9-1-1 Dispatcher Doesn't Let Disability Keep Him Down - KLTV.com - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News

10/15/03 - Tyler

9-1-1 Dispatcher Doesn't Let Disability Keep Him Down

     One East Texas man refuses to let his disability get in his way... and strives make people see him as an equal. 22 year old John Youngblood is a 9-1-1 dispatcher with the Upshur County Sheriffs department.

     He was born with saycrile-agenosis, which is an incomplete spine effecting the development of the legs, he's physically challenged, but he has a can-do attitude and never sees himself as disabled.

   "Just because I look different and I walk differently doesn't mean I have to do the job differently... I can do it the same way anybody else can" says Youngblood.

    "He started reserving for us as a reserve dispatcher for a while , he learned the job and was excellent at it , and when we got an opportunity to hire him, John was interviewed hired and he's been with us 2 1/2 years" according to Sheriff Anthony Betterton.

    He sees the need for assisting groups to help the disabled get into the workplace and lead productive lives. "I'm lucky because I can walk on crutches, I can go up and down stairs people in wheelchairs can't... People like that need assistance in some ways" says Youngblood.

     He see's everything as a hurdle to be overcome... He played football at Gilmer high school, a team captain, and even had his jersey retired by the school. An avid flyer, he's working towards a pilots license... He got a job with the sheriffs department through sheer persistence.

   He hopes that anyone with disabilities can see that nothing is beyond reach. Bob Hallmark reporting.

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