Hi there, I’m very new to this whole blogging scene, but I’m very grateful for the opportunity!
So, my name is Jordan, I’m a 17-year-old male living in London, England, UK. My vision loss is caused by a non-cancerous tumor on my optic nerves, which basically stops the ‘vision signals’ from getting to my brain properly. The tumor itself is caused by a condition called Neurofibromatosis (Type 1) which is caused, for me at least, by a genetic mutation, so I am the first in my family to get it. It is unclear whether I was born with vision loss, although doctors reckon it is highly likely. At first the tumor continued to grow, but when I was around 3, I was put on some very strong chemotherapy for about 2 1/2 years, which stopped it from growing. Despite that, I am registered blind, although I’m thankful that I still have some useful vision left, and that it has been stable for many years, although I am reliant on a long cane or sighted guidance when out and about.
I attended a mainstream secondary school, but one which has a visual impairment specialist resource (VISR), which I must speak very highly of. While everything was adapted for me, I was still integrated quite well into the mainstream school. I came out of year 11 with 6 B grades and 4 A grades, which I was quite happy with! After that, I decided to move on into A Levels (where I am now), studying Sociology, Psychology and Philosophy, with the original intention of going to university. I’ve now decided against university, and I want to move into some kind of job that raises awareness about visual impairments, whether that be talks with schools, businesses etcetera, testing technology, or online articles such as this! To help me with all these present and future plans, I’m heavily reliant on assistive technology, first using a BrailleNote Apex, then choosing to upgrade to a Braille Sense U2. I also use an iPhone, with VoiceOver, which is of course very useful to me.
Back in 2014, I joined FaceBook, which allowed me to connect with other blind / VI people, of all ages, from all over the world. These connections really opened my eyes, and allowed me to share and gain experiences from others who were in the exact same situation as me. I’m very grateful for this network, and I’ve made many friends thanks to it! When I was in early secondary school, I found it quite hard to make friends, for those around me seemed uncomfortable with my vision loss. But as I’ve grown in confidence (which has taken time), so has my friend circle. I would not say I’m the most popular guy in my 6th form, but I have a group of decent friends, and I’d prefer that over popularity any day!
Finally, I’m also a keen drummer, but what with A Levels being as hectic as they are, it’s being pushed to the wayside lately, but I definitely plan to properly take it up when my A Levels are over and done with in June 2018, and I would even like to form a rock band some day!
So, that’s a little about me and my sight impairment, thank you so much for reading, and I hope you enjoyed!