May newsletter No 321

Dry macular degeneration

A look at the symptoms, risk factors and management of the condition.

Libraries supporting young readers

If your library is eager to discover new ways in which to support young readers who have a vision impairment, head to our blog to discover CustomEyes Books by Guide Dogs. From Shakespeare to Dr Seuss, they produce large print books that are custom made with font size, spacing, colour and more all tailored to individual needs. Over 4,200 (and counting) are available, including fiction and educational textbooks, and becoming a member is free, with large print books available at the RRP regardless of format. In our blog, Falkirk Learning Resource Service Librarian Maggie Burns reveals how collaborating with CustomEyes has enhanced their collections, while Emma Brown from Guide Dogs shares how your own library service can get involved.,5PIQ,9VBO9,NRKN,1

Talk on arts culture and blindness

The UCL Institute of Advanced Studies is pleased to announce this series of informal short seminars to showcase research around disability, museums and the cultural sector. The programme begins in May 2022 with free lunchtime talks of 45 minutes followed by a small reception. This series aims to connect researchers and practitioners and provide a safe space to discuss ideas and progress.

The first talk is given by Dr Simon Hayhoe, who will take us through a journey on Arts, Culture and Blindness, on May 11 1- 2pm at Lecture Theatre G6 UCL Institute of Archaeology 31 – 34 Gordon Square, London WC1H 0PY

When you cannot see clearly

Sandra Nakijjoba is addicted to her phone and tablet. The gadgets are her lifelines in a world where all information within her sphere travels through social media. The bright screen of her tablet, as she reads an e-book, is the last thing she looks at before she falls asleep.

“I am usually up by 5.20am, and I spend the next 40 minutes lying in bed, checking my WhatsApp and scrolling through my Facebook and Twitter feeds. If I have time, I catch up with a page or two of the e-book I am reading,” she says.

This has been her routine for the past six years, and slowly, she is now waking up to a new problem.

“I cannot say precisely when it started, but I am realising that my vision is becoming unclear. I cannot bear to look at the morning sky as I drive to work, so I always drive with the sun visor down, even when there is no sun. Sometimes, I get disoriented. I cannot clearly distinguish things at a distance,” she says.

Nakijjoba says her visual challenges are worsened by the fact that she has to look at her computer all day.

Although statistics are hard to come by, Nakijjoba is part of a growing number of people suffering from refractive error brought on by long periods of screen time.