Ayman, a 15-year-old, shares her experience of living with a visual impairment caused by a genetic condition called a oguchi disease, which includes night blindness and difficulty seeing in low light. She developed this impairment about two to three years ago, and while her sister also has the same condition, Ayman has an additional undiagnosed condition affecting his vision. Her day-to-day life is impacted, particularly in terms of mobility, but she has found support through the use of a cane, which helps him navigate his surroundings and avoid obstacles like steps and lampposts.
In school, Ayman faces challenges due to her deteriorating vision. She has started learning braille to cope with the increasing difficulty in reading larger fonts. However, she finds it frustrating when people continuously ask her about what she can and can’t see, or why she uses certain pieces of equipment, such as magnifiers and technology in the classroom.
Initially, when Ayman started using a cane in school, others misunderstood her level of blindness, assuming she was completely blind. Despite the frustration, Ayman took it as an opportunity to educate people about visual impairments and the varying degrees of sight loss. She encourages other young people with visual impairments to be involved in activities and seize opportunities, even if they feel uncertain about them.
Ayman appreciates the support and encouragement she receives from his parents, who trust in his independence despite her visual impairment. She contrasts this with a friend whose parents are hesitant about granting her similar freedoms. She believes that parents should allow their visually impaired children to develop their independence as they grow older.
Ayman believes that having a visual impairment is not a disadvantage but a unique lifestyle. Although there might be certain limitations, she emphasises the importance of finding solutions to overcome challenges. Instead of dwelling on what she can’t do, she focuses on navigating life in her own way.
In conclusion, Ayman’s story sheds light on the resilience and determination of young individuals living with visual impairments. Despite facing obstacles, she remains positive, actively participating in various activities, and encouraging others to embrace opportunities that come their way. Her story challenges misconceptions about visual impairments and highlights the importance of understanding and supporting individuals with different abilities.