Aniridia Day – My Aniridia Sight

Poster with a cartoon-like image of the world, which is smiling, wearing sunglasses and giving 2 thumbs up. Above this are the words Supporting Aniridia Day. Below the globe is the website address, and the @AniridiaDay Twitter handle.

Happy Aniridia Day! Following the shining success of last year’s launch event, this year it’s back and there’s loads going on today.

For starters, there are hours of live webinars taking place all day, with talks and Q&A sessions by patients, parents, doctors and researchers from all over the world. And I’m involved in one of them, because myself and James Buller will be discussing living with aniridia. So do join us if you can!

But the other major part of the day is the Aniridia Sight campaign, where people post a photo of a scene, and then describe how they see the same scene from the same position – i.e. when they take the place of the camera, what can they see with their own eyes?

So in this post, I’m going to share my contribution to the Aniridia Sight campaign. And you can do the same, by sharing your Aniridia Sight photos and descriptions to the Aniridia Day Facebook group, or posting on social media with hashtag #AniridiaSight and tagging @AniridiaDay. I hope you all have a great day, and you find the following description about my sight interesting.

Since moving to London, I’ve naturally had to adjust to the busy shopping areas in the city, which can be quite a challenge sometimes. And as an example, these 2 shots are from Covent Garden.

In the first photo, although I’m standing fairly near to the shop window, I can’t clearly make out what things are. The white mannequin is quite striking, that does stand out, but the rest is a jumble of objects and colours. I’d have to walk up very close, probably going into the store itself, to try and figure it all out.

The shop name above the window and on the door is also unreadable – partly due to the curly font style and small size, but also because the orangey-red colour doesn’t clearly contrast with its background, especially in the doorway with the bright shop lighting behind. It’s only looking at the photo now that I realise the writing is even there in the doorway to begin with, as I didn’t notice it at the time. It just blended in to the light behind it.

Turning right gives me the second photo, looking towards the main Covent Garden square.

The white building ahead of me will be very glary with the bright sun reflecting off it, so walking towards it without my tinted glasses wouldn’t be easy. My eyes would water and I’d blink a lot more frequently, and I’d have to focus my gaze more on the ground than looking straight ahead of me to have any chance of walking that way. And even if it were cloudy, there would still be some glare affecting me from that wall.

In contrast, I can’t see what’s in the dark area behind the pillars on the right, even though it’s partly visible in the photo. The little strips of light might just about get my attention, but otherwise it’s just a black space. There’s no way I can read the shop names here, and I can’t tell if there are any people in that area, again until I get up close. I can see the white pillars from here though, because they contrast well against the black.

Walking from the bright outdoors into that darker covered area would also take me a little bit longer to adjust to than for normal people. It probably won’t be very dark under there because of any lighting there plus the daylight nearby, but my eyes would still have to adjust to the limited degree that they are able to.

Thankfully I do have things like my tinted glasses and my monocular (a little telescope) to help me out in situations like this, hence I always carry them around to see where I’m going and to see where things are. So the aniridia isn’t a barrier to me getting around places like this, I just have to take my time and do things a bit differently to other people.

Thank you for reading, I hope you found that interesting. To find out more about how aniridia affects me, check out my post and video on Living with Aniridia, along with my many other visual impairment posts and my disability videos. You can also check out some of my favourite aniridia videos by others too.

Author: Glen

Love London, love a laugh, love life. Visually impaired blogger, culture vulture & accessibility advocate, with aniridia & nystagmus, posting about my experiences & adventures.

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