Zoe, who is now in her early 30s, first experienced significant sight loss 5 years ago. When her consultant told her that it was no longer safe for her to drive, she realised that she would not be able to continue in her job. The news was devastating. “I felt I’d just lost my independence” she says.
Her consultant had mentioned that she should get in touch with EYECAN, but it took several weeks before Zoe could bring herself to do this, and 4-6 months before she could properly engage with the support on offer. “I didn’t want to admit that I needed help”, she explains. She also thought that social clubs were just for old people.
Zoe is now a popular and committed Activity Club member. Her charming designs regularly appear on EYECAN Christmas cards.
Since her first contact with EYECAN the Community Team has provided much practical support to Zoe, including mobility training, and assistive technology to promote her independence. When out shopping Zoe sometimes uses Be My Eyes, an app loaded onto her phone which video calls a helper who reads product details to her. Zoe can now take note of ingredients, expiry dates and prices. Whenever Zoe has had concerns EYECAN has stood beside her, advocating for her, giving her confidence, and making sure she is listened to.
Zoe is now undertaking a course in Counselling Skills. She says, “I have a chance again, my world isn’t over. Technology is of massive benefit to people with sight loss. And who knows, in time perhaps there’ll be a cure for me. Whatever happens, I feel that I’ve got my independence back.”