Fred Quick always had a passion for technology. As a teenager growing up in Brooklyn, NY, he spent his spare time repairing TVs and building stereo systems. “Electronics was always a hobby of mine,” he said. “RadioShack and Lafayette Radio were my favorite places.” But when he was 21-years-old, Fred thought his favorite hobby was taken away forever.
In 1974, Fred lost his sight after the nerve endings in his eyes were severed during a tragic car accident. As expected, the road to recovery was tough. “I had no idea what a blind person was able to do,” Fred said. “It was a whole new world trying to get acclimated.”
Fred eventually enrolled in a local rehabilitation program. As he learned daily living and mobility skills, he began to cope. “I met other people who were blind,” he said. “It gave me a sense that I wasn’t alone. That’s when I realized that this is my life now, let me take it from here and see where I go.” From that moment on, Fred never looked back.
In 1975, he took the high school equivalency exam at Lighthouse International, which allowed him to enroll in Mercy College in New York. After graduating, Fred returned to the Lighthouse to complete a computer technology training program. It was the first time he was able to work with electronics since losing his sight.
While Fred went on to have a successful career in commercial real estate, he always knew technology was his calling. That’s why in 2000, he came back to the Lighthouse as an assistive technology instructor. Since then, Fred has been helping visually impaired clients learn to use accessible technology to improve their day-to-day lives. He teaches his clients how to use the computer, internet, email and vision enhancing devices. Through Fred’s program, clients learn to use technology that will prepare them to get a job or further their career. “I really enjoy meeting someone who is basically in the same situation I was in years ago – newly blind and not knowing what technology can do [to help],” he said. Teaching comes naturally to Fred. He’s an eloquent speaker whose humility and warmth is transparent the minute you meet him. “I really enjoy teaching,” he said. “I get gratification out of it.”
Above all, Fred understands the plight of his clients. He knows the Lighthouse provides people with the skills, confidence and support to succeed. “[The Lighthouse] is a place where someone can start a new life,” he said. “Coming here will help them gain their independence back.”
Support Lighthouse International in its mission to help the visually impaired live safe, happy, and independent lives. The Lighthouse depends on the generosity of people like you, so please donate today!