What it’s like to be a legally blind journalist

I’m severely sight impaired, otherwise referred to as legally blind, I have no sight in my right eye and very limited sight in my left.  

This is due to a congenital condition I have had since birth known as Septo Optic Dysplasia; the condition affects the optic nerves amongst other things. 

I also have something called Nystagmus which makes focusing difficult – which can impact my ability to read long pieces of text. 

The way I describe my sight is that it’s rather like looking through the porthole of a ship which occasionally gets misted over.  

I can’t see very far distances and I only can see what’s in front of me, and what I can see sometimes becomes blurred due to my Nystagmus. 

 Becoming a journalist was always a long-term goal for me ever since my teenage years when I used to write for my school paper.  

Finally, at the age of 28, after being a freelancer and working part time, I was finally able to break into the journalism industry. 

 Personally, I do believe that the shift in working patterns since the pandemic has contributed largely to why people like me have been able to find employment. 

Being disabled can be difficult in terms of getting to and from an office job, and so working in a society that has grown more accustomed to working from home has been an absolute game changer.

In my case, I have a guide dog, but guide dogs can get sick, or it may be snowing, or the weather may be too hot to take her out. 

Aside from that, I also have rather heavy assistive equipment I need to use, as well as an underlying health condition that affects my immune system. 

All these things were huge issues I faced

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