What does a filmmaker do when he finds out he is losing his sight from glaucoma but his doctors don’t want to talk about what his future might be? For Joe Lovett, you take to the streets. It is there that he meets others who have lost their vision, chronicling their struggle and filming the efforts he employs to save his remaining vision.

Going Blind is a unique documentary film that increases public awareness of sight loss and low vision issues profoundly affecting the lives of more and lost a significant amount of vision and in his concern about how to deal with more vision loss, he has started to talk with people who have already lost theirs.

The film weaves Joe’s mission to slow down the course of his disease through medication and surgeries, with the stories of others. Going Blind encourages and inspires people to take action to preserve, prolong, and maximize the precious gift of sight – for themselves, their loved ones, and society.

The film features individuals coping with major eye conditions. These compelling individual stories provide a glimpse into the world of low vision and blindness.

VisionAware is offering a preview of five (5) of these individual stories. You can also purchase the entire film.

Steve Baskis: Roadside Bomb

Steve Baskis Transcript

Steve: Oh, I knew that I could be injured. I knew that I could get hurt. But I never knew that I, I’d lose my vision. I knew that I could literally give, give up on things for a while, you know, and just like feel really sorry about myself. That’s not me. I just wanted to get better.

Jessica Jones: Diabetic Retinopathy

Jessica Jones Transcript

Jessica:We’re going soon, honey. [Addressing her dog guide as she brushes her hair, and puts on lipstick and sunglasses.]

OK, buds, you ready? That’s it. Good boy. Your leash is caught, sweetie. Here we go. [They go out to a bright, sunny New York City sidewalk.]

Everybody just assumed when I lost my sight that I would go back to Atlanta, but you know, if…you’ve got to learn to live independently as a blind person.

Pat Williams: Glaucoma, Cataracts

Pat Williams Transcript

Joe Lovett: In New York, I met Pat Williams at the Veteran’s Administration, where she works. Pat was born with multiple visual impairments, and has severe glaucoma and cataracts.

Pat Williams: Now I might not be able to recognize their faces, but when they talk, then I can, I can know who’s…who I’m speaking to.

Joe Lovett: Mm-hm. Is part of it wanting to pass as a sighted person?

Pat Williams: Definitely. Just wanting to pass. Wow, that’s deep. That’s really deep. Because you do it, you know, even from children we want to be normal, we want to look like everybody else, we want to blend in. I don’t want to be identified as a blind person, and I am one of those people because I can’t see the crosswalk, I can’t see when it says “walk, don’t walk.”

Peter D’Elia: Macular Degeneration

Pete D’Elia Transcript

Joe Lovett: How did you first notice that there was something wrong?

Peter D’Elia: I couldn’t see a golf ball. I’d have an idea of which direction it was going but I didn’t know where the hell it went.

Peggy D’Elia: He was quite upset wondering what, what he would do, how he would ever continue drawing if kept losing his sight like this and you know, what would happen to him.

Dr. Gentile: Ten years ago our options in terms of treatment were limited, and it was very rare that we had a patient actually improve in vision.

Peter D’Elia: I woke up the next morning and I’ll be able to read the newspaper and I can draw.

Ray Kornman: Retinitis Pigmentosa

Ray Kornman Transcript

Ray: I was 29, and uh, just went in for…to get my contact prescription renewed. As I was looking at the eye doctor he was holding his hand slightly off to the side, and he asked me again if I could see his hand there, and I said no. And he explained to me that I have this eye disease…that there was no treatment and there was no cure, and I would most likely be completely blind by the age of 40, um, thank you, have a nice day. And it was a really tough pill to swallow.

I ended up enrolling in a rehabilitation program, and I saw other people, some who were my instructors who were totally blind, who were giving me instruction on how to be independent and how to survive, and that was very empowering, like: “wow, I can overcome this.”