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World Sight Day : A Personal story

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There are over 2 million people in the UK living with a sight loss in the UK, and more than 300,000 individuals are registered as blind or partially signed.Today is World Sight Day, and one of our colleagues at Steps To Work, Tara would like to share her experience of having sight difficulties. Below, you can read her story and learn more about her journey.

 When I first started losing my vision, it was a confusing time for both me and my family. The subtle changes in my behaviour were noticed by them before I even realised something was wrong. I would move closer to the television, squint to read, and my reading speed had significantly decreased. It was a gradual process, but eventually, it became clear that something was happening.

It wasn’t until I was a teenager that I was finally diagnosed. This diagnosis brought a sense of relief and clarity. With a better understanding of my condition, I was able to receive the support I needed in school. This support greatly improved my academic performance and made engaging with the educational system much easier.

As I entered adulthood, I made a conscious decision to engage in voluntary work and seek employment support. These choices proved to be life-changing for me. Through volunteering, I learned how to overcome my disability and develop strategies to navigate the world around me. Employment support helped me find a job that accommodated my needs and allowed me to thrive in a professional setting.

One of the most significant changes in my life came when I registered for a Guide Dog. Having a guide dog not only increased my mobility and independence but also served as a visible symbol of my disability. It helped others understand that I had specific needs and encouraged them to ask questions rather than make assumptions.

I want to emphasise that my experience is unique to me. Every visually impaired or blind person has their own journey and coping mechanisms. The level of vision they have and the way they engage with the world may differ greatly from my own experience. It is important to ask questions and have open conversations rather than making assumptions about someone’s abilities or needs.

If you would like to get support if you are with sight loss or experience difficulties with seeing:

Guide Dogs -a charity with 90 years history of supporting training of dogs for visually impaired people.

RNIB – RNIB offers support to blind and partially sighted people across the UK. They can help you to find the right assistive technology, support you in education and work, access financial help and much more. We’re here to help you live the life you want.

Focus Birmingham – They provide sight loss support and guidance.

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