World Services for the Blind (formerly Lions World Services for the Blind) has long served our community with employment training opportunities. Most notably it used to be the hub for training future workers for the Internal Revenue Service to answer taxpayers’ questions, establish payment agreements, and enforce the tax code. Many other people have attended World Services to become assistive technology instructors who help fellow blind and low-vision neighbors gain independence through better use of computers.
Over the past decade, CEO Sharon Giovinazzo has done stellar work guiding the school from some very rocky waters into thriving again toward respect among clients and employers alike. Under her leadership, the school has shifted focus from the IRS programs due to the 2016 government hiring freeze to implement tracks for credit counseling, massage therapist work, and a continued emphasis on assistive technology. While many of the long-standing faces that graduates might recognize from the past decades are no longer working, the staff is more energetic than ever to keep the school in step with the needs of blind workers and their employers.
So, welcome Eric Yarberry, the new CEO. You can find more about him at this link.
One of my observations, as a graduate of Lions World Services’ IRS program back in the early 2000s, is that having leadership who is visually impaired will more than benefit the Little Rock based school. After all, what better to have someone who’s lived it, walked the talk, and done the hard work of being a leader in the blindness community and in the greater mainstream society? Hence, Eric will be the second CEO in a row who is blind or low-vision. Here’s to him being the latest ambassador for this incredible school with its many opportunities.