May 30, 2024
Jacksonville man’s blindness no obstacle to Christmas decorating

Jason Parisi was stringing Xmas lights when he suddenly pivoted, walked briskly down a hallway just before he stopped, opened a door, and retrieved a decoration from his area.

This would be regular other than the point Parisi is deaf and blind.

When men and women at Balsam Terrace and Spruce Manor communicate about Parisi, the phrases “outstanding” and “remarkable” pop up typically. Parisi is the chief decorator for the condominium complex in Jacksonville operated by the Volunteers of America for seniors and people today with disabilities.

“Jason is extraordinary, really amazing. We know we are unable to decorate like him even as he loses his sight. I you should not know what we would do without him. The way he does items is actually beautiful. He is a excellent dude,” Lisa Lisenbee, a fellow resident, mentioned.

“It can be amazing how he does it all by sense. Even though some people today use a tape evaluate, he takes advantage of his arms to evaluate. And it turns out excellent,” said Elizabeth Atherton, an office assistant at the elaborate. “He commenced right after Thanksgiving by using down the Thanksgiving decorations and placing up the Christmas decorations. He enjoys accomplishing this.”

Parisi, 37, grew up in Jacksonville and attended the Illinois Faculty for the Deaf. He has been deaf given that birth but has slowly and gradually been dropping his eyesight.

He has Usher syndrome, an inherited sickness that results in hearing loss and retinitis pigmentosa, an eye dysfunction that results in eyesight to get even worse in excess of time. The confined sight he has is in black and white and what remains is blurry.

“I enjoy to decorate. They donate items and cash for me to buy new issues to enhance with. I love youngsters and love it when they see my decorations,” Parisi explained.

“What evokes me is how he dives into each and every holiday break. He brings up the morale of the staff members and the relaxation of the inhabitants. It truly is challenging to set into terms what Jason signifies to this position,” Jordan Turley, servicing lead for the sophisticated, explained.

“Nobody motivates him. It is really more like, ‘You need to go this scooter out of the way so I can get to the decorations.’ He would not inquire for assistance. If another person helps, it’s for the reason that they are by now there,” Turley reported.

The alcoves for the rooms are embellished by the inhabitants who reside there, but Parisi is liable for decorating almost everything else. He decorates five trees as perfectly as the typical places and hallways. Snowflakes hang from the ceiling in an orderly style, accented by garland, wreathes and oversized stockings on the partitions. Anything is in buy and every single item is flawlessly in area.

Teresa Nash has regarded Parisi given that she moved into the apartments in 2009 and has watched him as his sight has deteriorated.

“He decorates for us and has the area seeking wonderful. It seems to be much better and much better each individual calendar year. He’s a pretty unique child. There is nothing at all he wouldn’t do for you,” Nash stated. “Seeing him perform is some thing unique.”

Parisi explained he moved to the apartment elaborate in 2008 and started decorating in 2009 when he had an thought to do it and the other people today voted to allow him adorn.

“He places his heart into it. People search at what he does, and they are astonished. His fiancée, who is deaf, life throughout the hall, and she allows him as he spends several hours and hrs decorating for Christmas. He’ll continue to keep heading until finally Xmas,” Atherton claimed. “He keeps bettering each calendar year with his decorating.”

Parisi is also recognized for his troubleshooting talents. Atherton claimed he can correct the lights when they’re out by painstakingly wanting at every bulb for indications of existence prior to replacing the ones that are burned out.

But it can be not just Xmas that he decorates for. Atherton mentioned following Xmas, he’ll just take down these decorations and get completely ready for Valentine’s Working day. Parisi decorates for all holidays which includes St. Patrick’s Day, July 4, and Halloween.

“He’ll continue to keep the snowflakes he hung from the ceiling up and operate a Valentine’s topic into them. He does not enable his eyesight loss get to him. Decorating retains him heading. He is quite self-adequate,” Atherton.

“I like all the holidays,” Parisi claimed. “I do not have a preferred holiday getaway – other than Christmas.”

Parisi has two matters on his Christmas desire list. A lot more decorations and a occupation.

“I could use a lot more lights if everyone desires to guidance me. I need different hues – I have to have white lights and hues for Valentine’s Day,” Parisi stated. “It isn’t going to issue if the decorations are new or outdated, I will use them all.”

Atherton stated Parisi has been wanting for a position and his target is to do anything relevant to inside decorating.

“Jason has the generate,” Turley stated. “He just requires the proper fit.”