Oscar Chavira

Nevadans with disabilities achieving their dreams

Oscar Chavira stands outside smiling

Oscar Chavira is from Battle Mountain, a small town in rural Nevada, but that did not stop him from achieving his academic and vocational goals. He was admitted to University of Nevada, Reno after graduating from high school and declared a major in mining engineering.

Oscar presents with visual impairments of having keratoconus, a bulging and protruding of cornea into a cone shape. The condition was rapidly progressing, and Oscar started to lose his central vision. He is very light sensitive and was struggling with his university courses.

Oscar applied for VR Blind Services in 2015 and his VR counselor helped him start services with a low vision assessment in order to better evaluate his functional limitations and make appropriate recommendations. Low vision aids and low vision training designed to overcome those functional limitations were provided by Nevada Voc Rehab.

Due to the nature of keratoconus, Oscar is required to wear specialized contacts to push his cornea back and see clearly. He did not have insurance to cover the expenses. Voc Rehab assisted him by purchasing those contact lenses twice a year to help him manage his disability.

VR also funded Oscar’s tuition and books which were not covered by FAFSA, as well as his rent during his relocation from Battle Mountain to Reno.

Oscar always maintained an excellent GPA and demonstrated great commitment to his VR program. He graduated from UNR with a bachelor’s degree in Civil Engineering with a 3.618 GPA in May of 2019. Later he continued to attend graduate school at UNR with the same major and graduated with a master’s degree in December 2020.

Oscar relocated to Denver Colorado in February 2021, and obtained employment with a consulting company called Knight Piesold & Company, as a geotechnical/civil engineer, consistent with his academic and vocational goal. He is working full time, $30.29/hour with full benefits.

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