Transcript of Video

NARRATOR: Deanne Jackson, Age 66, Macular Degeneration

Deanne Jackson, a strawberry blonde woman wearing a blue blouse, sitting in front of a bookcase.

Reaction to Official Diagnosis in 2004

DEANNE: I was devastated because I am, of course, a very independent woman, and was used to doing things how I wanted to do them and when I wanted to do them. And I thought, “Well, I’m going to wind up dependent on other people,” and I didn’t like that idea at all.

Fear of Losing Control

DEANNE: My fear was if someone else had to come in and start managing my finances, my bill paying, they would have all kinds of suggestions for me, and comments, and I didn’t want anybody else knowing what my personal life was all about. That really bothered me.

The Search For a Solution

NARRATOR: Deanne uses items at her desk: a handheld magnifier, pastel note pads, and a small talking calculator.

DEANNE: I went to every store I could think of before I knew there was help out there, finding magnifying glasses, sheets of paper, little machines, so that I could continue paying my bills, writing my checks. It had gotten to the point that I was having to have one of the children come over and write the checks out for me.

NARRATOR: Deanne sitting at her desk. She picks up the telephone.

DEANNE: Well, I got hooked up with the Texas Commission for the Blind, and then the American Foundation for the Blind, and I haven’t had a really bad day since. It’s just been wonderful.

Setting Up My Own Home Office

NARRATOR: Deanne takes a seat at her desk, in front of the video magnifier.

DEANNE: I’m in a new apartment complex, and they’ve built in a computer station in the kitchen, a little small area. Well, I have a CC TV there, which gave me back my life. I can read again. I can write my own checks again. I put the checks on the platform and I write my checks and sign my name and keep my check register, and nobody else knows anything about it, which suits me just fine.

From Fearing Computers to Embracing Them

NARRATOR: Deanne and Rae Burns sitting at a computer with a large font keyboard.

DEANNE: I have a talking type, where I go into the computer and it is teaching me the command keys, which means that I don’t have to be sighted to do those things, and I can get back on the computer. I’ve had a business before. My expertise in life is typing and the computer. I’ll probably be running my own business in a couple of years.

Advice for Others

NARRATOR: Deanne and Rae working together in the office.

DEANNE: It is not over. All you have to do is get on that telephone, start talking to people. All these organizations are so willing to help you. And they have the resources, they have the training. Your life will be back, you’ll have it back.