Hi guys, I know it’s been a while, but I’m back now!

I thought it only right to write a blog post seeing as my blog was just kindly featured on the Dolphin Blog. Dolphin Software, Supernova to be precise, played a huge part in my life back at school and college and now they’re once again stepping up to the plate and helping Blind and Partially Sighted bloggers, if I was wearing a hat, it would definitely be going off to them right now.

I haven’t spoken about my eye condition on my blog yet, in any great detail at least. I suffer from Retinitis pigmentosa, for most sufferers, this results in what can best be described as tunnel vision, they lose most if not all of their peripheral vision and to them it is like they are looking through a tube, only being able to see what is directly in front of their field of view.

For me however it has manifested itself in a slightly different way, the cells are degenerating all over my retina, not just on the periphery, so I have lost clarity of vision throughout. This means I struggle to distinguish variations in colour, I can’t read anything but the largest of font sizes. I am also unable to recognize people in all but the closest of distances and traveling on my own can be a challenge as I am unable to see obstacles.

This is why Supernova was a life line to me in school. It couldn’t help me walk around without bumping into things, nor could it help me recognise friends and loved ones. What it could do however was help me access my school work, browse the internet and communicate online, all things I would not have been able to do otherwise.

Supernova is a screen magnification and screen reader designed to help Blind and Partially Sighted people access their computer. Without this software I would never had been able to make my way through school and receive anything like the grades I did.

Dolphin Software wasn’t the only aid I had in school however, I also had one on one support in most of my classes except for P.E. (I think you guys in the states call it Gym?). Anyway, that one on one support was so useful, helping me access content that the teacher would write on the blackboard, describing classroom experiments in the science classes and adapting classroom resources on the fly that had not been pre-submitted by the teachers.

The one on one support was more than that though, it made me feel like I wasn’t going through school alone. Don’t get me wrong, I had friends in school, but I don’t think any of them really understood my eye condition, they just saw me for who I was, for the most part, I think. Having the support teachers there who I could go to when I needed to talk to someone who understood was so useful, especially as I went to a mainstream school.

I’d like to thank Dolphin once again for prompting me to pick up the proverbial pen again and take to my blog, it’s been a long time coming and I really enjoyed recalling old memories. School is a huge part of most peoples lives and Dolphin played a massive part in my schooling, so thank you Dolphin.

If you had low vision in school I’d be interested to hear what accessibility aids you used, be it magnifiers or software, one on one tuition or classroom support. Let me know in the comments or contact me on Twitter or Facebook I’d love to hear your story. I’d especially like to know how you carried on after you left school and possibly entered the world of work. Did you continue using the same adaptations or did you change things up, let me know.

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2 thoughts on “Seeing With Dolphins!

  1. I wish there would have been things like Supernova when I was at school. I remember the days of the BBC computer with Hal and braille input. In the later years, a proper PC was scarse. There were only about 20 available for a school of 300 pupils. Ipads would have been awesome. Would have been way much better than carrying 100s of a3 paper sheets around. I was lucky that I could see more back then. At college I made some use of Supernova and some other screen readers. Now I am almost blind and I am a dedicated apple. But Supernova is my accessibility software of choice for Windows. My health declined further after leaving college so work was out of the question. I now live in the Netherlands and although my health still won’t let me work. I try to put back into the community by trying to encourage people to learn Dutch.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you for your story and contribution to the blind and wider community. I remember situations similar to yours, when the pinnacle of assistive technology were reams of white paper and a black felt tip pen, that or a Perkins Braille Machine. .Thankfully, technology is ever progressing, making our lives just that bit easier.

      Companies such as Dolphin, Apple and others are putting the tools back into the hands of those that, unfortunately, lost or never had the gift of sight.The best we can do as blind and partially sighted people, is put those tools to good use and try to make the most of life., learning what we can, giving back when we can, like your good self, thank you.

      Like

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