The Cycle

I chose the name of this website to reflect a cycle. My eye condition is degenerative so as time goes on I lose more vision. With each decrease in vision there is an adaptation cycle where I have to relearn how to do complex and simple tasks.

In early May this year I lost a substantial amount of vision. Now considering I had little vision before May this latest change meant a change in most areas of my life. It was also terrible timing, as the end of May was the start of my exam window. This created a substantial problem I had under 4 weeks to learn how to study in a new way and convert all my materials to make them accessible after this latest change.

The only way I could achieve this was to defer 2 exams and sit 2 exams at the end of the month. I created a plan in order to convert all the materials that involved using a couple of support workers. Unfortunately one of the support workers let me down and told me far to late for me to find a replacement. This meant I would enter 1 exam I had revised for and 1 exam I didn’t even have the material to revise from. It was too late to really do anything about it so I just decided to get on with it and make the most of it. I spent the next 2 months converting enormous amounts of material for my next 2 exams. One of them being statistics and the other social psychology.

Both exams went horrendously. For statistics the exam paper required a number of graphs, very difficult when you are blind and contingency tables. Contingency tables hold a lot of information for the one in this particular exam I had to hold 27 variables in my head and then answer a question on them. As you may be able to imagine that is difficult!

I also totally fluffed the social psychology essay based exam by running out of time and not finishing my answer. So frankly I wasn’t looking forward to results day! But then results day came and I had done surprisingly well, even scoring a first in the essay question I didn’t finish!

So it appears the adaptations I had put into place had worked as far as my university work was concerned. As I continue to lose more vision and enter year 3 I am again changing the way I study, so the never ending cycle starts afresh.

The affects of my sight loss are not limited to my university work they affect all aspects of my life and I have to adapt in numerous ways. I have begun to rely even more on pieces of technology in order to achieve simple tasks, like pouring a cup of tea. Before I just used to pretty much guess from past experience how much water to pour in, but this was beginning to become problematic and dangerous, so now I use a water level sensor.

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