Graham, a service user from Sefton, shares his experience of the difference Galloway’s has made to his life as someone living with sight loss during lockdown.
Born with glaucoma, at just two weeks old, I was the youngest patient in the eye hospital in Liverpool where I had two operations to save my sight. Over the years, my eye pressure increased and my sight gradually worsened as an adult.
I worked in a blind workshop, during which time I lost my sight completely. The workshop was beyond depressing. Our group would have one lightbulb to work under because the view was “What’s the point if they are blind?” I could sometimes wait for a lift home until 8pm at night on a dark industrial estate, alone and unable to contact anyone. I spent weeks in tears. I was so depressed I even broke down to my mum and dad.
During lockdown, I have attended the remote Talking Tech sessions hosted by Andrew, the Assistive Technology Coordinator. He has taught me to use my iPhone and helpful apps. I now use apps to read letters (most of which are bills!) and Andrew introduced me to other apps that I can use when I am out. It is also handy being able to read emails and texts and use Siri to speak rather than a keypad.
I feel 100% supported by Galloway’s. It’s a lifeline having Andrew at the end of a phone. When you open the door for someone like myself you do need to give us a push, as we lack confidence. We need encouragement and Galloway’s certainly does that. I am now able to lead a more independent life, without relying on others.
Any support you can offer to Galloway’s will ensure that these remote support services continue which is crucial for people with sight loss whilst we are facing an unknown amount of time in lockdown.
Wishing you a very happy and healthy festive period.
Reducing isolation through technology
Andrew Coleman, Galloway’s Assistive Technology Coordinator explains the importance technology can play in the of reducing isolation and loneliness.
Lockdown presented new barriers with people thinking we can’t support them with technology, but we have helped so many people similar to Graham. We can provide support over the phone or internet but the most important thing is that people are connected to us for support on a regular basis. Graham is always there and always learning. Everybody has the ability to do these things with the right support.