Accessibility

A smiling woman holding a bag full of vision assistive devices walks through the rain with an umbrella. The sky and rain around her are dark but the umbrella emits a beam of positive light.

Being Well Equipped for Vision Loss

Like most people, I used to dread rainy days. Outside of the obvious of feeling like I only wanted to stay in bed, when I forced myself outside it was always a struggle to decide which size umbrella I wanted.

The Goldilocks problem

At times it seemed more efficient to get the umbrella that fit in my purse because then it would be easier to keep track of. However, that size umbrella was not big enough to keep me and my son dry. As a result, I would carry the big “Mary Poppins” umbrella, which I would inevitably forget on the bus. It was a whole situation that often resulted in me losing my umbrella and ending up wet and feeling soggy.

Finding the perfect fit

Then, a few months ago the director at my 9-5 showed me his MRTLLOA Double Layer Inverted Umbrella with C-Shaped Handle, Anti-UV Waterproof Windproof Straight Umbrella. It was literally LOVE at first sight. Side note: I felt like I needed to share the exact name so that you can google this umbrella to experience just how awesome it is.  

Shortly after seeing his umbrella, I ordered one for myself and a Paw Patrol umbrella for my son. It has been a game-changer. I now look forward to rainy days so I can show off my cool umbrella. I even check the weather each morning (something that I did not previously do) to see if it is going to rain so that I can bring my cool new umbrella.

The tools I need for vision loss

Recently, I reflected on how prior to getting my umbrella I dreaded the rain, but now that I have the right equipment I look forward to the storm. Such is true for my life experiences living with macular degeneration. Prior to receiving proper accommodations and learning to advocate for myself, I used to dread performing “simple” tasks like reading aloud in front of a group of people, trying new recipes; because the font on the package was too small for me to see, and completing paper forms at work.

The challenge of reading with macular degeneration

It’s not like I couldn’t perform the above-mentioned tasks, it was that it was daunting and required more time. It’s stressful and nerve-wracking to take risks, go out of your comfort zone, or even complete tasks when you are not well equipped. However, when you have the proper tools it is almost like you seek out risk because you are equipped and know you have what it takes to be successful.

The right resources make the difference with vision impairments

Yes, it was uncomfortable for me to be in a classroom full of my peers and have to pull out my assistive devices to help me read the content that was on the board or having to go into the resources room because I required additional time to take a test. But it definitely is more manageable when I was well-equipped and aware of the resources that are available.

Making the impossible possible

For me, knowing what I need is half the battle. Once I am well-equipped the impossible feels possible... at least that’s the way eye see it.

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