Change and Choice

6 Jun

by David Flament

On my way into work this morning I decided to stop at McDonalds for breakfast.  Perhaps not the healthiest choice, but a great way to start the day.  On my way from McDonalds to work I thought how 3 years ago when my vision loss was still new I would never have left my path to work to stop somewhere.  That was something I used to do when I could still see, but after losing my vision I was too worried about getting lost.  There was a lot of things I stopped doing when I first lost my vision.

I have been visually impaired all of my life and have lost all of my vision about three and a half years ago.  I also work with people with vision loss.  Through my personal experience and learning from those I work with I have identified two important factors in adjusting to vision loss, change and choice.  Both of these played an important role in my adjustment process.

Let’s start with change.  Losing your vision means changing the way you do things.  That last sentence is very important.  It means changing the way you do things not stopping doing things.  Earlier I mentioned when I first lost all of my vision how I stopped doing things.  It took me a little while to come to terms with my vision loss and realize that I needed to get back to doing the things I liked to do.  That is when I began to understand that all I needed to do is change the way I do things and I could resume living my life.

Choice is also very important and the power of change gives you choice.  Once you know different ways to do things you have a choice of when and how you do things.  That may sound simple, but when you first lose your vision choice is one of the things you may feel that you have lost.  I know I did.

Another part of choice is the choices we make.  I cannot drive and depend on public transportation to get me where I am going.  In the suburbs, public transportation is undependable or non-existent.  In the city, public transportation is excellent.  Knowing this, I could live in the suburbs and always worry about getting around, but choose to live in the city where I can go where I want when I want.  This is at the core of my independence.

This may sound like common sense; however, vision loss is different for everyone.   What works for some may not work for others.  This simple approach worked for me.  I hope this will help you too.

 

Before becoming the Manager of Adaptive Technology Services at Second Sense, David Flament worked in a Fortune 500 company as a computer programmer.  His programming background is in both mainframe and PC development.  His academic background is in both education and computer science.  He has an A.A. degree in Business from the College of Lake County, a B.A. degree in education and computer science from Northeastern Illinois University, and a M.S. degree in computer science from Northeastern Illinois University.  His teaching philosophy is a simple one; match the training to the student rather than trying to fit the student into a preset training slot.  He uses various learning methods to accommodate various learning styles.

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