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Late blindness: Offering information, solutions and guidance

31-year-old Priyabrata Sahu was born sighted in Sundargarh district of Odisha. He started experiencing sight loss while studying in Class 8. He managed to overcome low vision issues with the help of spectacles. After completing his B-tech degree, Priyabrata was employed as a Support Engineer in an IT company.
But things took an adverse turn in 2018 when his vision started deteriorating rapidly. Unable to work, he lost his job and was forced to sit idle at home. Soon after, the pandemic and the lockdown followed, turning his hopelessness into depression.
However, he kept searching for solutions online as he could still use computers albeit straining his eyes. That’s when he stumbled upon the Eyeway helpline number. He spoke to the Helpdesk counselor stationed at Enable India in Bangalore, curious on how to continue living and earning independently.
The counselor realized that Priyabrata had the skills to do any job including computer and English proficiency. Except he required reorientation as a person with blindness. This would mean undergoing mobility and needs-based training where he would learn to navigate on his own and use computers with the aid of screen reading software.
Unwilling to accept that his eye sight could deteriorate further, Priyabrata seemed apprehensive about the training initially. He insisted on his ability to use the computers with the remaining vision. The Eyeway counselor then shared some examples of people with low vision who efficiently perform their professional duties with the help of screen readers like JAWS and NVDA. Working knowledge of assistive technology could open up employment avenues like MIS Executive, HR recruiter, Accessibility Tester and so on.
Constant follow ups helped Priyabrata open up to the idea of rehabilitation and learning new techniques of operation. He is now willing to start online training and move to Bangalore to explore job opportunities.
While his immediate family was unable to offer any emotional support due to a lack of awareness, Priyabrata found a friend and guide in the Eyeway Helpdesk counselor.

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