Clifford Alderson is a recent auto mechanic school graduate who is looking for a full-time job. That by itself doesn’t seem to be blog-worthy – and you’re probably right. But there’s something special about this 48-year-old recent graduate. You see, Clifford Alderson is blind.
Alderson was born with retinitis pigmentosa, a genetic ocular disease caused by abnormalities of the photoreceptors of the retina. It eventually led to his blindness. Alderson’s mother also has the disease, as does his 15-year-old daughter Lydia.
Clifford Alderson’s Motivation
Because he didn’t want Lydia to feel hopeless, Alderson decided he needed to inspire his daughter. His mission? To become an auto mechanic. Most scoffed at the idea, but that did not deter him. His recent graduation from New Mexico State University – Dona Ana Community College Program made him the first-ever blind man in America with a degree in auto mechanics.
Training at a small auto repair shop in Alamogordo, New Mexico, Alderson can make car repairs the rest of us with 20/20 eyesight are afraid to try. Damian Orchard worked with Alderson at the repair shop and reports that, for the most part, he just told Alderson what needed to be done on a car – and then turned him loose.
So how is Alderson able to do an auto mechanic’s job? As with most blind individuals, his other senses are exceptionally sharp. He explains that he listens to diagnose the problem, then feels his way around the car while completing the repair. He gets around with the use of a collapsible cane.
Alderson admits there were times when he wanted to quit, but the need to inspire his daughter, his passion for automobiles and his sheer determination became the motivation for him to ultimately achieve his goal.
So if you’re an automotive dealer in New Mexico and you’re looking for a good auto mechanic, give Clifford Alderson a call.