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What a Spectacle

Some gimmicks sent out with funding letters are better than others. I am not sure that the latest effort from Royal London Society for Blind People has much going for it. It is ‘spectacles’ made from card – including where, normally, there would be lenses – apart from a ‘pinhole’ for each eye to see through.

The aim, of course, is to give the recipient an idea of what it must be like to be one of the Society’s beneficiaries. I don’t think it succeeds. While it does give the feeling of ‘tunnel vision’, everything one does see is as clear as normal – if not better. Whenever I attend a hospital eye clinic, when I do badly identifying the letters on the test screen, they give me a pin-hole through which to look at the letters again. Lo and behold, the letters usually look clearler. (Don’t ask me to explain te science behind this trick).

My feeling is that if a charity is going to send a gimmick of some kind, it had better be a good one. I don’t think this gives a fair impression of what it must be like to be blind. And I definitely have an interest since my condition was described by my consultant as a race between blindness and death.

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