In Australia, more than 450,000 people are currently living with vision impairment or blindness.
Vision loss can be life changing. If you, or someone you know, has been diagnosed with vision loss, you may be wondering: what’s next?
To support you through this life transition, Vision Australia, a leading national provider of blindness and low vision services in Australia, has recently launched ‘Let’s talk about vision loss’ – a project that lets you listen to real, inspiring stories from eight everyday Australians living with different vision conditions.
This resource is dedicated to people who are new to vision loss and to those who are supporting someone going through this life transition. Read brief snippets from a few of their stories below:
At the age of eight, Ben was diagnosed with retinitis pigmentosa, a group of related eye disorders that cause progressive vision loss.
“When I started to lose my vision as a kid, it was just when I was really getting into reading books,” Ben said. “It was quite a devastating time to lose something that I was just getting into and loving.”
Despite this, Ben says the challenges he’s faced has allowed him to grow. He is currently a university student and science whizz, and is about to embark on a career as a genetic counsellor. He says that whenever he feels nervous about his career, he reminds himself that having low vision gives him an advantage over his peers...
Deena was born with congenital glaucoma, a condition that occurs in babies and young children and can lead to irreversible vision loss.
“During school, I was in big denial. I would push away and refuse things like having an integration aid,” Deena said. “I was embarrassed and didn’t want to look different.”
Her attitude to living with an eye condition has shifted considerably over time. She currently works as an advisor for the state government and is a mother to a five-year old.
Deena’s advice to anyone facing blindness or low vision: “You don’t need to do everything at once. Small and steady wins the race.”
Tony is a celebrity chef and teacher who noticed his sight deteriorating while taking a break from his busy career.
Tony is legally blind, and regaining his confidence in the kitchen took some time. However, thanks to the right services and training, he’s still cooking perfect meals and he’s now helping others with vision conditions cook up their own wonderful creations.
“I discovered a new way of cooking,” Tony said. “There’s nothing we can’t do.”
Ben, Deena and Tony are just three of eight Aussies who have shared their lived experiences with blindness or low vision. You can visit Vision Australia’s website to listen to more stories as well as download their ‘Let’s talk about vision loss’ booklet here.