A career planning and employment resource for people who are blind or partially sighted

Meet Chelsea

In this video you'll meet Chelsea Mohler from Toronto. Watch Chelsea describe her professional and educational journey and her current position as a Research Assistant at CNIB. 



Narrator: Welcome to success stories. Brought to you by Project Aspiro, produced by the World Blind Union and CNIB and funded by the Ontario Trillium Foundation.

In this video you'll meet Chelsea Mohler, a research assistant at CNIB and her supervisor, Deborah Gold. The video includes a montage of clips that show Chelsea walking to work, talking to colleagues, and working at her desk using assistive technology.

Chelsea: My name is Chelsea Mohler and I work at CNIB as a research assistant. I possess two degrees. I have a Masters in Health and Rehabilitation Sciences from the University of Western Ontario. I also have an honours BA from Wilfred Laurier University in Health Studies.

I have congenital glaucoma. I’ve had glaucoma since birth. I was born with no vision and through some corrective surgeries I was able to acquire a little bit of vision in my right eye. I can now see colours, shapes, figures and that sort of thing, and read large print letters.  

Deborah: She has a very gentle way of teaching people around her about what she needs, about what people with visual impairments may need. She’s actually made friends on the team; she goes to lunch and coffee with the team, people enjoy her company. She’s really integrated well-- she's only been with us for a year.

Chelsea: I’m on the telephone most of the day speaking with clients from all across the country. All different backgrounds. And surveying them on their experiences and their thoughts regarding CNIB. There are other projects where I’m doing data analysis. So I’m coding results from our surveys and I’m looking for common themes and commonalities.

Deborah: She has a great phone manner; she loves to talk on the phone. We do a lot of phone-calling to clients; they love to talk to her. Besides that she’s got really good language skills in terms of research skills, writing skills.

Chelsea: I use Jaws for Windows which is screen reading software so it reads what’s on the screen. I also use a braille display which allows me to feel, tactually, what’s on the screen.

One of the things I do is, upfront in the interview I say what my accommodations are and what they need to be. I bring quotes with me for costs so people in the interview have a sense of how much this piece of technology is going to cost. I bring a couple of different companies, names of companies, so that right there on the spot the interviewer has some idea where they can get this. I think  just maybe taking the pressure off them and really showing them that you’ve done the homework and you know what your accommodations are and here’s how you’re willing to put them in place.

(I think it’s important) to really take the opportunity to engage in those early work experiences, you know, try to get a job in your teen years, try to volunteer in your teens and early twenties because those are the experiences that set the foundation in terms of your resume, your references and just even your work ethic and your knowledge of what work is. Really just try to have those early work experiences.

Deborah:  As technology improves, the ability of blind or visually impaired people to do the job, to work in an organization like ours, to get to work every day, is improving. People can learn, there is lots of support out there for them from organizations like CNIB as well as other organizations. You aren’t necessarily going to see anything different in a person who is blind or is partially sighted than you would in a candidate who is not. <music>