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Amber's Diary: First Job after High School

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In the first installment of our Disability Matters series we heard the story of Amber Triese. She was moving into a group home in Potsdam. Amber is 22 years old. She graduated from high school last year. She's cognitively impaired and legally blind. In high school she interned with Building Blocks, a pre-school program in Potsdam. A few months ago, they hired her to work part-time as a teacher's aide. She recorded this on-the-job audio diary for us.

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AMBER TRIESE: "Half the time people don't realize that I'm legally blind even though you don't see it and i don't act like it, I am blind. But I'm not totally blind. I have tunnel vision that's kind of like a box. If anyone wants to know how I see, try to put their hands top to bottom, corner to corner and that's how I see.

"I went to work and I helped some kids, two kids that I worked with wanted to have the same book, but I said to them "Give it to Miss Amber" and I went and I put it back in the book area and they totally forgot all about it. I can not be alone with children in one classroom. I have to have another staff because I can't see that if a child puts something in their mouth. So that's why I have an extra staff."

"In my future, I want to be a better teacher and help the kids that I work with to become more independent and know their colors and know  their numbers and shapes and maybe, maybe adding, maybe adding is probably a difficult thing but they're trying."

"Someday, I'd like to get married someday. But that doesn't come until whenever I'm ready cause I'm not. I would like everybody to know, no matter what special needs that you have, express them to other people. Even thought other people don't understand, keep trying."

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