For as far back as we can remember, people with disabilities have had to struggle with living fully independent lives. For the blind community, the most common misconceptions are being seen as having an inability to complete normally daily or work related tasks due to their lack of sight. People instantly assume that an individual is unable to survive or live on their own. But in truth, independence and the ability to sustain oneself is the key to overcoming any struggle. The great people at VISIONS understand this concept and have made it their mission to aid the blind community of New York in achieving true independence.
VISIONS was consecutively voted #1 in NY for job placement of legally blind persons in 2016, 2017, and 2018! I had the opportunity to speak with Michael Cush, the Senior Director of Workforce Development at VISIONS, who filled me in on their strategic approach. They utilize a teams of people who work directly with the clients, mostly on a one-on-one basis. They take an individualized approach to each new client they work with. “When a client comes into our offices, they all have one thing in common, they have a visual impairment, but different backgrounds and specific needs”, said Michael. They know everyone is different and just because their disabilities are similar that doesn’t mean their abilities are too. Their focus in on each person’s abilities and not their inabilities! They get to know the client and what strengths they have. Once that is determined, they begin their training and learning how to remain independent in the workplace. By utilizing technology and more, each individual can learn what works best for them to get the job done. Going a step further, their Workforce Development team not only educates clients, but employers as well. They work diligently to teach businesses the truth about visually impaired employees. Its not that they cannot do their job because they are blind, but rather because they are blind, they need to do their job a different way. This is why many employers are blind to the abilities of their visually impaired employees and only see their inabilities. They are fixated on the idea that a job needs to be done one standard way, when in fact every employee is different and therefore so are their approaches. VISIONS is an organization dedicated to making their community a better place for all people. Though they only service residents of New York, their online resources and hotline number are available to all! To learn more about their services, numerous resources including the BlindLine, and more please visit their website. Interested in getting involved with VISIONS? Simply call their main number: (212) 625-1616 and someone will give you all the information you need! To keep up with all their news, updates and events you can also follow them on Facebook and Twitter.
Bryan and Tom are two longtime friends, who share a love for gaming. In college, they used to get together on the daily and play various games, in some cases up to 5-6 hours a day! The way they put it, to say the least, they were addicted! Super Smash Bros was always their go-to game while in school. But Bryan is the big Nintendo fan of the group. Today, he has been focusing much of his time to Smash Ultimate but in the past played a lot of Pokemon, which was always a favorite. While Tom, on the other hand, loves them all! However, Tom’s favorite game hands down is Overwatch. He also plays Rocket League, Subnautica and other indie games such as Rime on stream.
The Early Days of Youtube and Twitch
While attending college at Seton Hall University, before Bryan and Tom took the Game Docs name, Tom went to Italy for a study abroad program. While he was there, since he didn’t have his daily fix of gaming, he went to Youtube and started watching Youtube channels dedicated to gaming. After watching for a while, he had an idea and thought to himself “I could do this”. Then started thinking of who could join him and after a phone call to his friend Bryan, he knew he found his partner. Thus, the Game Docs Youtube Channel was born! In 2017, after about 2 years of consistently adding new content to their channel, Bryan began pushing the pair towards Twitch. They decided it would be best to ease their way into the transition. So, little by little, they started phasing out their content on Youtube and increased their time streaming on Twitch. Today, they focus almost entirely on Twitch, except for adding some highlight footage to their old Youtube Channel.
The Game Docs and Charity Streams
Tom and Bryan have always been up for helping out those in need. Before they became the Game Docs, they did their first few events for Extra Life. Extra Life helps bring thousands of gamers worldwide together, to help support their local Children’s Miracle Network Hospital. Once the Game Docs were founded, they completed their first official stream for St. Jude’s Children’s Hospital. Overall, in a 3-year time frame, they raised $3,000 for Extra Life and over $1,500 for St. Jude’s. An incredibly generous gesture for kids of that age. Additionally, this isn’t their first time working with the Dreamscape Foundation. Our founder, Joseph Sehwani, also attended Seton Hall University and met them first as friends. Sehwani used to join them on occasion to play some video games or just hang out. Dreamscape Foundation, being in its early days, was eager to start doing some fundraising events and partnered with the two for its first Charity Stream events. Both the Dreamscape Foundation and the Game Docs are excited to bring it back to the beginning again on Saturday, April 20th, with a much higher goal of $600 in mind! But overall, the main focus as always is to make sure everyone has fun and enjoys themselves!
Where are the Funds Going?
This time around, the Dreamscape Foundation is looking to help Audrey Pickett. Audrey is a local and dedicated member of the Hannibal YMCA in Missouri, who has lived her entire life in a wheelchair. She has been attending personal training sessions at the YMCA for about 6 months now and has seen a tremendous improvement to her physical and mental strength! The biggest benefit besides just gaining some muscle in her upper body and “toning up for bikini season” as she likes to joke, is she can stand noticeably longer when she has the opportunity to stand out of her chair. This was a major motivator for Audrey and it made her want to continue with her training at the YMCA. Our campaign is going to help her pay for additional training sessions and if any is left over, to helping the YMCA obtain more accessible equipment to benefit all their disabled members.
Giveaways for our Selfless Donors!
We are no stranger to charity streams, and we a super appreciative to our donors! In the past, we’ve given away Amazon gift cards along with streamer specific prizes. This event is no different! If you donate at least $10 during our stream on Tiltify, you will be entered to win a Super Smash Bros Gamecube controller, along with a mystery amiibo figure! Take a look at our entire prize list, and the gift cards we will be raffling out to our wonderful community: We urge everyone to tune in this Saturday, April 20th starting at 12 pm EST, to the Game Docs Twitch Charity Stream event and support this amazing girl! Every little bit goes a long way and all we can ask is to give what you can! Even if you cannot afford to donate at this time, we would still love to see you all there to enjoy the fun and just have a great time!