Bud Keith Fund
On the Job Training
Since 2015, we've provided people with on-the-job training to help them retain their jobs or advance. So far, it's all been computer training. The goals are not just to improve the income of the trainees but also to add to the meager ranks of productive blind people in Panama, pioneers in the workplace who may inspire and open doors for the students we sponsor.
Getting an employer to hire a blind person is hard; it's easier to convince employers to retain skilled employees who have become visually impaired after they have proven to be productive workers. Several of the training sessions were requested by employers who did not want to lose employees with failing eyesight.
Meet the people we've trained:
Leonel Abrego was a supervisor with 32 years of experience at the Instituto Nacional de Desarrollo Humano (INADEH) when a traffic accident took his sight.
Hector Gutierrez worked as a messenger within the Instituto Nacional de Desarrollo Humano (INADEH). A progressive deterioration of his vision has made him unable to continue that work. Although he had no previous computer experience, our training revealed an aptitude that suggests he could do well at a desk job using computers.
Nataly Benson is a psychologist at the Instituto Nacional de Desarrollo Humano (INADEH). She became blind before earning her PhD and starting her job at INADEH, so she has good computer skills. A new health problem made it very difficult for her to type, so we installed speech recognition software on her computer and taught her how to use it.
Fausto is a university professor who needed to use Word and PowerPoint to prepare presentations, and Excel for reporting grades.
Miguel is an attorney who needed computer skills for document preparation and research.
Ruth is a police captain who needed computer skills to prepare, send, and receive documents.
Arlin is a attorney in Panama's judicial branch. Her training included use of her agency's special software.
César Vega, Juan Batista, and Reymar Badiola
César, Juan, and Reymar are X-ray darkroom technicians whose jobs are being eliminated. The hospital where they work hopes that computer skills will enable it to use them in another capacity.
Miguel works in the equal opportunity section of the Secretaría Nacional de Discapacidad (SENADIS). He prepares and gives a lot of presentations to the public, so his training focused on PowerPoint.
José is a trainer at Social Security. Because his work entails presentations, his training focused on PowerPoint.
Gustavo Quintero was a supervisor at the Banco Nacional de Panamá when diabetes took his vision. The Patronato provided him with mobility and computer training in hope of enabling him to retain his job. Because of his work schedule, he wasn't able to attend computer classes during the day, so we funded training outside normal work hours. As a result, the bank kept him employed.
Gustavo performed so well after his 2017 training that Banco Nacional asked the Patronato to provide additional training that would enable him to handle more responsibility. We paid for that additional help, which enables him to use the bank's special software to review and approve loans.