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Employee Spotlight

Vision Resource Center Specialist
Former Intern & Mom-to-be

Three years ago, in August 2020, Karli Talley first stepped foot into North Dakota Vision Services/School for the Blind in Grand Forks. She was just about to start her senior year at UND and needed to do an internship for her degree in Rehabilitation and Human Services. “I applied for a few different places, but after an interview with Mr. Olson and Mr. Dockter, NDVS/SB seemed like a great place for my internship experience,” Karli says. As an intern, Karli, who grew up in Mora, MN, was able to observe all that NDVS/SB does across the state and help the agency out in a variety of ways. “Throughout that semester, I realized that it was in fact a great fit, so I extended my practical experience another semester,” Karli explains. But as graduation approached, it seemed NDVS/SB wasn’t done with Karli yet. “During that second semester, it was mentioned to me that there would likely be a job opportunity opening up shortly after my graduation,” Karli says. “I enjoyed my internship at NDVS/SB, so I was eager to apply for my current position as the Vision Resource Center Specialist and delighted to accept the job offer!” Read on to find out what Karli does in her role as Vision Resource Center Specialist, why you will find her at the Farmer’s Market on Saturdays, and when her family will be growing by one!

What is your role at NDVS/SB?
I am the Vision Resource Center Specialist! I assist individuals and professionals with finding different resources to help people with visual impairments. These resources include anything from books to sensory learning toys to American Printing House products.

What keeps you excited about your job?
The people I am able to help keep me excited about my job. I do a lot of sending out materials across the state, so I don’t always get to witness the impact, but encouraging feedback and continued requests motivate me to continue serving people to the best of my ability. When we have clients during short-term programming weeks, it is rewarding every chance I get to occasionally help with lessons, as well as just witnessing the progress and successes that people achieve throughout their time at NDVS/SB.

What is a typical day like for you? 
Something I appreciate about my job is that no two days are ever really the same, so that keeps things interesting and exciting! I never run out of tasks and projects to work on. While sometimes things come up where my day ends up looking a lot different than I anticipated in the morning, a typical day goes something like this: First, I check my emails and packages for anything that might require immediate attention, such as material requests or questions. I proceed with addressing these needs, and then I move into addressing needs around the Vision Resource Center like shelving, cataloging, or modifications. I also frequently check in with Lilly to assist with a variety of American Printing House needs. Any additional time may be spent between working with the Sensory Education Library, short-term program assistance, collaborating with coworkers, or special projects.

Is there anything you think people would be surprised to know or learn about NDVS/SB? 
Whenever someone asks me about my job, a common question I get is about what ages we work with. People are very often surprised when I tell them thatKarli and her husband stand close together. He has his arm around her shoulders. They are standing under a tent and behind a table with many different loaves of bread on it. NDVS/SB serves people from birth to death. It is pretty common among other agencies to target specific age populations, but we are very unique in our ability to reach infants, elders, and anyone in between! 

Tell us about your life outside of work. 
My husband Matthew and I have been married since May 2021 and are expecting our first baby this October! In June 2021, Matt and I started running a farmer’s market stand called Risen Indeed Breads. In 2022, he began baking bread for Bernie’s restaurant, and he is now Bernie’s Bakery Manager! We keep rather busy, but in my free time, I love to go running and to spend time with my friends and family.

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