A publication for people with disabilities recently honored a San Diego mail processing clerk who is blind with its employee of the year award.
Careers & the disABLED magazine presents the award annually to celebrate the professional and personal achievements of individuals with disabilities.
Frank Facio, who works at the San Diego Processing and Distribution Center, is one of 10 recipients this year.
He joined the Postal Service 37 years ago as a sighted person, but with an eye disease he was told would eventually cause blindness.
“I wasn’t going to let my problems get in the way of living a normal life,” Facio said.
As his eyesight diminished, Facio was determined to keep working.
USPS helped him find new opportunities, which led to his current role working on the delivery barcode sorting machines, where he pulls the sorted mail and loads mail trays.
Braille labels have been added to the bins and racks to help Facio perform his job. He has also used guide dogs to help him navigate the workplace.
“I never let my blindness get in the way,” he said.
Distribution Operation Supervisor Yvonne Franken said it’s “simply amazing” to watch Facio perform his duties without sight.
“We are honored to know and work with such a worthy employee,” she said.
Teresa Navarette, a disability compliance specialist with the USPS National Disability Programs Office, nominated him for the award.
“Frank is an excellent role model, and he assists others in the disability family by responding to inquiries regarding working with the Postal Service,” she said. “He’s a great advocate.”
Facio said he is grateful to his colleagues for their support.
“Although some are still skeptical, I think I’ve demonstrated to the Postal Service that with just a few accommodations, people can achieve remarkable things,” he said.