Jim Fettgather is making a difference in the lives of the people he works with at Alphapointe for the Blind.
Fettgather is an adaptive technology instructor and teaches those who are visually impaired how to use the latest technology. He himself is blind.
His job is essential for helping people who are losing their sight gain valuable skills to keep them in the workforce.
"My job then to show them how to do things in a completely new way," he said.
Fettgather has worked at Alphapointe since 1993. He moved to the Kansas City, Mo., with his wife from California in 1983.
He is more than a teacher to the clients -- he's an inspiration because the clients can relate to him.
"I have heard over the years that because I am visually impaired, and folks see me doing quite a bit with the computer, they feel like 'Hey, that's pretty amazing -- maybe I can do that,'" he explained.
Even his co-workers are impressed. Most say they can't keep up with him.
"The average reading speed in the workforce from entry-level work to as complex as it gets is still hovers around 100 words per minute. Jim reads braille at about 200 words a minute," said Clay Berry, the director of education and rehabilitation at Alphapointe.
In the evenings and on weekends, Fettgather trades in the computer keyboard for another. He plays piano for two bands in the Kansas City area.
But he never learned to read music in braille.
"I simply can play things I hear," he said. "I just have that ability, and I'm very thankful."
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