At two years old, Jose Martinez was diagnosed with retinitis pigmentosa. This group of genetic disorders affects the retina’s ability to respond to light, causing a slow loss of vision.
By 27 years old, Jose had complete vision loss.
Despite this challenge, Jose currently serves as the San Antonio Lighthouse’s Recruitment Specialist and is this year’s nominee for the National Industries for the Blind Milton J. Samuelson Career Achievement Award.
“When you’re blind, you have to work much harder to perform everyday tasks like simply arriving to work,” San Antonio Lighthouse President and CEO Cynthia Watson said. “For Jose to go above and beyond his job duties with such success and a positive attitude is something extraordinary to witness.”
Prior to joining the Human Resources Department, Jose worked in the Assistive Technology Department for 11 years.
“I love the Lighthouse’s mission and having a place where I can grow professionally so that I can also provide for my family,” Jose said. “I have the opportunity to do that and that’s super important to me. I can be part of my community.”
Jose earned his bachelor’s degree in Public Relations from Texas State University and launched his podcast ‘The Blind Beat’ in 2019. Jose is also the chair of the City of San Antonio’s Disability Access Advisory Committee.
The Milton J. Samuelson Career Achievement Award honors individuals who are blind and demonstrate career advancement at an NIB-associated nonprofit agency or in the private sector. The award is named after the late Samuelson, who was a strong advocate for upward mobility and placement programs benefitting people who are blind or visually impaired.
Jose will be honored at the National Industries for the Blind conference this fall.