Blind siblings still live with a positive vision

Support No Limits/Tape Aids for Blind Fundraiser on Saturday

Being able to see beyond the norm and an air of fun and adventure are just some of the personality traits that visually impaired East London siblings Paul Ferreira and Susan Matthee will bring to the No Limits/Tape Aids for the Blind Fundraiser on Saturday at Hudson Park Primary School.

Paul and Susan are planning a countrywide tour, No Limits, to promote Paul’s book, Geweetensbaai se siel, a Christaian novel which has now been recorded for the Tape Aids library (Blind author to launch Christian novel to public, March 14).

Some of the challenges they face include using technology so they can communicate effectively.

“For me to continue writing, I need a computer that speaks to me in a proper voice and that can zoom wide enough into the screen so I can see my work.

“In the shops we also have to ask for assistance when reading the prices as the font is not big enough,” Ferreira said. Matthee added that although there was technology and apps to assist them, it was is expensive.

“Transport to get around can be a problem, as well as climbing down stairs as we cannot contrast between light and dark,” she said.

CREATING AWARENESS: From left, Paul Ferreira and Susan Matthee Picture: AMANDA NANO

Mattee and Ferreira were classified legally blind at the age of nine, after their eye-sight started to deteriorate at age seven due to a genetic condition.

They can, however, both distinguish between light, dark, colour and movement.

Although the siblings two have a positive outlookare positive, Ferreira was diagnosed with immune thrombocytopenic purpura (ITP) and lupus, and is terminally ill.

Matthee has a fistula in her brain and is no longer able to work.

“Never ever stop living, your heart is still beating and do not accept that you cannot do something because you are blind.

“Do your thing in life, you’re either in the way or on the way,” Matthee said.

The event starts at 6pm and will be hosted by the Hudson Park Lion Cubs.

Cubs head Alyssa Joseph said: “We had a bucket for extra coins that we have been collecting since last term and we will also have a slide and talk for Tape Aids followed by a picnic afterwards.

“One pupil, Taylor de Bruin donated her coin savings of 10 years from when she was three years old.”

Tape Aids for the Blind is a free national audio library service for all blind and print-handicapped people in the country.

“People are ignorant and there is a need to educate society for children and adults to understand,” Tape Aids for the Blind branch manager Michelle Clayton said.

There will also be a Braille machine at the No Limits/Tape Aids for the Blind Fundraiser on Saturday to help create awareness about blindness.

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