Marie works for Sight Scotland as a Rehabilitation and Mobility Officer. Marie is partially sighted herself and uses her skills and knowledge to help others regain their independence.
What does a visit involve?
“We carry out a full assessment of someone's needs. We look at how their vision is impacting their day-to-day life.
“For example, we look at how someone is managing to cook a meal, read the newspaper, go shopping, or even how they are getting cash out of a cash machine.
"We talk about their social activities: how are they meeting friends or meeting family? That’s important.
“We then look at solutions to make these tasks safer and easier, giving them more independence.”
How do you support people?
“For some people, we improve lighting in the home, so there are equal amounts of light in each room, with no lighter or darker areas. Otherwise, moving from room to room can make it difficult for the person to adjust.
“I can also teach people how to use a long cane. Someone might want to visit a friend who lives 30 minutes away by bus. So it’s about finding a way to do that and helping them regain their independence.”
"I can also teach people how to use a long cane. Someone might want to visit a friend who lives 30 minutes away by bus. So it’s about finding a way to do that and helping them regain their independence.
What equipment do you use to do your job?
"I’ve got a guide dog to get to work. When I’m travelling I use Google Maps and Soundscape.
"When you’re approaching a door, Soundscape will beep faster: “beep-beep-beep!”. You follow the beep and it’ll take you right to the door.
"Soundscape also announces popular places you go to. For example, it might give a wee alert to say you’re passing Greggs. I might think, ‘ooh, I fancy a wee donut or a coffee’ and I might pop in.
“On my computer, I use JAWS screen reader, which reads out key commands and opens windows for me. I use a keyboard with yellow keys and black letters. I touch-type and I use Lokdots which are little raised markings I put on different keys. I also have a zoom magnifier which blows things up 200x.”
What are the best things about your job?
“I love going to new places and visiting new people and getting a snippet of their lives and their stories. I love the personalities and the challenges. I’ve always loved problem-solving. I love helping people. I think it’s all about passing on your knowledge. Even 18 years on, I love it."