Today I went to ABVI for my technology assessment. I didn’t really know what to expect. The woman I met with was very nice. She introduced me to her wonderful guide dog. She talked to me a bit about what I do at work and which tasks are difficult for me. She gave me a strange test, required by the NYCBVI as part of assessments. I don’t really understand the purpose of the test. It had 35 questions about computers, ROM and RAM, operating systems, etc. I did fairly well, only missing a couple of questions. After she scored my test, the counselor showed me ZoomText and Magic, two text enlarging programs. We also talked about monitor size to determine what would be best for me. We looked at Acrobat, which enlarges text on paper copies of documents (like books, newspapers, or forms) and little hand-held devices that do the same. There were a lot of products and I felt a little overwhelmed by the choices. We decided that someone will come to my office and see what will work best in my space.
While I was talking to the tech counselor, a home rehab counselor came in and asked if I would see her before I left. I finished the tech assessment by retaking the strange test I had started with (NYS requires a pre-test and a post-test apparently) and writing a two paragraph letter to my NYSCBVI caseworker about my experience and needs. I liked the woman who gave me the assessment, but most of the elements of it seemed very strange.
Next, I went to see the rehab counselor and we discussed some items that might help me around the house. She wants to come to our house and see if she can help me learn new ways to do the things that have become difficult for me. I have to admit, I was kind of overwhelmed by all the different things she showed me and told me about. There are a lot of products available and I hope to find the most helpful ones without wasting money. She is going to order some items to show me.
This was the second time I visited ABVI and, like the first time, I left feeling overwhelmed and drained. The people are very knowledgeable and nice, but it is all a bit much. Maybe it’s overwhelming because it makes me face my low vision as a reality. It forces me to accept that I need special products and services. I am very grateful that these products and people and services exist, but accessing them takes a toll on my spirit. For me, it’s important that I focus on the end goal of being able to continue working and doing normal activities instead of getting caught up in the difficulty of this one part of the journey. The good news is that everyone is on my side, everyone wants the best for me. It feels like I have the whole world supporting me. I am blessed.