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I am legally blind and work FT AMA

27 replies

Raindropsonmynose · 31/07/2018 21:22

NC For this as it could be outing. Am legally blind with very low vision - work FT in a very senior role in a tech company

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DontDribbleOnTheCarpet · 31/07/2018 22:49

How do you do it? Is a lot of your time/mental load taken up with managing the extra problems you face?
Do you feel like other people see you as easy to take advantage of because of your sight?

Pringlemunchers · 31/07/2018 22:53

What type of work do you do ?

Pringlemunchers · 31/07/2018 22:54

Or rather how is that possible ?

Raindropsonmynose · 31/07/2018 22:55

Technology helps ! I can see but in soft focus if that makes sense. I use screen readers / my phone to magnify where screen readers don’t work - have an adaptive set up with two large monitors so I have really large text. The brain adapts.

Good question about mental Load - yes I do worry more than normal sighted people about going to a new place where I don’t know the surroundings or terrain. When DD was younger I was terrified of her walking anywhere more than two steps ahead of me as I knew I couldn’t spot her if she was further away !

People don’t take advantage but as my disability is slightly invisible (ha ha) they don’t really understand it - the number of times I have been asked if I can get laser surgery or glasses to fix it.

On the whole I have only felt support though!

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Pringlemunchers · 31/07/2018 22:55

Please don't think that is a horrible question and don't answer If you do

Raindropsonmynose · 31/07/2018 22:58

@pringlemuncher I Manage a multi functional multi locational team. I have loads of accessibility features - technology really has made my life so much easier and I wish we had some of those when I was in school. I just work around my disability. As an example if I am attending a conference I ask for the slide deck to be sent to me ahead of time then I would
Zoom in super large and go over it or use a screen reader. When I travel
I use an app to track gate numbers etc as I can’t read the arrival board as an example.

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Pringlemunchers · 31/07/2018 22:59

That is very reassuring and inspiring . Thank God for forward thinking and tech.

Raindropsonmynose · 31/07/2018 23:04

@pringlemunchers when I think of how I got through school ( my eye sight was slightly better then ) and later uni - my work life is so much easier. I also know that some day I am likely to lose my sight completely so determined to do as much on my terms before that as I can. I obviously can’t drive but as we live in a big city and ensured we bought a house with easy access to public transport that’s sorted.

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Pringlemunchers · 31/07/2018 23:09

Yes !! And why the hell not ! Making life to work for you ! This is what it is about. Have you thought about mentoring ?

Raindropsonmynose · 01/08/2018 00:10

@pringlemunchers nor much tbh and that’s mainly because I think in the scheme of things - my disability can be worked around and there are so many inspiring stories out there - thanks for your kind words. Flowers

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CraftyGin · 01/08/2018 19:47

Are you good at asking strangers for help?

Raindropsonmynose · 01/08/2018 21:46

@craftygin depends. If it for directions or something quick ( I can’t read street names) but if it’s
Something longer like reading printed menu
At Costa as an example ( I always try and preplan where I will eat/stop so I can check menu online) I feel weird asking for help as I feel am holding others up.

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oppossum · 01/08/2018 21:53

Do you find it affects your confidence talking to people?

I ask as I’m really short sighted and I struggle without glasses as faces are an expressionless blur and I worry people could look bored etc. That I missed cues. Or do you become better at reading other cues?

Without glasses I suddenly feel so vulnerable, I hate things like hairdressers where I remove them. I also have mild hearing loss and I feel suddenly lost

Raindropsonmynose · 01/08/2018 22:06

@oppossum I do! Also as faces are a blur it takes me a while to remember faces - or can get embarrassing! Also like you my condition comes with hearing loss as well. Basically if there are two sounds at the same time - my nerves get overworked and fry up. I won’t say I have gotten better with other dues though one to one I think am
Better with recognising from tone of voice. I would say am more comfortable In some ways communicating via text , slack or email than face to face. I have however learnt to be open about my disability so people know am just not ignoring them

  • they are just a blob to me. Once they are a familiar blob , it gets better.
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NotAnotherNoughtiesTune · 01/08/2018 22:09

No questions OP but watching with interest. Legally registered blind with kids too and will go to work in a few years and my husband is completely blind too so interesting to see others lives

oppossum · 01/08/2018 22:12

Ah, good to hear in a way I’m not mad! I have a people facing job and I put a big front on but I find it hard with adults. I have a big old bt button phone in my office that I LOVE. Proper 1990s thing.
I teach sometimes still (senior role) and I don’t have issue with kids though, they tend to be easy to read and have no agenda.

