Woman and man helping children at table with braille activities

April 22, 2021

Chances are if you’ve been to a Clovernook Center virtual or in-person event, you’ll recognize this month’s Employee Spotlight, Stephanie Jones. Stephanie is the Communication Skills Instructor for Clovernook Center for the Blind & Visually Impaired in Memphis, Tennessee. She most recently served as a Master of Ceremonies for Clovernook Center’s BOLDLY BVI virtual event that took place in early April 2021, and she’s a familiar presence at the annual Braille Challenge. She was busy introducing us to the fabulous guests during the event, and we didn’t get to learn much about Stephanie, so let’s get to know her!

In her day-to-day role at Clovernook Center, Stephanie teaches both braille and Apple accessibility. She is also an advocate for individuals with different abilities and takes every opportunity to educate the community on being inclusive, diverse and accessible to all. Stephanie also works with Menus4ALL – a company that produces accessible restaurant menus for guests with blindness and visual impairments.

Before losing sight 14 years ago due a medical condition, Stephanie was a pre-med major in college as she prepared for pharmacy school. Stephanie said if she could go back and change things, she wouldn’t. She doesn’t feel like her life ended when she lost her sight; in many ways it really started then. She tries to make sure students don’t tie everything to sight and she strives to help them realize their opportunities are endless.

BOLDLY BVI allowed Clovernook Center to highlight voices of those who are blind or visually impaired, as their inspirational stories need to be told. Stephanie said it one of the greatest moments in her career at Clovernook Center. The other was hosting the first accessible egg hunt for kids and adults in Memphis. The egg hunt was one of only about five accessible events that were held in the country.

“It’s the little things that people don’t realize, the things you can’t experience when you are blind,” said Stephanie. “You can make it happen when you sit down and think about it, just like with the egg hunt. The eggs made an audible sound so participants could find them. Anything can happen if you put a little effort in.”

Outside of Clovernook Center, Stephanie is always working. Her personal and professional life always intertwine. She teaches youth to be strong leaders and works on accessibility solutions. One of Stephanie’s proudest moments was being named a WMC-TV MidSouth Hero in 2019 based on the nomination of her students.

Stephanie is a native Memphian and enjoys her work with the BVI community, but her favorite job is being a mother of five. Her children range in age between 8 and 22 years old. Stephanie is proud to say that her oldest is graduating from college this year and is being commissioned as a Second lieutenant.

A favorite pastime for Stephanie is cooking. She loves to cook and coming from a big family to having a big family of her own, cooking for 20 to 30 people is nothing for her – she loves doing that and misses it. In addition to cooking, Stephanie loves playing sports; she played and coached tennis in high school and college. She even received Tennessee’s Female Goalball Player of the Year and coached Memphis first goal ball team in 2017.

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