World Services for the Blind and IRS
Since 1967 the IRS and Lions World Services for the Blind have Teamed up to Recruit Train and Hire Persons with Disabilities.
World Services for the Blind was founded in 1947 by Roy Kumpe to serve people who are blind and visually impaired who needed to learn independent living skills or job training skills that considered the special requirements of their individual visual impairments. The goal of the rehabilitation center then, and today, is to prepare the individual who is blind or visually impaired to function independently in the "sighted" society.
The IRS and WSB provide training programs for various entry level positions. From Collection Representative positions to Computer Programmers. This relationship has resulted in over 1200 persons with disabilities being employed by the IRS. Each year a significant number of candidates are trained at WSB for placement in IRS positions.
ALLAN KIETA – Supervisory Contact Representative for IRS Office of Wage and Investment
"My life all came back together. If it weren't for World Services for the Blind (WSB), I would not be where I am today. So every day I say thank you to World Services."
"I'm Allan Kieta and I'm totally blind. I’m currently a front line manager in the Indianapolis Accounts Management call site. Over the years I’ve been on several details which include Senior Systems Analyst and Department Manager.”
Allan's life in Kentucky became unraveled just when he was enjoying his bachelorhood. He had graduated at the top of his high school class and was accepted to several colleges, but he wanted a job and an income for the good life, car, boat and motorcycle. He went right into an apprentice program going to school at night and working during the day earning a good living as a pipe fitter. He was enjoying the single life, loved sports, and there was nothing he couldn’t do. A tragic accident cost him his sight in his one remaining good eye causing total blindness. The other one had been taken by a childhood accident years earlier. Allan was at the pinnacle of success before he lost his vision.
Allan was devastated by the accident and the thought of living a life without sight. “I moved back home with my parents and for two and a half years had them waiting on me while I laid around and felt sorry for myself. You don't have much self-esteem when all your friends are working and the only thing you are doing is drawing a social security check, but all that was about to change. After being evaluated by the Kentucky Department for the Blind, I attended World Services. WSB rehabilitated me, educated me, gave me my independence back and set me up for a career.
Allan graduated from the IRS Automated Collection Service (ACS) training program offered through World Services for the Blind in 1988. He then reported to the Detroit call site to begin his career as a Collections Contact Representative later advancing to the position of an Accounts Management Supervisory Contact Representative.
He tells us today, "I don’t think my life would have all came back together if it weren't for World Services, I would not be where I am today. So, every day I say, thank you to World Services and the state agency counselors for recognizing the value of the services provided at WSB. "Not only have I held some great positions at the IRS, but I’ve returned to WSB to participate in the recruitment process of new students and potential IRS employees. Thing have come full circle and I have been able to give a little back.
Allan attributes his ability to excel at the IRS to the WSB evaluation process. “WSB was honest and up front and told me what skills to work on. In 1992, just four years after graduating from WSB, I received the highest award you can get at the IRS "The ACS Employee of the Year". I think that says a lot for what the training provided at WSB can do when applied."
"Now look at me! It’s been 24 plus years and I’m already looking toward retirement. I’m married with two successful children and continue to enjoy water skiing and fishing. I have been truly blessed with a wonderful life and a career. It turns out losing my sight in a tragic accident was not the end of my life but the beginning of a new one. World Services for the Blind turned those perilous mountains that laid before me into just mere bumps in the road on my journey to a great life. I’m of the opinion that the only true blind people are the uneducated. Given the chance, WSB can put a little more light into your world".
If you'd like to learn more about Allan's experience at World you can E-mail him at Allan.R.Keita@irs.gov.
CONTACT LIONS WORLD SERVICES FOR THE BLIND
Jeannie Bates - Director of External Relations at World Services for the Blind
"The experience you have just read is only one of the many success stories about our graduates from World Services for the Blind (WSB). I have the privilege of working as the liaison between WSB and the IRS. The IRS is a true LEADER in the area of offering career opportunities and accommodations for persons with disabilities. It is very exciting to see how receiving IRS training at WSB and then moving on to employment with the IRS changes the lives of persons with visual impairments. These individuals have been given the same opportunities for career advancement, job satisfaction, respect and dignity as individuals who are fully sighted. You can learn more about how WSB can assist you with your employment needs by visiting our website www.wsblind.org.
Contact us at 1-800-248-0734 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
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