Tanja Milojevic works hard every day to make other people’s lives easier.
As the braille production specialist in Perkins School for the Blind’s Library, it’s her job to convert printed and electronic word files into accessible braille documents. Through this work, she helps give people with visual impairments access to the different reading materials they need, from books to restaurant menus to hospital records.
“It feels like I’m directly affecting people’s lives with the work I do,” she said. “I take pride in knowing I’m helping someone.”
Now, her efforts on the job are being recognized beyond the Perkins campus. Born with a visual impairment herself, Milojevic was recently acknowledged with a Carroll Society Award as one of the state’s top employees who is blind. The prestigious honor is given by the Carroll Center, a Newton nonprofit that offers programs to people who are blind and have visual impairments.
In a statement, Dina Rosenbaum, chief program officer with the Carroll Center, said the organization was “impressed” by Tanja’s breadth of skills on the job.
“She appeared to be a vital team member who has assumed a plethora of job tasks while demonstrating high degree of expertise in all,” she said.
Milojevic was one of five people to receive the Carroll Society Award this year – and the second from Perkins in as many years – joining a select network of talented workers who have been recognized for the “significant contributions” they’ve made to their respective workplaces.
In her letter of recommendation, Kim Charlson, executive director of the Perkins Library, praised Milojevic’s poise and professionalism, adding the library “couldn't do what we do without her talent and expertise.”
“I rely on her for many things, which helps me to get my tasks completed efficiently,” Charlson wrote. “She is a positive role model and an exemplary blind employee and well deserving of recognition.”
Milojevic, who was born with retinopathy of prematurity and developed glaucoma as a child resulting in her blindness, has been on the job for three years now, having started as an intern before being hired part time and subsequently full time. She uses a screen reader and a braille display to get her work done, which satisfies demands for braille documents both on and off campus.
Milojevic felt particularly honored to be a recipient.
“It was really cool, because I know there are other employees who work in the library who are equally as deserving,” she said. “So I was happy to be considered amongst them.”
When off the clock, Milojevic is a voice actor, lending her vocal talents to audio dramas and games. She also enjoys going for walks with Nabu, her 3-year-old yellow lab that serves as a guide dog, and watching horror movies.
Now, she said she’s inspired to work harder, not for any accolades, but for meeting her own personal standards.
“It’s always good to try your best and put all your energy into what you’re doing,” she said. “If you don’t, you’re not going to be living up to your own expectations for yourself.”