Photograph of Brian and his grandson heading off for an adventure.
It has been said that the last words of the German poet, Goethe, as he was dying, were "More light!" in the sense of "Someone open the shutters and let in more light."
While these words are suitable as the title of this project, the words of John Milton are more suitable to the subject because Milton was blind by 44 and composed a sonnet about it.
The More light! project is to set up a website where people with sight loss can reach out to others, both those with sight loss and sighted, to communicate socially and to obtain and share useful information, including reviews of other sources of information.
The author is aware that such sources exist and is currently exploring them, and if we decide that we cannot do better we will promote the better sites, while adding what we can on our own site. A review of the findings to date about the other sites comes after the next paragraph.
What we need
We need a volunteer, sighted or with sight loss, to set up and moderate a forum, on this site or separately. We also need someone with the skills to promote it over social media. You may ask is that all and why does the project need this writer?
A reasonable question. I am Brian Rothery, a retired writer/journalist, living in Ireland, still involved with media, but with sight loss and an awareness that younger people are needed to run with the project if it is to go anywhere.
Review of the help sources
Sources in English-language countries only are reviewed. A test issue for one pressing problem only is used. The author needs to switch from vision and keyboard using voice activation on an iPad and is trying to ask the simple question of whether expertise or experience are available over the online help sites.
The AFP, American Foundation for the Blind, has a comprehensive website and discussion boards in relevant categories. Access was straightforward so I asked for sources of advice on iPad voice advice on the Technology Chat board and will report on any response.
The AFB site.
Vision Australia has a comprehensive website, but I have not yet found a forum or board, so please let me know if there is one.
The Canadian National Institute for the Blind (CNIB) has a website which requires further exploration, but does not appear to have a forum or a discussion board.
The CNIB site.
The RNIB, Royal National Institute of Blind People, has a comprehensive website, but I have not yet found a forum or board, so please let me know if there is one.
The RNIB site.
The NCBI, National Council for the Blind in Ireland, has a comprehensive website but no online forum or discussion board. The author lives in Ireland and is excellently served by the NCBI. As part of my attempt to move to voice activation I have had a free excellent 5 day iPad course. As I try to move beyond the basics, my teacher is available both over the phone and face to face, but for this review of other sources to be genuine I have to try to find answers from the sources being reviewed.
The NCBI site.
Sonnet 19: When I consider how my light is spent
When I consider how my light is spent,
Ere half my days, in this dark world and wide,
And that one Talent which is death to hide
Lodged with me useless, though my Soul more bent
To serve therewith my Maker, and present
My true account, lest he returning chide;
"Doth God exact day-labour, light denied?"
I fondly ask. But patience, to prevent
That murmur, soon replies, "God doth not need
Either man's work or his own gifts; who best
Bear his mild yoke, they serve him best. His state
Is Kingly. Thousands at his bidding speed
And post o'er Land and Ocean without rest:
They also serve who only stand and wait."
(Composed before his great Paradise Lost and revealing that he thought that his work as a poet was over.)
A documentary will be made to promote this project.
Written and edited from Ireland by retired writer/journalist, Brian Rothery.
See his philosophical website here.
See "Last act", his website before his sight loss.