Staying Inspired: Finding Work through Blindness

By: Faith Harding, Administrative Assistant for IFB Base Supply Centers

Headshot photo of Faith Harding smiling
Photo of Faith Harding

In the Beginning

Originally from Louisiana, I was born 2lbs 3oz at 26 weeks. Since I made it through the night, doctors felt I would have a list of mental and physical disabilities associated with prematurity. Gratefully, retinopathy of prematurity; easy retinal detachments, was the only diagnosis that held true. At four years old, I went totally blind in my left eye and a few years later I went blind in my right. Thankfully, reattachment surgery restored some usable vision months later. Sometimes in life, the challenges that will boost your growth tenfold are ones you cannot run from.

Walking on Shaky Grounds

Reminiscing, teenage years were a walk in the park. Although with some college, looking for work introduced new challenges. Employers were uninformed of accessible technology and hesitant of my abilities to perform the work duties efficiently. The employers who looked past my limited vision faced challenges with software being incompatible with ZoomText, a magnifying program for Windows PC.

At the age of twenty-five, I lost my vision completely once again. This caused another layer of challenges toward being hired. I needed to learn quickly, improve navigating with a cane, confidently advocate for myself, and on top of that, deal with the emotional roller-coaster blindness took me on. Being blind is equivalent to having an inward mirror constantly facing you, the image does not improve until your mindset does.

IFB Solutions Journey

In 2015, I walked on faith and moved to Winston-Salem, N.C., to work at IFB Solutions as a sewing machine operator. For the first year, I decided to find positive attributes toward working at an industry for the blind facility. I was relieved  IFB encourages upward mobility for blind and low vision workers, holds various support groups, volunteering opportunities, community events, and much more. Stepping out of my comfort zone, I began participating and bringing my skills to the table. Six years later I am thankful to be an administrative assistant for our Base Supply Centers, editor of IFB Insider, president of Visionaries in Public Speaking, and love volunteering where I can.


Looking for work has many challenges, but do not give up. Here are some tips that assisted me in my journey:

-Look inside yourself, what skills do you naturally possess: writing, technology, communication, etc. What can you do to improve your knowledge in these areas?

-Look for and participate in various opportunities that remove you from your comfort zone. This will improve your confidence, knowledge, and internal growth.

-Pay attention, learn how to confidently advocate for yourself. Sell your abilities, skills, and attributes to launch a successful career.

-Remain open-minded and do not give up on yourself. There will be times you are denied an opportunity. Do not take it personally. Learn from the event, keep improving your skills, continue pushing past your comforts, and the right opportunity for you will come.

Yes, it is challenging to step out there. But at the end of the day, all the work you put into yourself will shine through. You will become an asset and opportunities will open for your success.

Wishing you the best on your journey!