Beryl, 79, who lives near Telford, Shropshire says “I was diagnosed with wet macular degeneration 7 years ago - I had laser treatment but the degeneration couldn't be halted.
When this happened I was retired from teaching but I still taught on a one to one basis. I was determined that my life should go on as normally as possible. As a sighted person and keen reader I had little interest in computers and had always enjoyed writing by hand I quickly realised that a computer was going to be a necessity.
I have always been interested in current affairs and I so miss being able to read newspapers. I need to learn how to operate the web to keep myself informed and up to date. For instance - how do I access a ‘blog’? Last year, together with three other macular suffers/carers we set up a Telford branch of the Macular Disease Society. As you can imagine, this very much necessitates the use of the computer.
I tried my local College and signed on for a 6 month course which I attended every session. They were totally incapable of loading up the programme that I was supposed to be working on - it was a total waste of time and money. I also was directed to the local library that had the computers but no tuition.
I needed and still need help from someone who understands the specific problems of a macular condition and has the patience to work with an impatient, frustrated but keen elderly student. Where else could I get it?”