The following article is by Zoe Chen who writes a low vision blog titled Zoomax in China:
Diagnosis of vision loss can be an agony for most people though eye ailments are not rare: even some celebrities, like Bono who announced his glaucoma the reason of his long time sunglasses wearing, have serious eye conditions despite the better treatment they could receive based on their wealth. Mass media always focus on famous stars with vision loss as unyielding role models; however, for people who barely expect rich ophthalmological resources in visual impairment, life situations and career development of ordinary ones seem more related to the daily life.
Today 5 people coping with chronic eye disease are introduced here: every one of them could be your friend, coworker, fellow, everything but someone armed with good fortune or fame. Let’s read their stories and see how “nobody” leads a positive life and makes a career choice with vision loss in various positions.
Cheryl Wilcox, Media Consultant
Cheryl Wilcox was diagnosed legally blind in 1985 after years of Retinopathy of Prematurity since she was born. Since 2011, she started to use cane as her advanced vision loss exacerbated. The blindness didn’t slow her down in career: She has been working in Gannett media and newspapers for more than 25 years, and invited to share her practical experience in our “living with low vision” column. Besides a stable job, she is now with her great friends and a cat with “good personality”.
Ike Presley, Project Manager
Ike Presley was brought up in a family with congenital cataracts history. He is now a national project manager of American Foundation for the Blind in charge of projects in literacy for vision loss people after his career in Georgia Department of Education as an assistive technology specialist in 1993. The book Assistive Technology for Students Who Are Blind or Visually Impaired: A Guide to Assessment marked “A “must-have” reference and resource for anyone charged with educating visually impaired students”, was written by Ike Presley and Frances Mary D’Andrea and published in 2009.
Mohan Gurung, School Manager
Mohan Gurung is a principal of a small boarding school supported by an Austrian charity “Schule macht Schule” in Jharkot, Nepal. Compared with the people who grow up with poor eye condition, his loss of normal eyesight was distinct: an accident in March 2012 led to retinal detachment. He carried on his organizational work coping with agencies, authorities and secondary schools for the children after surgery and treatment restored a little of his sight and peripheral vision. Mohan now uses an electronic magnifier to assist his daily work.
Yoshinori Arai, Teacher
Yoshinori Arai is a middle school teacher who utterly lost his vision at the age of 34. He became a Japanese teacher after graduation from university and married his wife Mayumi who brought the family a daughter when he was 28, same year he was diagnosed retinal detachment. He lost the vision of right eye at 32 and left eye at 34. “I considered suicide in desperation at that time,” he said, but he “felt some faint hope that someday I’d be able to go back to work.” In 2008, Arai became the first completely blind teacher at any of the prefecture’s regular public primary and middle schools, and 6 years later, at his 52, he came back as a class teacher for the first time in 23 years.
Saqib Shaikh, Software Engineer
Saqib is a software engineer who has devoted himself into Microsoft for 10 years. The complaint of excessive stare at screen most programmers are confronting doesn’t bother him: he has been blind since 7 year-old. In his answer of question” How can you program if you’re blind?” in 2009, Saqib indicated his 13 years’ experience in “programming on Windows, Mac, Linux and DOS, in languages from C/C++, Python, Java, C# and various smaller languages along the way.” with practical suggestions of software choice, settings and assistive technology. In 2016, He made an app calledSeeing AI as a research project, featuring intelligence APIs from Microsoft Cognitive Services to “translate” real-world events into audio messages.
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