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Thursday, February 18, 2010

Blind Man Asks Georgia Lawmakers to Open Their Eyes

By Tina Terry
Story Published: Feb 17, 2010 at 11:06 PM EST
Story Updated: Feb 17, 2010 at 11:42 PM EST

Things like living on your own, cooking, and finding a job can be hard, if you have a disability. Walton Options, a local center that helps people do these everyday things, could soon lose a lot of its state funding.

Brian Mosley says he traveled from tragedy to triumph with their help.

"I just heard a noise and the next time I awoke I was at MCG."

That noise Brian Mosley heard nearly 15 years ago was a gunshot to his head. It was a random crime that's never been solved. It left him blind in both eyes at 30-years old.

"I had no access to any resources or anything as far as services or support for the blind," said Mosley.

Eventually, he found Walton Options the Independent Living Center showed him he could work again, helped him go back to school, and taught him skills that landed him a job.

The director of the facility says 75-percent of people with a disability are unemployed. That's one of the reasons why they say the facility is so important.

Nonetheless, it could lose a total of 14-percent of its income before the end of this year, due to state budget cuts. That's more than $60,000 dollars. The center's director says that means a cut back in services they provide to people with disabilities or getting rid of nearly 5 part time jobs. She and Mosley want lawmakers to see the big picture.

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