Clarence has always felt most at home when he’s connecting with others. He spent years searching for a career that would allow him to spend time engaging with his community and empowering others to follow their dreams. After being homeless, Clarence got a job working at a local barber shop. That’s when he knew he’d found his passion working as a barber. He passed his practical exam easily but was unprepared to take on the written portion. His learning disability made it difficult to navigate the lengthy manual to study for the second part of his required exam. Using assistive technology, Clarence was able to read through the long licensing manual and get his license to become a barber.
Clarence’s learning disability and dyslexia makes it difficult for him to stay focused and engaged with written material. Before coming to Ability KC, he struggled to comprehend and retain what he was reading on his own. Through the ACCT program at Ability KC, Clarence began using computer technology to aid him in reading the state licensing material. He and his therapist spent hours meticulously scanning each of the hundreds of pages into software that would read back the text to him, allowing him to more easily comprehend and retain the information he needed. He listened to each page of the manual to prepare. With hours of study using his assistive technology, Clarence was ready to take his licensing exam. In January, Clarence achieved his goal of passing the required exam and becoming a licensed barber.
“This technology really helped me. I knew I was meant to be a barber and Ability KC helped me get there. I want everyone to know what they can do,” said Clarence.
In the future, Clarence hopes to build his own business as a barber and continue working in his community. He will keep using assistive technology as he makes progress towards his goals. He hopes to inspire others to reach their dreams no matter their circumstances.