A beautiful blue sky, bright green grass, a colorful flower. These are all sights of summer that most of us take for granted. Ernesto Menendez is forced "see" in a very different way: With his hands.
Menendez started losing his sight when he was about 11-years-old. Now, at the age of 18, he is totally blind.
Andrew Briscoe can relate; he is legally blind in his left eye.
"I have 20/200 vision," Briscoe explained. "I had retina detachment when I was a baby."
But neither young men let this hold them back. Thanks to the Dallas Regional Employment Access Meet, or "DREAM", program, young people with visual impairments are given on-the-job experience. DREAM partners with companies like CVS, Albertsons and other Dallas companies to help put on the five-week program.
"Just because there's a disability doesn't make them any less of a hard worker or a dependable worker," says Jennifer Svelan of the Texas Department of Assistive and Rehabilitative Services.
The program not only offers job experience, but life lessons as well. Participants work on grocery shopping, budgeting, doing laundry, shaving and more. Watch the video above to hear what else this program focuses on.
"I really had a good experience with walking to the grocery store, doing a shopping list, managing my checkbook, which is really 'eye-opening' - no pun intended - for me," Menendez says with a smile.
It seems that not only is this program helping teach life skills, it is also offering a sense of hope for the future.
"There's a lot of jobs they don't hire blind people for because they don't think they can do these certain jobs," says Briscoe. "but if you show them wrong, I really think in the next coming years it can really change."