My name is Holly, I’m 22-years-old and am registered as severely sight impaired (blind) due to a condition called Retinopathy of Prematurity (ROP) as I was born at 24 weeks. I only have light perception in my right eye, meaning that I can only see light and dark, and I have a detached retina in my left eye. Therefore I have no useful vision, but I don’t let this stop me in life.
I went through mainstream education, graduated University and now have a job as an Assistive Technology Officer. I use a long cane and I am a braille reader, I also love technology so have a wide range of assistive technology that helps me on a daily basis.
Growing up with a visual impairment has had it’s fair share of challenges and continues to do so, doing certain tasks can often be difficult, things may need adapting, you may face many barriers but it does not mean that these things are impossible.
With some determination, dedication and motivation, you can live a fulfilling and independent life, just like sighted people.
In terms of independence, I am now completely comfortable in using a cane, something that I thought would never have been possible a few years ago. I now pick up my cane without a feeling of anxiety or dread, I finally realised that it’s an extension of me and my key to independence.
Contrary to all of the negative misconceptions surrounding sight loss and disability, having a visual impairment does not mean that you can’t live the life you want to live, it does not mean that you can’t do the things that you want to, they may just need a little bit of adaptation but that’s ok.
We live in a predominantly sighted world, meaning that not everything is accessible to us and it may prevent us doing things from time to time, but there are alternatives out there and it’s about finding them.
I know that every blind and visually impaired person is different, but I believe it has so many positive aspects, it has led me to live life in a more positive way.
My visual impairment gave me my passion for writing and some great opportunities to be part of the wonderful sight loss community and meet some incredible people. If ever you are feeling low about your visual impairment, then think about what positive aspects it’s brought into your life, rather than what it’s taken away from it.
You may feel isolated, and go through feelings of anger, sadness or frustration but I want you to know that you are not alone and there is always someone out there that is willing to listen, support is available if you need it.
Don’t listen to other people’s misconceptions and stigmas surrounding sight loss and disability
If you can, try to educate people on the common misconceptions, it’s vital to raise awareness.
My visual impairment has contributed to the person that I am today but I am so much more than my disability, I’m my own person and so are you.
Holly, Author of ‘Life of a Blind Girl’ blog page.
Holly’s blog are completely honest and do not sugar-coat anything. Having started her blog in 2015 so much more confident, in fact, in 2018 she was named as one of the top 100 most influential disabled people in the UK . Holly hopes to help others living with a visual impairment or other disability, raise awareness of living with a visual impairment, tackle the common misconceptions surrounding disability and sight loss and educate society on these topics.