One that I don’t have.
If anything, it’s gotten worse with my vision loss.
One of my biggest struggles I’ve faced with my vision loss is dealing with the things that I could easily do before but now can’t. It’s not easy giving up some of your independence. I’d love to say that I handle it fine, but I don’t. It aggravates the hell out of me, as I’m sure it does most people in my position.
Thankfully, with the advances in technology that are out there, blind people can do way more than they were able to do on their own 20 years ago, but it still isn’t easy.
Take something as simple as going through the mail. The average Joe just stands at their kitchen counter, looks at the envelopes, and opens what’s of interest to them.
But not me!
After I bring in the mail, I have to either boot up my laptop and use a piece of software called OpenBook in conjunction with a document scanner or an iPhone app called KNFB Reader, which will do basically the same thing using the iPhone’s camera.
That technology works great for printed material, but if it’s hand-written all bets are off.
It’s also no help if I have to sign something, since it can’t show me where to sign. I have to get someone to identify the blank for my signature and place a signature guide, a piece of plastic the size of a credit card with a hole cut into it that can be lined up with where I have to sign.
It’s small stuff like that which aggravates me.
On a related note, people who expect that I can do something that I either can’t or are not comfortable with doing by myself and then get aggravated because of that annoy the crap out of me. I mean, did you really think that I wanted this? Because I’ve got news for you: I didn’t! I’m having a hard enough time with the fact that I need help, the last thing I need is you piling it on.
Thankfully, with the skills I picked up at rehab, there’s a lot more that I can do now than I could four months ago and I’m starting to get more confidence in my abilities, but it’s still a struggle that I don’t think a lot of people understand.