How to work with me and my sightIt is not always obvious when you first meet me that I have a severe eye sight condition. It is a rare condition called dominant cone rod dystrophy and I was born with it. If you are interested you can read more here.
The condition is compounded by other problems - scarring on my cornea from an infection when I was younger; a high sensitivity to light and more recently, Cataracts. All in all, my eyes are very complex!
I do not use a white stick or have a guide dog. I am pretty mobile, independent and assertive. I ask for help when I need it. In crude terms, with my contact lenses in and sunglasses on, I can see about 20% of what someone with perfect vision can see but this varies depending on the light – sunshine causes me most difficulties and I can see best at dusk.
There are some things that you might consider doing to make our working relationship even more productive,
- Say who you are when we meet – something like ‘Hi Steve it’s xxx here’ will save me time
- Email me docs / presentations to firstname.lastname@example.org if you want me to easily see them. You don't need to do anything special to the format, I can do that. I do struggle to distinguish some colours, so labels on diagrams etc. are good where colour is important.
- If we are travelling together free to tell me when it is safe to cross the road, if I am about to fall down steps or collide with something like a lamppost or bollard. I won’t be offended if you underestimate what I can see. If I am making international trips I will usually take an assistant with me. Airports are confusing places when you can't see the signs and people are too busy to help, for some reason stations are far more manageable.
- Finally, you might also help me find vegetarian food. Seeing what’s on offer at buffets is a professional nightmare!
Thanks for reading. I hope this is helpful.