CEO at Sight Support Derbyshire

Claire Winfield was appointed as the CEO at Sight Support Derbyshire in January 2013.  Claire joins us from the Royal Air Forces Association where she worked as the Director of Welfare.


Blind photographer shows the world what she sees

Cathy Browne lives in Canada and has been blind since birth. Cathy and her husband Dave moved to Vancouver in 2009 from Ottawa.  "We had a really good first year because the Olympics were happening and a lot of good stuff was going on.  We met a really huge and supportive community through me and through social media.  But it couldn't last forever."

Just after the Olympics Dave's health went downhill and a year later he died.

She has always dabbled in photography but it really took off when her life took that turn for the worse.  "[Photography] saved my sanity all this time and has given me, and I think other people, a great deal of pleasure and for that I'm really thankful."

Cathy has been blind since birth.  She was born prematurely, weighing only two pounds.  The only way they could save babies back then was to crank the incubator.  Pure oxygen burned all her eye tissue and nothing was left but scar tissue, a condition called neonatal oxygen toxicity.

It seems counter-intuitive, a photographer with only 10 per cent vision in her right eye.  "I have very keen colour sense and I'm very observant and it sounds kind of contradictory but I'm very, very visual and I pick up on details extremely well.  I don't particularly recognize faces but if I've met you and come to know you, I will probably be able to tell you what you wore the first time I met you."

Her friends helped her take her photography to another level. 

"When the Olympics came around and there were certain events going on I started to actually take some more serious pictures, still with a point-and-shoot," says Cathy.  "Some of my friends who actually are professional, or at least semi-professional photographers, actually commented that I had a pretty good eye.  And I always joked and said, 'Yeah, thank God I still have part of one.'"

And she's not alone, "In fact, on Flickr there is an entire community of blind photographers, all of which have different sight challenges and all of which take really damned good pictures."

Cathy thinks having a passion is what can get you through your troubles.  "It channeled a lot of energy, some of it nervous energy, probably a fair bit of it anxiety. I think anything that ignites an interest and a passion in you is going to really save you."

Source : News1130

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