Heather Watson never did like computers. So how did she end up operating a highly technical fabric cutting machine, which is something like a giant computer wielding steel blades? Well, as much as she hated computers, she hated sewing even more.
Sewing was her first job at Industries of the Blind of Greensboro. Heather did not take to it. She only kept doing it because she didn’t want to draw disability. Heather likes working—even when she doesn’t.
Heather’s bosses may or may not have known she didn’t like sewing. But they did see that the girl had potential. They moved her to a material handling position. When she hit a home run in that , they asked her if she’d be interested in operating the cutter and also a CAD system.
Heather jumped at the opportunity. She got trained and became a great cutter. She uses the CAD program to digitize cutting patterns. And she’s even learned to get along with computers.
Heather has the genetic condition retinitis pigmentosa. She has always known that her vision would decline and eventually disappear. Today, at 29, she still has enough vision to operate the cutter, but it is only a matter of time before she’ll have to stop.
Meanwhile, she’s doing a great job. And she’s living a great life. Heather is happily married to husband Aaron. The energy she once devoted to softball and clogging is now devoted to raising three kids.