Keep It Clear - Aileen's Story
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Keep It Clear - Aileen's Story

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Poster with "Keep It Clear!" at top and photo of Aileen using her long cane to negotiate around tables and chairs on footpath. Caption says “I always need to be alert to stay safe, please be mindful that chairs and tables don’t block my path of travel”.

Aileen has been a Figtree resident for many years.

She has been blind all of her life however her eye disorder, called Rod-cone dystrophy, was not recognised or diagnosed until she was 36 years old.  As a consequence, school was a very tough place for Aileen to be as she was not recognised as being blind, or having very low vision.

Aileen uses a white cane and wears dark glasses as she is sensitive to light. She explains her vision as “living in a fog, as I can’t make out any definition. I have no concept of contrast, clarity or depth. I don’t see colour, only black and white”. 

Aileen walks to Westfield shopping centre in Figtree using her white cane. For longer trips into Wollongong she catches public transport or her husband will drive her.

Aileen is a very passionate advocate for people who are blind or who have low vision, which motivated her to become involved in the Keep It Clear! campaign. She’s delighted to see the campaign launched as she believes it a wonderful way to make sighted people aware of the needs of people who are blind or who have low vision.

“As a person who is blind or who has low vision it is very hard to navigate around our city and it causes a great deal of anxiety having to negotiate around obstacles left in our way.  The Keep It Clear! poster campaign shows how we can all make small everyday changes that will have huge impacts on people who are blind or who have low vision”.

Aileen’s passion is to make a difference to the lives of people who are blind or who have low vision living in the Wollongong local government area.  “I love this work and through campaigns like the Keep It Clear! poster campaign we are improving lives for the better,” she said.

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