- Massachusetts Commission for the Blind
Brandon Rollins, 25 of North Attleboro is currently working to achieve his master’s degree in social work at Bridgewater State University. He has worked with MCB VR Counselor Brittany Taylor for six years beginning in high school. That’s when Brandon realized that the support services offered by MCB could help him achieve future success.
“I remember the first day that I met Brittany in 2014 and one thing that Brittany did differently was that she was a really good listener and she knew what she was doing and I was ready to work too,” said Brandon.
“We met at a kitchen table at Brandon’s house, and he was very eager to hear about MCB services,” said Brittany. “He was very receptive to everything.”
Before meeting Brittany, Brandon didn’t fully accept services and assistance for his blindness and visual impairment.
“My goal was college, but I nothing about how to get there,” said Brandon. “I knew nothing about Assistive Technology or Mobility, or event basic independent living skills.”
“I realized that opportunities weren’t going to be given to me, and I needed to adjust the situation and take advantage of what was being offered,” explained Brandon who also learned to navigate independently using a white cane from MCB stakeholder, The Carroll Center for the Blind.
“Brandon was ready to switch from being a visual student to being a non-visual student and auditory learner,” said Brittany. “He literally went from being a ZoomText user to a JAWS user in the span of a summer. When he put his mind to being successful, he was.”
Brandon acknowledged that this transition wasn’t easy, but he was willing to work hard to achieve his goals with the hope that his new skills would help in his future career.
“I want to use my education in social work to provide outpatient therapy for individuals and families, and I also want to advocate …I want to change policy and convince employers that it’s possible to hire people who are blind,” said Brandon.
Brittany has memories of Brandon as an eager intern at MCB who asked to go on the road to visit individuals across the region as much as possible.
“He literally wanted to learn as much as he could about every single position at MCB from being an ADA Specialist/Driver to being a VR Counselor,” said Brittany.
“The MCB internship gave me the opportunity to see what the world of work is like,” said Brandon. “It gave me confidence and optimism, along with more abilities and a path forward.”
Brittany is positive that Brandon is on the path to prosperity and that it is indeed paved by his perseverance and hard work. Brandon credits Brittany and the partnership they have created.
“MCB services are like a set of tools,” said Brandon. “The services are useful in getting you where you want to go, but you really have to know your end goal and just use MCB’s services as another tool in your toolbox.”
To learn more about our MCB Internship Program, connect with our MCB Employment Services Team via email at MCBinfo@mass.gov or 1-800-392-6450.
Listen to an audio reading of Brandon's story provided by our partners at the Audible Local Ledger, part of the Massachusetts Audio Information Network - your MAIN source for accessible Community News and Information: http://www.audiblelocalledger.org/mcbinfo.html.