Vicky: Sight Loss Personal Story

Vicky is partially-sighted, after recently developing an eye condition. An academic and artistic person who has always loved technology, she has prioritised equipment that can help her continue her work, blogging and creative pursuits. Making her computer more accessible was crucial, so she now uses an extra-large monitor along with MS Zoom. She uses Dolphin Supernova software on her laptop. She uses Google Drive cloud storage to avoid fiddling about with memory sticks and YouTube to listen to music, keep up with the news and guide yoga routines. She also has Sky TV, using audio-description to watch soaps but turning it off during films, where she finds it too distracting. Contrasting colour settings enable her to read the TV menus.

Vicky reads Audible audio-books on a Kindle and also uses Librivox, an online resource of free audio-books. Her Samsung phone is set up with negative colours and she uses the speech software features which are ‘pretty reliable’. Vicky does much of her food and general shopping online and is a keen Amazon customer. She banks with Halifax and says its online banking is accessible; she particularly likes being able to do transactions over the phone without needing a card-reader.

Vicky has recently started to adapt her flat, putting in powerful room lighting and extra lamps. She has plans to remove a light-obstructing pillar and redo the flooring in a lighter colour. She has fitted handrails and bright lights on the stairs, as this is important for her confidence. She has started using audio-labelling and uses an electronic magnifier to identify things around the house. She thinks her specialist electronic magnifier is better than her smartphone magnification apps but prefers to use her beautifully-crafted traditional magnifier where possible.