Lorna DesRoses, director of the Office of Black Catholics was honored with a Carroll Award for Blind Employment May 11. Pictured left to right are: commissioner of Massachusetts Commission for the Blind David Govostes; DesRoses; president of Carroll Center for the Blind Rachel Rosenbaum; and associate director of the archdiocese’s Ethnic Apostolate Office Sister Mary Corripio, SND. Pilot photo/courtesy Carroll Center for the Blind
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NEWTON — Lorna DesRoses was presented with the Carroll Society Award at a May 11 ceremony at the Carroll Center for the Blind to honor and recognize outstanding achievement in the workplace by a person who is blind or visually impaired.
DesRoses has worked for the Archdiocese of Boston since April 2004 as director of the Office of Black Catholics. This office provides pastoral services in the community, representing the needs of black Catholics throughout the archdiocese and presents such needs to the archbishop, Cardinal Seán P. O’Malley, and Church leaders. Working closely with leaders in the black community, she also develops and administers programs that address their spiritual and pastoral interests and is the personal representative to the archbishop on matters concerning the black community.
A resident of Dorchester, DesRoses is legally blind from congenital cataracts that left her with some limited vision in her early childhood, which gradually diminished as she grew older. As a vision-impaired person she had to make the personal adjustments to living with vision loss. To use her computer she has special software with speech output that also allows her to use a scanner to read print.
DesRoses was the only woman among the five individuals selected throughout the state to receive the Carroll Society recognition for outstanding achievement as a blind or visually impaired employee. Speaking with The Pilot May 16 DesRoses said she was humbled by the accomplishments of her fellow award recipients.
“I got a chance to hear other people’s stories and find out how they overcame challenges and obstacles,” DeRoses said.
It was also very encouraging to have a contingent of co-workers accompany her to the award ceremony.
“It was nice to have people I work with there to celebrate with me,” she added.
The Carroll Society Awards are part of a campaign sponsored by the Carroll Center for the Blind, Newton, and the Massachusetts Commission for the Blind to publicly recognize the achievements and contributions to the workforce that are being made by persons who are legally blind.
“Many people don’t realize that with the latest technology training, a person who is blind can work in almost any occupation in today’s employment market,” said Rachel Rosenbaum, president of the Carroll Center.
The Carroll Center for the Blind provides rehabilitation and technology training for persons who are blind or visually impaired of all ages. The Commission for the Blind is the state agency which coordinates benefits and services to all legally blind persons in the Commonwealth. This jointly run campaign since 1983 has been a long and successful effort of private and state agencies partnering for a common cause.