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Interview with Alina Garcia Ravelo, December 14, 2018

Richard B. Russell Library for Political Research and Studies, University of Georgia
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00:00:23 - Cone rod dystrophy / Education experience

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Segment Synopsis: Ravelo talks about how her diagnosis of cone rod dystrophy has impacted her educational experience. Ravelo explains that during her grade school and high school years, her small hometown in Cuba did not offer much technological assistance for people with disabilities. Ravelo talks about her difficulty as a university student because she had trouble seeing the board but was embarrassed to use a telescope in front of her classmate. She eventually started using telescope during class, and was very successfully academically, completing her industrial engineering degree.

Keywords: University of Habana; cone dystrophy

00:05:17 - After college / Coming to the United States

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Partial Transcript: I used to take, like, two buses to get to the school and two buses to come back home.

Segment Synopsis: Ravelo talks about Cuba's lack of public accommodations for people with sight disabilities. Ravelo explains that she momentarily had to live with her parents in Cuba after graduating due to the lack of employment in the area. Ravelo says that she eventually moved to the United States where she lived with family in West Palm Beach, Florida. She recalls her initial difficulty in finding a job, before she was eventually began working for the Division of Blind Services. Ravelo talks about moving to Bainbridge, Georgia to work as an industrial engineer at the Georgia Industries for the Blind.

Keywords: Banbridge, Georgia; Cuba; Division of Blind Services; Georgia Industries for the Blind; Luis Narimatsu; Six Sigma Green Belt; West Palm Beach; ZoomText; assistive technology

00:10:30 - Challenges growing up / Technological-assistance for the visually-impaired

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Partial Transcript: Growing up what were some of the challenges...

Segment Synopsis: Ravelo talks about some of the challenges she faced as a result of growing up with a visual impairment in Cuba. She explains that she often had trouble reading bus signs and would have to ask assistance from those around her. Ravelo explains the cultural differences between the United States and Cuba--in the United States, a white cane is a symbol of blindness, while in Cuba, no such signals exists, which makes it harder for blind people to inform those around them of their disability. Ravelo talks about the ways in which the technology available in the United States for the visually-impaired has helped her in her career as an industrial engineer and in her everyday life.

Keywords: ZoomText; technology