Welcome to a blog about the transition of losing some functions of eyesight and how computing technology can broaden our world of information, entertainment, and relationships. Most people who lose eyesight due to aging, disease, or accident retain significant function but face complex adjustments in their everyday activities. The world of “partial sight” is very different from the worlds of the fully sighted and the fully blind both because vision is often highly variable with continual trade-offs of using retained eyesight and assistive technology.

“As Your World Changes” seeks to draw out information from partially sighted people recently or currently adjusting to loss of vision, and for those anticipating changes, as well as those concerned with disability issues for personal or professional reasons.

I’m a Vision Loser from myopic retinal degeneration with major print disability but sufficient retained eyesight to read what I’m typing at the moment in a specially contrived computing setup developed after much trial-and-error with software and hardware ranging from very expensive to low-cost through free or built-in. One purpose of this blog is to share my “What Works” lessons and learn from the experience of like-abled others.

Another theme of this blog is that we recent Vision Losers are really lucky that we now have a cornucopia of gadgets, voices, and new media to enrich our lives and help overcome the difficulties of vision loss. Notably, as we will show, the medium of podcasting can significantly replace much print reading for news and entertainment. Indeed, the Visually Impaired world is highly accessible via podcasts for new Vision Losers to learn about products, services, organizations, and personalities you never knew you needed to know about.

Here’s a sample of topics to be covered in future blog postings:

exploiting built-in Windows accessibility; many ways of getting applications to read to you; zooming and magnification the ladder of screen readers, options; typing and editing your writing; downloading, listening to, and collecting podcasts; understanding computer use errors and their corrections; assessing the credibility and value of product information; becoming a system integrator. First topic: TextAloud from nextup.com, an all-around, low-cost, useful text reader.
Innovators, personalities, heroes, and helpers — people who write about their vision loss; technologists behind important products and services; consumer and activist organizations and leaders; people living with vision loss, … Also activism – currency, voting, web services, documents, , and other technology to be improved. First topic: Bookshare.org and its founder Jim Fruchterman.

feelings, and wild card topics — this Vision Loser’s framework of safety, energy management, relationships, appreciation, and practical concerns; lessons from Vision Loser authors; cures, promises, and hopefulness; … Social justice issues of accessible currency, voting, mobility, … The investment cycle of entitlement, empowerment, and luxury. First topic: “This Vision Loser’s 5-Level Philosophy: safety, energy, relationships, appreciation, finance/citizenry”.

Readers who find this blog, please comment to share your experiences and questions. Also, check out the informative podcast links that expand our discussions.

Author: slger

Susan L. Gerhart (slger) is a retired computer scientist. Her professional specialities included software engineering research, technology transfer management, and computer science education, see SLGer's Research Autobiography. Susan is active in a lifelong learning institute (OLLI) at Yavapai College in Prescott Arizona. She has facilitated courses on podcasts, Twitter, the Singularity, and climate fiction. "As Your World Changes" blog describes her journey with vision loss into the spectacular world of assistive technology and the frustrating practices of accessibility. She writes with the NVDA screen reader, reads books from Bookshare on a BookSense, and listens to podcasts on an iPhone. slger123 on Twitter records her favorite articles and occasional comments on life and politics. Creative writing courses led her to undertake "A Chip On Her Shoulder", a novel asking the questions: "how did we get into the privacy mess of modern social media?" and "Are we now just 'packets of data formerly known as people'?" She's enduring the 2020 Pandemic era and autocracy challenge by analyzing changes in progress, promising, and unknown. Times sure are changing! Contact: slger123 at gmail.com

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