certificate. St. George native Tanya Gilbert’s life changed forever in 2010 after she suffered a stroke. Health problems have accumulated over the years, and today the Buseron family must live with many limitations, especially regarding sight and hearing.
In 2019, the woman who now resides in St. Maarten was diagnosed with retinitis pigmentosa, an ocular disease that leaves sufferers with a blurred, dark field of vision with shades of grey. Most people have difficulty adapting to darkness and large changes in lighting. There is currently no definitive treatment and the vision of people affected by this slow deterioration of the retina continues to deteriorate over time.
“I would like to compare it a little to cancer. You don’t know how strong it is or how quickly it will develop. Fortunately, my condition has been stable since 2020. My vision is not deteriorating. I am monitored closely and have to take tests annually to keep my driver’s license. I can still drive, but I “I don’t do that anymore in the evening. I don’t see anything at all. Whether it rains or snows or whether the sun shines, there’s no difference. Automatically, I don’t differentiate between a road and a ditch.”
Deafness without warning
After suffering a stroke, MI Gilbert was affected and had to have two hearing aids installed. Ten years later, she lost hearing in her left ear. Her biggest fear was becoming deaf, which happened 18 months later. The Georgian claims that the sound disappeared radically in both cases. She couldn’t hear anything after just a few hours. For two and a half months, this mother of two remained deaf while waiting for new hearing aids.
It wasn’t easy to accept, especially since he lost him so suddenly. I cried my whole life every night until the day before my first surgery. The hardest part was not being able to communicate with my children and keep moving forward despite everything. We have found solutions to continue talking to each other, such as installing apps on our mobile phones. Today, the 42-year-old hears much better thanks to her two new implants, even if she is still in rehabilitation until November 2023.
Discrimination and adaptation
Last spring, Tanya Gilbert lost her job due to job cuts. She worked there despite her condition for several months. His employer has adapted his work environment very well to his new reality, by his own admission. “He was there for me in the most difficult times. He really made me see the light at the end of the tunnel. He made me understand that my life does not stop because I am deaf. On the contrary, a new chapter has begun.”
Anyone who is always looking for a new job feels that many employers are afraid to hire people with disabilities and disabilities. La Beauceronne even believes that there is a certain discrimination against people who find themselves in the same situation as her.
“I stand today to be a role model for other people like me, who don’t know how to act. Just because I have two disabilities and that I’m a disabled person doesn’t mean I’m any less able to function. It doesn’t take away my past experience and what I had to overcome to get here. That said, I believe I am better equipped to overcome life’s challenges.
MI Gilbert explains that not all companies are aware of the benefits of having people with disabilities in their work environment. Employers can, among other things, receive government subsidies and are eligible for various programmes, measures and services to assist persons with disabilities or disabilities, their families and loved ones. Tanya Gilbert’s rehabilitation center also offers different tools to better adapt the work environment, such as large computer monitors and echo-cutting panels in larger meeting rooms.