“When my eyesight was gone my world shrunk to the unit I lived in”.
Norma’s struggled to comprehend how the active life she once lived, going camping, working and seeing friends would continue with the onset of glaucoma.
Her vision loss manifested itself initially by making it difficult to climb the stairs of her home.
“You walk in from the sunlight and the top story is full of light but the bottom storey was in darkness. The first few times I just started walking and fell over. I thought, ‘Wow, how did I do that?’ I just didn’t see the stairs.”
Losing her licence was a huge blow, and it was after that she had to rely on others to get around.
The path to independence took several years.
She dipped her toe in getting the right help when she contacted Vision Australia. It was the right step, but took her a little while to find her footing.
“When I met my Vision Australia instructors, I was very confident, but when they went home and told me to go out and try these techniques, I didn’t do it… I was too scared” she said.
“When I saw the staff they’d say I hadn’t improved I was honest and told them I was scared to go out.”
In the years since, the specialised service providers at Vision Australia have been able to support Norma in several ways, including learning to walk independently with a cane, catching public transport, learning to cook again and much more.
She even found the confidence to relocate numerous times around Australia, finally settling in a ‘small blip in the Bass Strait’ called King Island in Tasmania.
“My main concern was that I wouldn’t have the infrastructure and support that I had on mainland Australia. But I’ve learnt that when you talk and explain you have a disability, people go out of their way to accommodate and support me” she said.
Norma is amazed at how normal her new life is thanks to assistance from Vision Australia, and there’s nowhere she’d rather spend her golden years.
“The locals call King Island paradise, and now I do too.”
You can find Norma’s story in full in this audio interview where she discusses further the path to reclaiming her independence HERE.
For more information about how Vision Australia can help you achieve your goals, please click HERE.