A Brief Comment about My Visual Impairment
I have a severe visual impairment. In fact, it is fair to say that I am partially blind. I meet a sufficient condition in the definition of legally blind due to the fact that I see only about five degrees off of the central line of sight. Specifically, I’ve been given a diagnosis of Retinitis Pigmentosis (RP). My maternal grandfather had the same condition, so it is thought that I have an X-linked form of RP. There is no cure for RP.
At the moment, I am still able to see well enough to do my job, but that might change in the future. I’ll let you know the status of my vision on this web page. Please feel free to talk to me about it.
When I am in slightly dim light, I see essentially nothing. A streetlight is visible, but it doesn’t provide enough ambient light for me. Often, I see the same in dim light as I would if my eyelids were closed. For this reason, I use a white cane in dim light.
The legal definition of blindness asserts that if the widest part of ones visual field is less than ten degrees, then one is blind. I fit this definition. So, if I walk past you without saying “Hello,” don’t take it personally! I just didn’t see you. There are other visual cues that I sometimes miss. For example, if you try to shake hands with me, I might not notice. This should not be taken personally. I simply don’t see well enough to know that you are extending your hand.
I wear glasses, but they don’t correct my vision completely. My *corrected* vision in my right eye is about 20/70 and in my left eye is about 20/100. This cannot be further corrected by contact lenses or surgery.
In bright light, I experience a great discomfort. For this reason, I prefer to read text which is white on a black background.