Suleiman, from Tanzania, East Africa, is one of seven children. He is also one of two children in his family who have retinitis pigmentosa. After being diagnosed with the disease at age 14, he became depressed and rarely left his home. It was one of his sisters and her husband who got him the help he needed by arranging for Suleiman to come to the U.S. and ultimately Lighthouse Guild. Their older sister with retinitis pigmentosa had received services from our organization some years before.
Once at Lighthouse Guild, Suleiman received mobility training that helped him navigate the city and the transportation system. Academic services taught him English, Braille, and helped him achieve his GED. This, he said, “was a game-changer” as it began an educational journey that led to a master’s degree in social work. Now 60 years old, Suleiman has been working for the past 16 years as a social worker at a men’s homeless shelter. When asked about his Lighthouse Guild instructors, Suleiman says “They gave me all the tools I needed to be independent.”
Suleiman’s journey continues. Recently, he decided to learn how to make the most of using an iPad and an iPhone. Once again, he is back at Lighthouse Guild for guidance, this time from accessible technology specialist Ed Plumacher. Suleiman says, “I feel like I am home again.”