“My vision change helped me see a new world”

In 2008, during an annual eye exam, my doctor confirmed that my Macular Degeneration was now at a point where I might experience difficulty passing the vision portion of my driver’s license renewal exam. He then suggested that if I was denied my renewal, it would be wise to contact the Association for the Blind and Visually Impaired (ABVI)—that they could possibly help me.

It happened. I took his advice and called ABVI for an appointment.

I was totally unaware of who ABVI was or what they could do for someone like me and my problem. I had never heard of them. But after my first consultation with their Low Vision clinic team, I had Hope and I felt Encouraged. I was also convinced that ABVI could provide Opportunities to guide me through a very rough decision that was changing the lives of my wife and myself. You see, my wife had just been diagnosed with a brain tumor. She needed help with doctor and hospital transportation. It was important to be able to drive our car and maintain a somewhat normal life of independence to meet my responsibilities.

With ABVI’s low vision testing, examinations and equipment, I eventually met the needed requirements to have my license restrictions lifted. I also benefited by setting and achieving goals…a return to semi-normalcy of life.

During my visits to ABVI, I was exposed to others with very serious life challenges and conditions due to vision loss. And I saw their own appreciation for ABVI doing what they do, and the manner in which they do it: Support, Direction, Education and Encouragement.

I’m fortunate that my vision could be corrected enough to continue driving during the daytime. And I realize that others with severe vision loss won’t have the same opportunity. But no matter your particular situation, when your doctor refers you to ABVI, here’s what I would tell you…

“Let me introduce you to ABVI. They will take it from here and you’ll never be sorry you took the first step”.