Lorene Piper

Lorene had a visual impairment that made it excessively difficult for her to read, write and complete applications. Additionally, Lorene had a mathematics disorder, learning disorder, anxiety, depression and social phobia.

Lorene was 23 years old when she applied for vocational rehabilitation services. She did not have a high school diploma or GED, had no self-confidence, was dependant on others for transportation, had little to no work history or work skills. But rather than give up, Lorene tried once again and she passed her state board licensure requirements in April of 2014.She did not believe she would ever be able to be successfully find employment nor did she even know what she might like to do. Additionally Lorene had a toddler and a new born at home to care for.  Lorene was determined however to give her children and self a better life.

 Although difficult, Lorene risked and allowed herself to trust the system, her counselor's guidance and belief in her. Through extensive vocational guidance and rehabilitation counseling, Lorene decided she might like to be a CNA. Her counselor arranged for a job shadow which allowed Lorene to ask questions about the job and to determine if there were any adaptive technologies and/or equipment that could accommodate the visual deficit and allow her to safely perform the essential functions of this type of job. During the job shadow experience, however, Lorene learned she would have to have her GED in order to enter the CNA training program. This was discouraging to Lorene as she was very intimidated by this thought and uncertain if she could complete the GED successfully not only due to her own self-doubt but also doubt expressed and/or implied by others. Lorene maintained her determination to improve her life, however, and her VR counselor got her set up to begin the GED training.

With her deep love for her children and strong determination and desire to improve their lives as well as the provision of ongoing support, encouragement, and appropriate accommodations, Lorene successfully passed her GED. Still very uncertain of her abilities, but feeling more sure of herself with every success both small and large, Lorene was able to take the next step toward her goal and began her CNA training. Although she struggled due to her vision, learning disorder and other diagnoses, Lorene successfully completed her CNA training in November, 2013. She was now ready to face her final mountain like barrier, taking the state licensure exam.

During this time Lorene was also offered employment as a student CNA with the expectation of full CNA once she passed the state boards. Unfortunately Lorene was not able to pass all the parts of the exam on the first try. But rather than give up, Lorene tried once again and she passed her state board licensure requirements in April of 2014.

Additionally, Lorene was assisted through the provision of a bus pass to address the transportation need, assistance with obtaining proper work clothes and glasses as well as a proper stethoscope, thermometer and pulse ox to allow her to better perform in her employment. Lorene has now expressed interest in going on in her education at some point to obtain her RN license.