourage you to live the life you want by “seeing” things from a different perspective. It doesn’t matter if you are blind, sighted, deaf-blind, deaf, hard of hearing, Autistic, or whatever. Be willing to embrace having a “Blind With Vision” attitude to see whatever you are doing.