A new Jefferson Community and Technical College culinary program provides training for those who are blind or visually impaired.
Justin Purvis, a student in the culinary program Diagnosed with a degenerative eye disease, is slowly losing his vision. This course is helping him keep his passion for cooking — while dealing with his vision loss.
“I’ve been losing my vision since I was 14,” said Purvis. “Once we get done here, I’m very excited about getting back to work. Whatever site we get an opportunity to get. I want to take it and build it up as much as possible as big as we can.”
The 12 week long course is being funded by the Kentucky Office of Vocational Rehabilitation in Partnership with Workforce Solutions.
“What we wanted to do was create a tangible program so they can get college credit, professional development certificates and also have the skill set to be the entrepreneur in the vendor program,” said Tiffany Jones-Coleman, with Workforce Solutions.
Cramer Schneider says the program is not just about earning a certificate so he can work in a commercial kitchen, it’s about learning important life skills.
“People with vision that is nonexistent or really low like mine is, it’s by feeling, obviously. So when you’re dealing with something that’s that hot, you can’t do that,” said Schneider said.
Schneider comes from a family of entrepreneurs, and would like to own his own restaurant one day.
“You’re basically only limited by your work ethic and what you make it,” said Schneider.