Shirley Moore, Millie Lang, and Ralph Wilbur talk about coping successfully with low vision caused by glaucoma or macular degeneration.
Narrator: Seeing true vision loss with courage and resourcefulness
Shirley Moore has macular degeneration.
Shirley Moore: I have very limited vision. In my right eye. I can see shapes know people walking, I can see the white sidewalk. I'm not able to read or see people's faces or anything like that.
Narrator: Ralph Wilbur has Glaucoma.
Ralph Wilbur: I do not have any sight in either one of my eyes now. So to describe what life is like I living in a gray world and other words, I am a color blind person don't know color at all. There's very little detail. But everything is sort of a light gray.
Narrator: Millie Lang has macular degeneration.
Millie Lang: I could see in a car can you how many people were sitting in the front of in the car ahead of me, I could tell the color of the car. But I could not read the license plate. I just cannot read numbers and letters
Narrator: Seeing solutions in technology.
Mrs. Lang: This is my talking book machine. It’s a new digital machine, and I just popped in the book that comes in preset folder from the library. It all comes through the Public Library, plug it in sit back, punch the Go button and just relax and listen to my book. I also have a reading machine a large, it looks like the television and I can put things in and it comes up on this screen in big numbers, letters…
Narrator: talking kitchen tools
Mrs. Moore: This is a talking timer. I'm going to turn this kind of demonstrate one minute (Timer speaks: “one minute”). In a minute you’ll hear it go off and no matter where you are in the house. You can hear it because it's very loud.
That’s the timer going off. I'll put that down and then go to the talking measuring cup. Now just pour some water in here. Press the button and you've been selected oil or milk or water depending on what you have in here. So it'll make it more accurate (Measuring cup: “4 and one half ounces”)
Narrator: illuminated magnifiers.
Mrs. Lang: These three I got at the state department of rehabilitation. They're all their lighted, reflections are nicer, and their each different. And this little thing, it's like, opticians or a magnifying glass. And it's only good for a little tiny things, like if I want to see a little tiny number, then I can use this when I came to the dining room every day to read the menu in the dining room. Sometimes I'll check this one.
Mrs. Moore: (Talking about reading device) This is my number one gadget that I love. You know, it's helped me so much. And it's so small and content to do so many things. You can download podcasts and all kinds of things, talking books, whatever.
Narrator: Learning to use a white cane.
Mr. Wilbur: To hold your cane down here by your hip and you swing it back and forth in front of you the width of where you would walk. And as you go along a path. Often you'll find it on the sidewalk one side has a curb. And the other side is grass or shrubs or flowers or whatever. And you could feel that when the cane because it gets the grass. You could feel that. Yeah, and it's the best edge to follow. Because on the other side, it would go like that your cane would go down that if you stepped off that you'd fall.
Narrator: What Ralph Wilbur’s instructor advised
The very first thing that he said was you need to put your glasses on even though you don't use them anymore to see and you need to put a bill cap on whenever you go outside to walk. And he said, the reason for that is because there are shrubs or trees near where you're walking, and you can't see them and they'll tear your eyes up. So that's the first thing that he taught me that I had to do. And so I do it to this day, whenever I go out.
Narrator: The importance of exercise and balance.
Mrs. Moore: You know, when you're visually impaired, it's harder to balance you know, because you can't, you know, focus on something and so I mainly just one part of it is just making sure your legs are really strong. That really helps with your balance and the walking helps with your balance. And then during the balancing exercises.
Narrator: Advice to others who have low vision.
Mrs. Moore: Don't give up. You know, it's not as bad as you think. People are very helpful. You know, you can do it. I mean, you can live independently just need maybe some help.
Mr. Wilbur: I'm not discouraged. I'm ready to continue to live life to the fullest that I can do.
Narrator: The Brightfocus foundation gratefully acknowledges the help of Miss Amy Ostrolenk of Asbury Methodist village in Gaithersburg, Maryland, in the making of this video.
This content was last updated on: August 27, 2013