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RESEARCH by the Royal National Institute of Blind People has revealed that the disability people fear most is losing their eyesight. Having been down that road to the very end, I must say I can think of other disabilities which must be worse, but there is no doubt that loss of vision presents a very real challenge. Indeed, the knowledge that you need to rely on help from other people for even the simplest of tasks can seriously harm your confidence and self esteem. Many people who lose their eyesight become virtual prisoners in their own homes.

However, if you are going to lose your eyesight, it can be argued with considerable justification that there has never been a better time for it to happen. That’s because modern technology has advanced so fast that it is now possible for blind people to do things that would have been impossible twenty years ago.

I am using some of that technology to type this article. My PC monitor is turned of because I have no need of it, but I can hear every word I type – including the spelling mistakes – thanks to screen reader software.

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