As the Royal National Institute of Blind People marks its 150th anniversary this week Eyemouth’s Victoria Ross talks about how the organisation has helped her.
Victoria lost her sight at the age of 14 to optic atrophy but she has not let it hold her back.
Thirty three year old Victoria said: “I first learned about the RNIB a while after my sight loss was registered, when I was at university and needed support in the form of assistive technology.”
“I have since taken part in a variety of voluntary opportunities, and these, along with the support of RNIB Scotland’s fantastic team, has greatly improved my confidence and aspirations for my future.
“There have been many significant changes for people with sight loss in the 150 years since the RNIB was founded. I learned about such changes during my participation in the RNIB Scotland and Heritage Lottery Fund’s project ‘Seeing our History’.
“The thing that stood out for me was the vividness and clarity of individual life stories we could gather about the people on the register: triumphing through adversity, dramatic ups and downs in fortune, and marching on regardless.”
Today, over 170,000 people are living in Scotland with significant sight loss - two million across the UK - and they still face many barriers. Only one in four has a job, four out of 10 are not able to make all the journeys that they want or need to make and only 17 per cent of people experiencing sight loss are offered emotional support in response to their deteriorating vision.