When Production Lead Nicholas Shively was seven years old, he and his three older brothers were diagnosed with Usher Syndrome II.

At age 30, Nicholas noticed it was becoming harder for him to navigate independently. At that time, he was working in the laundry industry maintaining machines.

There were a lot of specialized bolts and tools that were required to fix broken machines, and it was getting increasingly difficult to do his work. The turning point for him was after his peripheral vision diminished, he was driving the company rig and just missed hitting a person.

He then went to massage school, to practice in the massage business his wife had started. They practiced together until she died. After her passing, Nicholas visited the Lighthouse to see first-hand the kind of work his brother Mark was doing. Then Nicholas was offered a job.

Nicholas started at the Lighthouse in 2009 as a production worker, then moved into a set up role, and then a lead position in 2015 — all on the wallboard line.

Working at the Lighthouse has given Nicholas tremendous confidence. He was taught by the Lighthouse Orientation and Mobility team to travel independently around town, and to and from work. Nicholas has learned to communicate with others using voiceover, JAWS, and is now a braille reader.

“Nicholas understands the importance in building high quality products for our customers,” shares a Lighthouse coworker.

“Nicholas has always been a collaborator. He understands the importance of team camaraderie, but never takes his eye off the goal of quality and productivity in his work.”

Portrait of Nicholas Shively, a light skinned man with grey hair. He is smiling and holding a white cane.

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