Wanda Fisher has been with Envision for 33 of these 90 years. She has been visually impaired since she was born due to Oculocutaneous albinism (OCA). This is a group of four autosomal recessive disorders caused by either a complete lack of or a reduction of melanin biosynthesis in the melanocytes resulting in hypopigmentation of the hair, skin and eyes. She first learned about Envision when she went to the Low Vision Clinic, now the
Envision Rehabilitation Center, in 3rd grade.
After getting a degree in elementary education with an emphasis in special education, Wanda went to work at KETCH, a Kansas organization that supports adults with disabilities. When her supervisor left and went to work for Wichita Industries for the Blind, now Envision, at the Work Activities Center, now PRIDE, Wanda left KETCH to start working at Envision as well.
Wanda was 30 years old when she started working for Envision in the Work Activities Center. “It was hard for me to find a job in special education at the time, but the Work Activities Center also fit into what I wanted to do with my career,” said Fisher.
She helped oversee the consumers and the jobs they worked, taught a little bit of assistive technology, and also worked with the deafblind program that was at Envision at the time. She then started working for Envision at the White Canes and More store and all its transitions. This is what is now the Envision Everyday store. Wanda also helped train and oversee job processes in Envision Industries manufacturing plant locations in Pittsburg, KS and Kansas City, KS.
After moving to a customer service position for a few years, she started working for Envision Xpress as an E-Commerce customer service associate and has been in this position for 17 years. She has also won employee of the year during her time with Envision.
“I have worked for Envision for over half of my life. I have seen the evolution of Envision and am very passionate about all the opportunities Envision brings, especially being visually impaired myself,” said Fisher.
“The people and purpose my job brings is what keeps me here. There are so many different programs, services and opportunities for people who are blind or visually impaired through Envision. I didn’t have many of these opportunities growing up. When my brother and I were in school, my mom would have to take our textbooks and type large print books for us, because they just weren’t around yet. Envision offers many things that make life easier for someone who is blind or visually impaired.”
One of her favorite memories with Envision is when she traveled to New York for training during her time working with the deafblind program, and was able to see the Statue of Liberty, World Trade Center, and other popular New York sites. She participates in Envision golf tournaments, attends almost every Envision Arts Gallery exhibition, and dresses up for Halloween at work almost every year. She boxes three times a week for her Parkinson’s Disease and is a big advocate for Envision.