Do you have limited vision? Or, perhaps you know someone that does? No problem! As it happens, I was born with Bilateral Optic Nerve Hypoplasia, a congenital disorder that limits the growth of the optic nerves. Thus, my eyes are (mostly) fine, but the signals they transmit become garbled. This renders my vision to being worse than 20/400 in my left eye, and nearly blind in my right. Despite this, I have completed majors in computer science and mathematics, have worked at NASA and Google, am pursuing a PhD at MIT, and have founded Essistive, a company dedicated to producing effective and dignified assistive technologies.
Why am I telling you this? Well, while building a new assistive technology called the Note-Taker, I’ve encountered other low-vision children, students and professionals (and their families) who struggle with many of the same issues. Things like classroom accessibility, socialization, and travel. To my knowledge, there is no definitive source of information that speaks plainly about these topics. I plan to change that. Though I don’t have all the answers, I do have a handful of strategies that I find indispensable for daily living. I think others could benefit from some of them.
So who is my intended audience? Primarily, individuals with limited vision, along with their friends and family. If this provides value for others–perhaps educators, employers, assistive technology specialists and vendors, or policy makers–that’d be swell. I must note that I’m not treating this as a blog but, rather, as a collection of essays. I’ll happily post more regularly if I feel there would be value in doing so. To that end, feel free to post a comment or shoot me an email if there’s something you’d like to see or discuss.
Below are some of the topics I plan to write about:
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