[Video of an elderly man discussing his adjustment to having low vision. Shows different technologies that are available to assist those with low vision, including a text reader and a talking calculator.]
Jim: I got up one morning, and I know the paper was laying there on the table. I glanced over, and could no longer see it. I only have central vision, no peripheral vision up or down. If it’s a nice bright, white background with dark, dark, thick black letters, I can see those.
Initially I tried to hide it as long as I could. I didn’t want anyone to know. I went through that whole why me syndrome. I got very angry because I couldn’t see. What really gave me an uplift is I got around blind people, and I saw that people were successful with blindness. They were going to school, they were holding down good jobs. They were just going on with life with low vision or no vision.
The CC TV, that was the greatest thing for me. I try to put the tape recorder on along with the text underneath CC TV, so that helps a whole lot. If there’s one or two pages that need to be scanned, I put them on the scanner and that reads it out loud to me. I use a brail and speak which is a brail note taker. It’s a small computer within itself. I have a talking scientific calculator to help me out with my calculations in school and my math work. I even have a talking bathroom scale that tells me I am overweight.
If you’ve gotten a bad diagnosis from your first opthamologist visit, I want you to ask the doctor where can you go for low vision devices. Do you have anybody you can refer me to for magnification, and if he can’t you take the initiative yourself. You can search the internet for low vision doctors.
I have gotta’ tell you get with someone who can’t see well; who’s low vision themselves. Ask them where they went. Our network is a powerful network, and someone out there has your same problem, and they can help you.