Sometimes I remove my glasses though and deliberately zone out an De stress. I clearly though don’t do well on muscle memory though as I have fallen down my own stairs a few times Mia stepping

Raindropsonmynose · 01/08/2018 22:15

@NotAnotherNoughtiesTune. haiii waves excitedly - I love meeting people with similar conditions.

Have you always had low vision ? I think the brain adapts and you will find a way to work
With it. There are services available via council that also help you know about adaptive tools - they can even come
To your work place and help
Find the best set up.

My husband and DD are normal
Sighted - I can imagine It would be tougher if DH were blind too.

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NotAnotherNoughtiesTune · 01/08/2018 23:18

@OP Yes I was born with a condition called Optic Nerve Hypoplasia. My husband was born with his too as he was born at 24 weeks gestation.

It can be very tough. I get eye strain a lot when trying to watch the kids (5 and 2) and hate asking for help. I just don't like to be different, silly I know!

We have a talking microwave and DH has a guide dog Smile aka the hoover.

Raindropsonmynose · 02/08/2018 06:20

@NotAnotherNoughtlessTune my condition is to do with Optoc Nerve Atrophy as well and something I was born with too.

Totally agree about the strain of watching kids. Watching DD when she was younger was both an mental and physical strain.

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PhewNowIKnow · 02/08/2018 11:17

Hi, thank you so much for this thread.

do you have any advice for someone who is about to be registered legally blind and struggling with everyday life? Single person, lives alone and struggles to get out and about? The lost career has been devastating for them. From 2009 there were frustrating vision problems, then in Jan 2017 everything progressed quickly and now their world is a 'distorted mess'. Thank you so much

Raindropsonmynose · 02/08/2018 20:19

@phewNowIKnow are they in the UK? Incentive you register blind, the council has a team that helps you deal with/adapt to life with your disability . It is difficult. It’s been 8 -9 years since my eyesight had a significant deterioration and I still sometimes have a self pity wallow. The social service team will call and pay a visit to your home and suggest ways to adapt. I
Would also visit the GP and ask for a federal
To a therapist. The registering blind bumps you up the list. It definitely took me
Time to come to terms with it and everyone’s journey is different. It was my DH constantly reminding me that we have ONE life and it’s up to us to make
It work for us that gets me out of the blues some days. What kind of
Work do they do ? With the right technology aid there isn’t a reason why you can’t continue to have a fulfilling career - or may not be as it was before but it really isn’t enemy of the world. Feel free to PM me and I will be happy to share any support advise I have. :hugs: to them

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Gribbie · 02/08/2018 20:26

Do you have a guide dog?

How do you travel to work? Easier in somewhere build up than the countryside I imagine!

Raindropsonmynose · 02/08/2018 20:43

@gribble no I don’t have a guide dog - am not completely blind but everything is blurry and somethings can be distorted if it makes sense ? I take the tube to work. I am allergic to dogs as well so will have to figure something out for when my vision is completely gone.

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motherofdragon · 02/08/2018 21:01

My DD is severely visually impaired and only has light perception. I worry about how she will be treated by others once she is in school. Do you have any experience of this and any suggestions on how we can help her should she be treated differently?

Raindropsonmynose · 03/08/2018 15:06

@motherofdragon my schooling was in India and it wasn't easy. As my condition is quite rare , no one really understood and I definitely didn't get the support I need.

From a coping pov - are you in London? Moorfield has a great team at their low vision clinic that can help. I would also talk to the SEN team at your daughters school.

The most important thing you need to do IMHO is to equip your DD to deal with being different - children can be unintentionally cruel but they are also super accepting. I would explain to her what her condition is and means. There will be days/weeks/months when she will feel low and sad but that's fine. Everyone has those moments albeit for different reasons. Is there something your DD really enjoys doing? That can be her escape? When world felt too annoying I would often clap my headphones on and zone out for a bit.

Hugs to all of you. Please feel free to message me if there are specific concerns and I will do my best to point you to the best resources. If it helps, when you have a condition from a young age you cope/ adapt to her much better than if it hits you in adulthood.

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