John has always had trouble with his sight; when he was just six years old, his mother asked him to read the number on an approaching double decker bus. When he replied, “What bus?”, his mother realised that his eyesight was more of an issue than had been previously thought.

John’s sight continued to deteriorate over the years; he had cataract operations in his early 40s, retinal detachments and numerous perforations. He now has very little sight left, being completely blind in one eye, and with Age-related Macular Degeneration and Glaucoma in the other. There is no cure for John’s condition – he is expected to lose his remaining sight in the near future.

Having always worked with computers, John set up his own consultancy business in 1984, specialising in specification issues for new software. For many years he has been working on the development of ground-breaking software, but with his sight becoming ever worse, he was struggling to see the computer screen and fearful he would lose the ability to use his computer. 
 
“I was desperate to get this project finished before my sight went completely. It was a race between me and Glaucoma.”

John heard about Sight Support (then Vision West of England) at the NHS Low Vision Clinic, and approached us for help adapting his computer so he could continue working on the project. Our Senior Community Sight Loss Advisor, Marc, helped to install low vision software on the computer, and provided training and support to get John up and running again. 
 
John is now developing his software with Imperial College, who want to include it in postgraduate courses and support further research. We are delighted to have been able to help John and enjoy hearing updates as the project progresses.

John said, “If Vision West of England can do for others as much as they’ve done for me, they are miracle workers”.
 
We are not miracle workers, but we are here to help anyone and everyone who is living with sight loss in the region.


If like John, you are looking for some help and advice on how to continue working when living with sight loss, then drop us an email to [email protected], or call us on 0117 322 4885. 

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Sight Support provides local services for people living with sight loss across Bristol, Bath & North-East Somerset and South Gloucestershire and in Wiltshire under the banner of Wiltshire Sight. Sight Support is the operating name of Vision West of England, UK registered charity no. 1178384
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