Wednesday, 26 April 2017

Disabled Access Day at Barclays Bank in Sheffield - Gail

One Friday in March I went to Barclays Bank on the corner of Pinstone Street and Barkers Pool with Jane from SRSB as part of their Disabled Access Day.

We were warmly greeted by Stuart the Manager who introduced us to several members of staff. After an introduction by Jane she told them about SRSB and their role in supporting people with sight problems. I then spoke about what SRSB meant to me as a client.

The staff then all tried on the 'Sim Specs' which demonstrate what it is like to be visually impaired and asked lots of questions. The staff were very friendly and the atmosphere was very relaxed.

Next, Jane set up her stall, I volunteered for balloon blowing and Jane had also taken some equipment from the shop at SRSB.

Stuart spoke about their talking cash machines and as I have never tried one I quickly volunteered in trying this out. After a brief orientation of the cash machine Stuart handed me a pair of headphones and I was ready to start. After plugging the headphones in I was asked to press 5 to begin, asked to put my pin number in then asked to press 1 for a receipt or 2 if not needed, then asked to press 1 for £10, 2 for £20 etc.

After pressing the amount required to my great amazement the money popped out. I have not used a cash machine for 30 years and it was quite exhilarating. This simple task that sighted people take for granted really does seem like a great mystery to me as a blind person. I now feel confident in using this branch taking along my headphones and drawing out cash independently.

Monday, 24 April 2017

What is beautiful - Carol

CarolThe birds singing in the morning
 The owls hooting at night
When you are warm in your bed
Snug and tight
Children laughing and playing
But it is all beautiful without visual eye
It’s a different beautiful
Involving sound and not using an eye
You can't see it in a mirror
And the owls are always out of sight
So is it much different when you don't have your own sight
I feel when it's beautiful
I feel in the morning and night
The world is beautiful if you want it to be
It doesn't matter not being able to see
I am beautiful just like you

Wednesday, 12 April 2017

Life after sight loss - June

JuneI’m one of the lucky ones. I am partially sighted.

When I first became type 2 diabetic when I was 59 years old, I was told that eventually I would go blind but fingers crossed, at 74 I can still read large clear print.

I had to give up my big choir and my knitting but manage to do my writing and am in the choir at the SRSB.

I am a bit scared at crossing busy roads but have found since I reluctantly started using my white stick a lot of people try to help. Especially giving you the priority seats on the tram.

I watch TV but can’t manage anything with subtitles. I’ve had laser treatment and horrid injections in my eyes but luckily at the moment only have to put one drop in each eye every night. And I only go to the hospital every six months.

Wednesday, 5 April 2017

The Weather - Amy

The weather, some like it hot, some like it cold, some like it wet, some like it dry, some like it dull, some like it bright. I like it just right.

On a dull, drizzly day, everything seems gray. I look into the distance and the gray pavements, gray roads and gray sky all merge into one. This makes it harder to focus on where I am going. Then it starts raining and that’s when things get complicated.

If I take a brolly then I’m likely to knock somebody with it by accident, plus I have my cane to hold. If I use my hood then it gets in the way of what I can see to the side of me. My peripheral vision isn’t good anyway, never mind with a hood in the way.

If it is windy I am holding my hood up instead of concentrating on where I am going and my glasses get spots of rain on them. Somebody rushes past me from behind. This always makes me jump and startles me as they seem to appear from nowhere. I usually have to stop and make sure everybody is well out of my way before I start walking again.

Finally I get to where I am going. I walk into the nice warm building and my glasses steam up! I think to myself, I can’t wait for a sunny day.

It’s a nice sunny day, clear blue skies, feeling good because it’s sunny at last. The colours are brighter, I can make out more objects in the distance. I can see where I’m going and where I’ve been. Still not great, but better.

Then I turn the corner and I’m walking towards the sun. it’s really bright and dazzling, I sometimes have to stop and get my bearings. I head towards a shaded area to have a break from the sun. Because the sun is so bright the shadows seem so dark. I can’t keep looking into the sun in front of me so I look down.

On the pavement there are shadows of trees, walls, cars and me. Even the shadows on the pavement are really dark compared to the bright pavement around them. Looking at these while I am walking makes me feel a little disorientated and dizzy. All I can see is moving shapes on the floor, not a safe, solid pavement for me to walk on.

When I eventually make it into the shade it seems really really dark. My eyes take a long time to adjust to the light, so even in the shade I can’t focus for a while. It can take five or ten minutes for me to adjust to the light.
For me the weather isn’t just something to talk about, or what to wear. It affects my mood and my independence. If the weather isn’t just right, I find it extremely hard when I am out. For me, the perfect weather is sunny, with clouds!