A day in my life

I’m often asked what it’s like to live life with a visual impairment. Many people think that it must differ remarkably from a sighted person’s day-to-day life, but I actually enjoy doing the same things that you do – I just have to approach it in a slightly different way.

I wanted to share with you a typical day in my life, to give you a better understanding of my daily routine…

Morning

When I wake up, I like to check my e-mails and read the news using my iPad with its various accessibility features. I have zoom, large bold text, high contrast and voiceover functions enabled to enhance my experience as much as possible. My iPad is an incredibly valuable tool to me, giving me the freedom to communicate via my blog and social networking sites and have really opened up my world.

Afternoon

Today I am currently writing a couple of blog posts for Henshaws (including this one). I’m an avid blogger and enjoy having the platform to post entries about my sight loss journey and including different elements such as photos, illustrations, videos and audio. It allows me to become creative in the online world without limits, and using accessible functionality helps eliminate any barriers that I face.

As the RNIB’s Young Illustrator for 2014, I’m e-mailed a different theme on which to base my illustration each month. I like to prepare by sketching some ideas and choosing colour palettes, and then will draw a draft version to properly translate my final thoughts onto paper. I will spend the majority of the month working on my illustration, doing a little bit each day, with help from my Daylight lamp and folding bed table. I try not to exceed about an hour a day, as my small amount of useful vision will get too strained. I’m working on a blog post about my illustrations so will share that with you all soon!

Evening

In the evening I like to do some Braille revision, practicing dot combinations and reading through the Fingerprint course books. I’m currently part of the Braille group at Henshaws and visit every Friday to put into practice what I’ve learnt at home during the week. I also enjoy the social aspect of being with other visually impaired people and bonding over learning this exciting skill!

Then finally, before I head to bed, I will either listen to the talking news or an audio book provided by my local mobile library. Both are excellent ways to access different written works – from newspapers and magazines to novels, poetry and non-fiction.

It’s been another productive day, and it’s thanks to the advances in modern technology that I’m able to do the majority of the things I enjoy. Hopefully this has given an interesting insight into a day in the life of a visually impaired person, and has dispelled any misconceptions or stereotypes. Just because you have a visual impairment, that doesn’t mean you can’t do the things you enjoy and live every day to its full potential!

Kim iPad
Kimberley Burrows
Kimberley Burrows
Kimberley is a Henshaws volunteer and service user of over two years. She is Co-Chair to the RNIB young person's campaigning network, Envision, a blogger, columnist, artist and an illustrator; previously the RNIB's Young Illustrator for 2014.
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