Meet David Pyle, are real guy in the real world. David is 20 years old, a high school graduate, and desires what all people his age want; independence, a good career, and a happy healthy life. But, David, due to his lack of stereopsis sees the world differently. Depth perception is the visual ability to perceive the world in three dimensions (3D). It is what helps you gauge distance between yourself and objects that surround you. To possess depth perception, one must have binocular stereoscopic vision, or stereopsis. If someone lacks stereopsis, they are forced to rely on other visual cues to gauge depth, and their depth perception will be less accurate. Bumping into and dropping objects is common for people who lack stereopsis.
Not only is David challenged by a lack of depth perception, but this brave young man also lives with an intellectual disability, and Epilepsy (a seizure disorder). While that may sound like three strikes, it’s not. David believed, his Bureau of Vocational Rehabilitation (BVR) counselor believed, and the Goodwill team believed David could learn to accommodate his challenges, learn valuable work skills, and advocate for his abilities in a competitive work environment. His dream to live an independent, happy healthy life with a great career is possible.
Referred to Goodwill by his Bureau of Vocational Rehabilitation (BVR) counselor, David expressed that he had not been successful in the past in his use of his dexterity because of his perception, and that he became confused and needed an extensive amount of coaching support when learning how to perform tasks of any kind, independently. David was evaluated, and the team quickly learned that demonstration and repetition was what David needed to master skills. David often tried a new step to a task up to 100 times before fully understanding a step. But once he knew the step, he never ever forgot the step or the process that it belonged to. Eventually, he would combine all the steps in a sequence to complete a process. Over the course of his training and assessment, David became familiar with how to execute store tasks, overcoming his lack of depth perception, and intellectual disability. He was, at this point working and performing tasks within a Goodwill Thrift Store environment like other employees.
David is a great lesson for all of us. We must possess depth perception when it comes to people. We need to see beyond the surface to truly understand what is possible. Because David believed, his BVR counselor believed, and the Goodwill team helped him identify a way to learn and master skills, David is now ready to work, a major step towards his independent life.