Faces in the Crowd : Julaine Arient-Rollman
This is Helen Keller Deaf-Blind Awareness week - a time to celebrate the achievements of people who are deaf/blind. A Rapid City women has made it her life’s work to advocate for people of all abilities.
RAPID CITY, S.D. — This year’s Helen Keller Deaf-Blind awareness week theme is Deaf, blind and thriving.
Julaine is the epitome of that theme and serves as an excellent role model for those with all abilities. She is one that if you tell her she can’t do something, she’ll prove you wrong.
When you meet Julaine and listen to her speak, you sense her passion and zest for life. Since a young age she has suffered from Albinism, a rare group of genetic disorders, which left her legally blind and hearing impaired. But that did not stop her from achieving her big dreams in life. In fact, people’s misconceptions fueled the fire for her success.
“People have so many preconceived notions. We can do anything we want to if we want to bad enough, yes we have to adapt, but I think it teaches everybody that we all adapt in one way or another. And you can sit at home and feel sorry for yourself, but I’m not going to do that.”
Her tenacity helped drive her to get a master’s degree in Rehabilitation Counseling and Mental Health Counseling and working with clients with disabilities; helping them find purposeful work, live independently and achieve their goals.
She also became a Certified martial arts Instructor through the U.S. Olympic Training Centers for Tae Kwon Do.
Juliane retired earlier this month from her position as a Certified Senior Rehabilitation Counselor for Service to the Blind and Visually Impaired, concluding a 25-year career with the South Dakota Department of Human Services.
Arient-Rollman says no matter your circumstances, perseverance can get you what you want in life,
“Overcoming people’s perceptions are the biggest obstacle that I think, as a person with a disability, because if you think you can’t – you can’t. If you think you can, you can.”
She believes we all must adapt to some type of limitations and people who need extra assistance should seek out the resources or find alternative ways to do things.
“They can adapt- they can overcome. Learning that there are supporters and mentors who can help you, and just because you are loosing your sight doesn’t mean it’s the end of the world and because you are losing your hearing, it’s not the end of the world. You can still maintain a quality of life, you just have to learn to adapt.”
Juliane also said that volunteerism is deep in her heart and has given service to the community through the Lions Club & National Federation of the Blind and many others. She has also won numerous awards for her work.
A Northern Plains Eye Foundation Gift of Sight recipient (Janet Ressl, on right) whose case was managed by Julaine (on left) in her role as a Service to the Blind and Visually Impaired Rehabilitation Counselor (Ronda Gusinsky).
Arient-Rollman also serves on the Northern Plains Eye Foundation Board of Directors.