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Blind Queens Village man honored for his service
Yuet Yuen Chao — also known as Charlie — is legally blind and is the recipient of the Alphapointe “I Make it Happen Award” for his 12 years of service to the company.
By Naeisha Rose

One of the outstanding employees at Alphapointe NY, a Brooklyn company that hires the blind, is Yuet Yuen Chao,84, who is also known as Charlie.

Charlie, who is legally blind, has worked as a packer and sealer at the company’s needle craft department for over 12 years and has only been late twice during his tenure, according to his supervisor, Maria Sanchez.

Charlie wakes up at 4 a.m. in Queens Village to get to work before 7:30 a.m. and manages to arrive 45 minutes early almost everyday. He travels by bus and train and doesn’t let anything slow him down.

“He doesn’t feel any personal sense of danger as compared to when he lived in China,” his interpreter said.

When he first became legally blind in 1995, after three failed surgeries to correct a retinal detachment, he was “unhappy and concerned.”

Despite the support of his wife, Lai Chi, whom he has been married to since 1966, and their three sons, the difficulty finding work is what took a toll on him.

In 2005, he found hope at Alphapointe NY, one of the nation’s largest employers of the blind.

“Working at this company, he has a job. By having a job, he had income. With income there was security in life,” said his interpreter.

At work, he is proud to be bilingual in Spanish and Cantonese, and does everything that he can to help translate for his fellow co-workers.

On April 12, it was announced that he would receive the “I Make it Happen Award,” which is given out to employees of the company for achievements in excellence.

“Charlie is an excellent employee and good team player for the department,” according to his supervisor’s profile of him. “He does a great job maintaining the workflow and packing on the glove line. He always meets or succeeds expectations. He is always willing to help others when needed, within or out the assembly department.”

As a grandfather of five, Charlie is grateful for the opportunity that Alphapointe NY gave him.

“The company doesn’t discriminate against legally blind people. The company atmosphere is very good and everyone gets along with each other,” his interpreter said.

Reach reporter Naeisha Rose by e-mail at nrose@cnglocal.com or by phone at (718) 260–4573.

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