Our mission is to enable people who are blind or vision impaired to overcome the barriers that impede their independence and participation in society.
For people who are blind and vision impaired to have the same opportunities, rights and choices as others to fully participate in society.
Dominique Farrell (aged 48) shares how technology has enriched her life and allowed her to continue to stay connected even with failing sight. “I lost all of my sight in June 2019 due to a damaged retina, and there is no surgery here or abroad to rectify it. Prior to this, I had 20% vision which enabled me to get around independently with my previous guide dog Opal, but now since my sight has gone, it’s set me back a little bit. I am in the middle of training with my new guide dog Mini. Covid-19 has been very isolating for me as I have been terrified to leave the house, everything is tactile, and I have to touch things. I am hoping once Mini and I are trained with our fantastic Guide Dog mobility instructor, I will be able to regain some of my independence.
I have been using various NCBI services since I was 18 and have always found them helpful to me. I also have greatly benefitted from the counselling service. Realistically, I would be lost without my computer, my iPhone and my Apple Watch as I rely on them so much and even more so during COVID-19 lockdown. With these devices, I can stay in touch with my interests (which includes listening to my favourite singer and good friend Mary Black), the NCBI website, the Irish Guide Dogs website and my brother Barry who lives in Geneva who I speak to every day. For my birthday this year, he arranged a surprise Zoom meeting for me and about 20 friends and family, so we could all celebrate together.
Dominique’s sound advice to anyone worried about using technology to aid their sight loss: “Go for it because technology enriches and enhances your life so immensely and significantly. And it enables you through functions like True FaceTime to communicate with your friends and family, especially those living abroad. Also with the support of NCBI Labs, who are only a phone call or an email away, they can access your computer and assist you on your phone. I would advise people don’t be afraid and excuse the pun, but you will never look back.”