Envision celebrates NDEAM

  • Published
  • By Heidi Hunt
  • 509th Bomb Wing Public Affairs
Imagine struggling to see the words in a newspaper and not having the help of a visual aid. For some, being visually impaired and severely disabled might pose as a challenge, but others will take the opportunity to work past their disabilities toward aspirations.

In 1988, Congress declared October as National Disability Employment Awareness Month.
In efforts to recognize NDEAM, the Whiteman Envision store celebrated 15 years of supplying base units with mission essential products to execute the Air Force Global Strike Command mission, while employing disable staff members.

The AbilityOne Program is the largest source of employment for people with disabilities, by providing products and services for the Federal government and Department of Defense.

"AbilityOne products available at Envision Xpress, were manufactured by blind or disabled individuals and most of our stores have two or more visually impaired employees," said Max Holden, Envision Xpress general manager.

Envision's mission is to enhance the personal independence of the individuals whose blindness, often accompanied by other disabilities, impacts their opportunities for employment success and integration into the community which is a direct reflection of what the AbilityOne program stands for.

Government customers support the employment of qualified professionals who are blind or have other severe disabilities with each purchase under the AbilityOne Program.
"The Envision store provides customers with office supplies, cleaning supplies, clothing issues, individual equipment, all while meeting the mission's needs and providing job to the visually impaired," Mr. Holden said.

Becky Coombes and Terry Thompson, both visually impaired employees work as cashiers at the Envision store and share optimism and enjoyment about working at Envision.

"The best part of my job is working with the customers," said Mrs. Thompson. "I've been doing this job for more than 13 years and enjoy it. It's what makes me get up every day because if I had to sit at home I would probably be dwelling about my eye disease. Many people with visually impaired problems can fall by the wayside."

Mrs. Thompson has macular degeneration, an age related progressive disease of the retina wherein the light-sensing cells in the central area of vision (the macula) stop working and eventually die according to Webmd.com.

Mrs. Coombes said being employed there has helped build her self-esteem and she's realized that she can do a lot more things and has learned to do them differently.

"I like being able to help because I am a people person," said Mrs. Coombes. "Envision is a good company to work for and I feel blessed there is a company out there that employs the visually impaired and allows me to work."

"Every effort is made to provide servicemembers and patrons with their needs and we aim to go above and beyond," said Shawn Allen, Envision Xpress store manager.

Stores hours are Monday through Friday 7:30 a.m. - 4 p.m. For customer service questions call (660) 687-4343 or (660) 563-3509. Envision is also open the second Saturday of the month, from 8 a.m. to noon. Patrons can also shop online at www.EnvisionXpress.com.