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UBC 201801 Day 2: Will the Real Denise James Please Stand Up?

Wil and Denise share a Birthday toast at Queen City Q.

Wil and Denise enjoy a Birthday toast.

 

My love for writing was born in a sixth grade Catholic school classroom that would certainly lead me down the path of that predestined successful writer that was to be my life’s dream come true.  I wrote for my high school and college newspapers thus sealing my fate as a famous writer once graduated sporting a Journalism degree.  Reality had other plans.  I was the first of five siblings to obtain a college degree, a BS in Psychology in the Spring of 1983.  The Journalism major went by the wayside when I could only hunt and peck on the typewriter failing the eighty words per minute requirement.  My English major quickly changed to Psychology when visions of a starving undervalued author ran through my brain.  I could surely earn a living as a Psychotherapist while writing on the side.

Dreams of graduate school faded to the reality of needing food, shelter, and money.  My love and compassion for others led me to choose St. Rose of Lima (patron saint of Social Workers) as my role model for life, actually sealing my fate.  I wrote for  twenty-one  years in my career with the Department of Family and Children Services in Richmond County Georgia as a case manager in the economic  programs (AFDC/TANF,Food Stamps, and Medicaid) and services programs (Adult and Child Protection, Relative Care Custody, and Adoption Assistance). In addition, I volunteered with Hospice, Rape Crisis, Domestic Violence Crisis, and General and Suicide Crisis Intervention.

Ten years into my case management career, I lost most of my functional eye sight to an uncommon inherited type of Proliferative Vitreo-retinopathy.   During my two year hiatus from the job, life took a turn for the better.  I went to the SC Commission for The Blind to learn to adjust to my vision loss and creatively learn daily living techniques (cooking, cleaning, and laundry) differently.  Writing on paper required a guide placed over the page to enable staying in the lines.  I was introduced to making things in a Wood Shop class as well as bowling with a guide rail.  Mobility with a white cane became a safe travel method and Windows 3.1 made the scene opening a new world of technology for me.  I received my first dog guide from Leader Dogs for the Blind and returned to finish my career with a new zest for life.

I met my husband (who is also visually impaired) in May of 1997 upon joining a blind bowlers league in Augusta, GA which is part of a national Blind bowling league.  We first dated July 4th of that year; moved in as roommates in August 1998; started sharing the same bedroom in November of same year; and then I became Mrs. William (Wil) James on November 14, 2003.  The rest is written in history.

I began testing web sites for accessibility to those with disabilities in 2005 along with  Wil and other persons with varying disabilities.  Using assistive technology such as screen reader and magnifying programs, we are able to identify and report potential obstacles to fully use and interact with web sites.  I am still assessing and writing this type of report  as needed.

The best chapter in the Life of James’ began in October of 2014 when we moved to Charlotte, NC for Wil to begin his job as the Assistive technology Consultant for the NC Division of Services for the Blind.  He assesses the needs of assistive technology for those receiving services through his agency; and then sets it up for them at their homes or jobs. Since March 2015 I have been given the opportunity as a Mini Center Instructor teaching recently visually impaired persons to learn to do their daily living techniques differently through the same agency.

I have been blogging since 2005.  Now that Wil is working his 20 years in NC to match mine in GA, I will have plenty of time to be creative and write whenever the spirit moves me.  My life’s journey has written its own story with plenty of plot twists and unexpected turns.  I am that famous writer after all!  I am the keeper of the journey.

Until next time…

Posted in Blog.


One Response

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  1. SHANE says

    you are famous to me



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