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Mark from Wollaton, was diagnosed with Retinitis Pigmentosa in early childhood and slowly lost his sight until at the age of 12 he was registered blind.

“Like a lot of people in their 50s I’ve always been quite sceptical about technology, dismissing it as being more trouble than it’s worth. It’s also hard when you’re totally blind to find technology that’s easy to use because you can’t see what buttons to press to make it work.

“Then I met the IT officer at My Sight Notts who inspired me to invest in a smartphone and quite honestly I haven’t looked back! This little piece of technology has changed my life to the extent that I now can’t imagine living without it.

“I’ve always been an independent sort of person, preferring to do as much for myself as I can, but there are some things which are just difficult if you can’t see at all. I used to have to wait for a relative to visit and read my mail and to be honest you don’t always want somebody close to you reading your bank statements do you? Just because you can’t read your own post doesn’t mean you want everyone knowing your business!

“With training and advice from the IT officer at My Sight Notts, I now use my mobile phone to read letters. I’ve learnt how to photograph printed material and then use an app which will read it out to me. I can use the app to help un-pack my shopping, I’m no longer reliant on someone to tell me which tin is beans and which is tomatoes.

“I use my smartphone to order my shopping and access the internet. Before I was reliant on a sighted person to take me shopping and help me choose what I wanted. Now I use my phone with its speech capabilities to surf the internet and shop online it’s then delivered straight to my door. I use my phone to send and receive texts and emails, manage my diary and tell me when the next bus is due.

“I’ve worked with the IT Officer to find the best apps and to use the accessibility features built into all smartphones. This little device has given me back my privacy and independence and put me firmly in control of my own life.”

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