Alana Manrow spends her days helping people like her who are visually impaired as an employee for the South Texas Lighthouse for the Blind. As a Type One diabetic, the disease has taken its toll on Manrow’s vision — making things that are routine for most people not as easy for her.
“Depending on what my blood sugar is, my vision fluctuates. Sometimes it’s blurry. Sometimes it’s okay,” Manrow explained.
That includes even simple things, like seeing the buttons on your remote. So when she got her cable installed at her new home, she asked Grande Communications technician Emmanuel Rox about any larger alternatives.
“Tivo doesn’t really provide a remote for the visually impaired. I did some searching and I couldn’t find one,” Rox said.
However, he did ask Manrow about a potential solution.
“What if you had an enlarged photograph of the remote as a reference? would that help? and she said yes,” Rox recalled.
He came back the next day with a large, laminated printout of Manrow’s remote, oven and microwave. She mentioned to the technician that her appliances also had buttons that were hard for her to see.
Rox did it all on his own dime.
Manrow said about the moment, “[I] tried to reimburse him — nothing. He just told me ‘Happy Mother’s Day.’ i’m going to cry now, but it was awesome.”>
Rox said he saw an opportunity to help someone who gives so much of herself in public service.
“She’s dedicated her life to helping others. Yet in this situation, she needed a hand and I just happened to be in the right place at the right time to do that,” Rox told KRIS 6 News.
But Manrow says it’s an opportunity that a lot of people don’t take. It’s a choice that’s made a world of difference for her.
“We struggle with so many things, want to be so independent,” Manrow said about her life as a legally blind person. “And I can use my microwave. It sounds like nothing but it really is exciting that I can do that on my own.”
She’s not the only one who’s excited. Rox says he’s determined to use this opportunity as a launching pad to do more. He encourages others to do the same.
“Don’t ever think that you’re too small to make a difference. I mean, I’m just a cable guy but I had a chance and I took it.”
Rox said when he brought the printouts back to his colleagues at Grande Communications, the reaction was positive and immediate. Through the Grande Cares program, he’ll work to get them to other employees of the South Texas Lighthouse for the Blind who are also Grande customers.
Alana Manrow tells us that she hopes other businesses follow this example. She says she’s willing to guide them on how to better serve and interact with the visually impaired community. She can be reached at 361=693-6183. You can also visit the Lighthouse’s website at www.stlb.net.