Connecticut Vocational Rehabilitation Services Success Story
Esther Levegnale was a pre-mature baby who has been totally blind since birth. She attended Oak Hill School for the Blind until her senior year when she was transferred to public school. Upon graduation from high school, Esther attended the University of Bridgeport, earning an Associates Degree in Medical Secretarial.
After college, Esther, with assistance from her BESB Counselor decided that she should open her own transcription service. She was successful with only a typewriter and a dictaphone that BESB provided. When area hospitals began hiring staff to do medical transcription on site, she decided that she had to be flexible and go with the current trend. She was hired at Waterbury Hospital as a Medical Transcriptionist. She has remained a valuable employee since the 1970s.
Through the years, Esther always was seeking new methods to be productive. In 1979 BESB provided Esther with the Optacon, a device that allows blind people to read print materials. It was a revolutionary device that required weeks of training. Esther not only mastered the Optacon, but continues to be a proficient user. As the requirements of Esther’s job have changed, she has been able to remain successful by learning new skills and acquiring new equipment. BESB has been a very active participant in this process by providing both the hardware and the necessary instruction for her to succeed. Esther now uses a computer with speech output and a scanner to remain successfully employed.
Esther has intelligence and determination that is truly outstanding. In addition to her success at work, Esther has been a vital person in the community of blind people. She has led by example, both at work and at home. Esther has served the National Federation of the Blind as a past President of the Waterbury Chapter. In this capacity and her everyday life, she serves as a mentor, advocate, and friend. Her continued success is assured.