An employeeAca,!a,,cs visual impairment doesnAca,!a,,ct prevent her from enjoying life.

Linda Kresge, [ a resident of Stroudsburg] a liquid dispensing equipment operator in the Component Paint Branch, has lived with poor eyesight her entire life.

Aca,!A"I have optic nerve damage due to premature birth,Aca,!A? says Kresge. Before coming to work at the depot, she was a hostess/cashier at a restaurant.

Kresge has worked at the depot for 21 years. For most of her career, she worked in the Component Paint Branch. She would use a paste and apply it using a squeegee to fill in the engraved lettering on equipment after it was painted. Aca,!A"For a while I did the job by hand,Aca,!A? she said. Aca,!A"Then in the early 90s I began to use a machine with a foot pedal to do my work.Aca,!A?

About six weeks ago, Kresge was temporarily assigned to the Tool Crib Operation Branch as a tool and parts attendant where she uses special equipment to inventory tools such as saw cutters and drill bits. The branch is part of the Production Management DirectorateAca,!a,,cs Material Management Division.

Because of her impairment, Kresge uses a video magnification system to help her identify writing on tools. The adjustable power zoom magnifies objects or writing, allowing her to see them displayed on a television screen. The depot has provided Kresge with the video magnification system and MAGic, a computer program that helps people with impaired vision view information on a computer screen to aid with her work. The program comes with a speech synthesizer for the hearing impaired.

Kresge also uses the same type of equipment at home. Aca,!A"I use the video magnification system to help me read my mail and write checks,Aca,!A? she says.

Although Kresge has worked here for almost 22 years and is familiar with her working area, sometimes she needs to rely on her co-workers to watch out for her well being. Aca,!A"Co-workers warn me, Aca,!Eoebe careful,Aca,!a,,c so I donAca,!a,,ct get hurt. TheyAca,!a,,cll move stuff out of the way for me; they help me,Aca,!A? she says.

Because the depot provided her with equipment to work, she was able to be around people, which she enjoys. Aca,!A"It meant a lot that the depot provided me with the equipment to do my job,Aca,!A? she said.

She says that she likes the sense of accomplishment that goes along with working. Aca,!A"I like being able to do something for myself,Aca,!A? she said. She becomes frustrated because sometimes she has to rely on other people. Aca,!A"I car pool here but when my car pool doesnAca,!a,,ct come to work, I have to find another way to get here,Aca,!A? she added.

But she doesnAca,!a,,ct get discouraged; she just finds another way to do whatever she wants to do.

Aca,!A"I canAca,!a,,ct read novels, so I order them on CD. If I want to go grocery shopping, IAca,!a,,cll contact a family member or call a cab,Aca,!A? she noted.

One of her hobbies is bowling in a Wednesday night bowling league. Aca,!A"IAca,!a,,cve been bowling since I was 10,Aca,!A? she says. Aca,!A"I average about 120.Aca,!A? Kresge also enjoys motorcycle rides, swimming and boating.

Tobyhanna Army Depot is the Defense DepartmentAca,!a,,cs largest center for the repair, overhaul and fabrication of a wide variety of electronics systems and components, from tactical field radios to the ground terminals for the defense satellite communications network. TobyhannaAca,!a,,cs missions support all branches of the Armed Forces.

Tobyhanna Army Depot is part of the U.S. Army CECOM Life Cycle Management Command. Headquartered at Fort Monmouth, N.J., the commandAca,!a,,cs mission is to research, develop, acquire, field and sustain communications, command, control, computer, intelligence, electronic warfare and sensors capabilities for the Armed Forces.