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Second Sense - Beyond Vision Loss

Marilyn Shows You’re Never Too Old to Learn Something New

Marilyn smiles while she holds her slate and stylusMarilyn started losing her vision in June 2018.  And the doctors couldn’t tell her why.

She lost some vision, stabilized, then lost more vision.  And the doctors couldn’t tell her when it would stop.

Pretty soon, even the vision she still had was dimming.  And the doctors couldn’t tell her if she would lose it all.

But, Marilyn didn’t let this stop her.  “You have to keep going or shut down. Shutting down isn’t an option for me.”

She tried to get services through one local organization, but they told her she was too old to learn braille.  “And, I just didn’t feel comfortable there.” Then, she learned about Second Sense.

So far she has completed training in dining skills and pouring liquids.  She learned how to use her iPhone and Apple Watch.  And, she has started learning braille.

Not only is she learning the braille alphabet, she is already using it.  She tried using Seeing AI on her iPhone to get voice output of the labels on her prescription bottles.  But, it took time to line up the camera with the label.  With the simple braille labels she created, the name of the medicine is always at the tip of her finger.

“I just put the first two letters in the name of the medication on the label.  It is much quicker for me.”

Marilyn was also told she is too old for a guide dog. Again, she wouldn’t take no for an answer.  She did research until she found a school that would consider her.  After her home visit, she was accepted and will soon be on her way to meet her new guide.

She will also continue with her mobility lessons.  “I keep setting new goals and finding new places I want to go and things I want to do.”

One goal is to learn to take public transit to downtown Chicago so she can come to Second Sense on her own.  We don’t think she will let anything get her in way!