Sight Loss- A positive look at it…

Quite often as visually impaired people we commonly get asked by others how we continue to carry out particular tasks, or what we have had to stop doing since losing our vision. We are often too busy living our lives to dwell on the negativity but a recent story recounted by one of our regular service users, where she had instead been asked, ‘What can you do now that you could’t do before?’, seems like an ideal way to turn the tables and embrace the positivity of having to adapt to a new way of living.

So this week we posed this very question to our staff, volunteers and service users and here are some of the responses we received;-

‘I tried ironing for the first time, thanks to Sam [KVIN team member] for giving me some tips’

‘Trying to use my phone for more things than phone calls.’

‘I have taught myself both braille and moon tactile reading systems and how to use voiceover screenreader on my smartphone, which has also led to me getting to grips with lots of apps to help with daily living tasks and travelling. Finding employment with a visual impairment is also infinitely more difficult so I completed two years at The Open University to improve my chances and have also taken up over a decade of different voluntary roles to skill boost.’

‘Shaving without a mirror.’

‘A positive step for me was realizing that life may be different after sight loss and not the way we planned but brings up lots of opportunities for learning, especially using supporting technology. Also getting out more, meeting new people at KVIN and learning lots of good tips for managing cooking tasks with low vision.’

‘Reversing this a little bit, I can safely say that I manage to do things over the years that I’m sure I wouldn’t have done if I had been sighted. I competed in a range of sports, followed various career paths and the last one, yep I couldn’t have done this one if I was sighted, competed in the Paralypics.’

‘So for me one of the things I can do now, not by myself is cycling, I enjoy Tandem Trekkers, it’s something I wouldn’t have dreamt of doing before my sight loss. Happy days. Very grateful for everything else also.’

‘How I dealt with sight loss and my mental health when I started losing sight at the age of 68, it can be very stressful and scary to find thay in retirement your whole life can come tumbling down. Do you become a prisoner in your own hone or do you do something from the start?I didn’t change anything. You have to remain positive and think and plan ahead. I started with walking I found where the safest and least dangerous places to cross roads and where to walk the same and with public transport and places to visit, with cooking and gardening and other jobs it is really just changing and adapting how you tackle things. You have to learn to be patient, adaptable and leave yourself plenty of time. I have found that so far I have managed to do most things. I will be starting to plan for total sight loss, I am SSI [Severely sight impaired]at the moment. Be positive and always look on the bright side of life, this will help the mental anguish associated with age and VI [Visual Impairment].’

‘One big positive for me is that when you are out and about with either a guide dog or a white cane you by default attract a lot of attention., which in turn means I make sure I always put the effort in, hair done, make up on etc, which in turn improves my well being.’

Thank you to everyone who contributed…