Meet Fiona. Fiona has been an avid reader, writer and author until Macular Degeneration made reading difficult for her, but she is now back on track. As Fiona is a far better writer than we ever could be, we’ll let Fiona tell her own story…
Three years ago, I was in a restaurant in Chengdu, China, when I faced the inconvenient truth that I was struggling to read menus. I was leading a tour to China and we were half-way through, so I had to cover up and carry on, but it was a lightbulb moment.
I’d been diagnosed with Macular Degeneration (AMD) ten years earlier but had pushed it so far to the back of my mind I’d forgotten it. My job included regular overseas trips, I also wrote a weekly newspaper column and my life depended to a large degree on my ability to read.
Once I was home my vision continued to deteriorate so when eventually the printed page became pretty well redundant, I contacted Vision Australia and my life took a miraculous turn for the better.
Having got used to bad news, I was poleaxed when Rob from Quantum, on seeing my smallest print dictionary, said casually, oh that’s no problem! He unpacked and installed ClearView WideView on my desk and my world sprang back to life: suddenly I could read again, even the tiniest printed footnote. Having books, newspapers and magazines restored to me was life-changing: I can keep working and make the most of my leisure.
Normal desk height was comfortable for reading but sitting sideways soon became tiring – I needed to face the screen with my knees underneath it. So, I swapped my workstation for a 1.80 x .75m. table and put a 4-drawer wheelie unit underneath, on the right. ClearView sits on the left and my computer is in the middle so I can move easily between the two.
ClearView takes my biggest books and the screen is effortlessly raised or lowered to accommodate the turning page.
Miraculously, I’m back in a world where nothing comes between my mind and the words it’s absorbing.
My vision problems are small when compared to those suffered by many. But they’re not going away. Luckily, technology is advancing at fantastic speed and Vision Australia and Quantum are helping to make the most of it.
Thank you to Fiona for your story and being our guest contributor! Sorry not to have any pictures…