Comanche business owner will continue working thanks to state services
COMANCHE, OKLA — Customers who walk into Graham Jewelry are welcomed by a friendly puppy named Pudgy, the store’s official four-legged greeter. Following close behind is a smiling Rita Graham and her husband John Graham, the owners of the family business.
Graham Jewelry has been open since 1948, and Graham took over from his father in 1981. Graham’s work requires focus. He pays close attention, inspecting the broken watches of neighbors and setting stones for jewelry he is making.
Graham noticed he was having trouble with his eyesight a few years ago. He discovered he had cataracts, a cloudy area in the lens of the eye that leads to a decrease in vision. He said everything went dark, and it became difficult to see up close.
“I have to be able to see well for my job, and it was difficult to be able to focus the way I should,” Graham said.
Graham went to the Services for the Blind and Visually Impaired office in Chickasha, where he received services so he could remain employed. The agency paid for his cataract surgery and a pair of eyeglasses.
“John was a good participant to our program with good attitude,” Vocational Rehabilitation Specialist Nido Tomagos said. “He just took my counseling and guidance very well.”
SBVI’s program goals are to assist Oklahomans with disabilities in helping get or keep a job. Clients are eligible for the vocational rehabilitation program if their disability makes it difficult to work. They must be able to benefit from vocational rehabilitation services, which prepares them for employment. SBVI is a division of the Oklahoma Department of Rehabilitation Services.
Graham said the world is brighter after his cataract surgery, and if he had not received services, he would still be struggling.
For more information about SBVI, phone 800-487-4042 during office hours to reach the nearest location or visit https://oklahoma.gov/okdrs/job-seekers/sbvi.html.
The Oklahoma Department of Rehabilitation Services served 82,533 Oklahomans with disabilities in 2021.
For more information
Rachel McLemore, Public Information Officer