Educational Training for Ryan Vlazny

BJ Toltzis on behalf of Darlene, David, and Ryan Vlazny

Ryan is Blind/Deaf and is 32 years old.  He was born deaf and needed to learn Sign Language to communicate.  At 7 years old, Ryan was diagnosed with Usher Syndrome  (deaf, vision loss and vestibular/balance dysfunction). 

     Since pre-school, Ryan has worked extremely hard to succeed with his education and employment opportunities.  He left Florida to attend RIT college in Rochester, New York.  It took 6 years, but Ryan graduated with honors with a Bachelor of Science degree in Information Technology.  He impressed employers who were interviewing at RIT's job fair and has been working in Pennsylvania for the past 7 years.

     Ryan is now also legally blind and needs to use a white cane to get around his office.  His rapid decrease in vision is why he now needs your help. He comes home from work every day, has a quick dinner from the microwave and gets on his work computer.  Even with all the adjustments to the computer,  Ryan can only see well enough to read   3 words at a time.  So he works for hours every night to try to keep up with his peers who do not have the challenge of multiple disabilities.   Other than church on Sundays (when he can find a ride), Ryan also works on Saturdays and Sundays on his work computer at home.

     Ryan now needs to attend the Helen Keller National Center (HKNC) to learn Braille  (uncontracted, contracted and computer Braille classes), as well as other skills that will help a blind-deaf individual to continue to live independently.  The cost is Five Thousand Dollars per month (for teachers/trainers, tactile sign language interpreters, room and board) for a minimum of Six (6) Months. 

     Ryan hopes to return to his current employer after the six months of training.  Therefore, he needs to continue paying for the lease on his current rental apartment.    Ryan will also need Braille equipment, which is extremely expensive.  We hope his employer or other contacts can assist with the Braille equipment for work.  However, since Ryan will need to continue to work at home during  evenings and weekends, he will also need to purchase Braille equipment to use at home. 

     There are many worthy medical causes that need all our help. 

     Helping Ryan will change his life and reward his efforts for working so hard for thirty years.  The past year has been very frustrating and difficult.   Ryan would be forever grateful for your help.
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Organizer and beneficiary

BJ Immeman Toltzis
Fort Lauderdale, FL
Darlene Vlazny

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