SuperNova user Ruth, lives on the Isle of Wight and has two grown-up children. She has a genetic sight condiditon known as Cone-Rod Dystrophy. She told us about her sight loss and how she adapted to using assistive technology when her sight deteriorated significantly.
Ruth uses SuperNova to manage her incredibly busy working life, and with everyday tasks such as social media and diary management at home.
Ruth's Sight Loss Experience
Ruth first noticed a deterioration in her central vision when she was just nine years old. She stayed in mainstream education throughout, as she says “I just struggled through and my friends helped”.
Ruth believes that because the deterioration of her sight was so gradual - she was registered blind in 1998 - she simply adapted to school, work and navigating modern life. This meant Ruth was able to manage well without significant assistance throughout much of her younger life.
Ruth learnt to use a computer 25 years ago, taking her ECDL 'European Computer Driving Licence' with Dolphin and used SuperNova Magnifier assistive technology. Since then, Ruth's sight has deteriorated further and currently she has 4% functional vision. As her sight changed, she went from using SuperNova magnification to SuperNova Magnifier and Screen Reader.
“SuperNova grew with me as my eyesight deteriorated and I recommend it to anyone”.
Ruth, SuperNova User
Using SuperNova at Work
Ruth's eye condition has never slowed her down! She has been a volunteer for over 20 years After completing a degree at the Open University, she now volunteers there - helping students who are combining study with a full-time job. Using SuperNova to perform research, type up interviews and help people with transcripts. She also proof reads and writes tutorials for staff at the OU.
In addition to her volunteer work at the Open University, Ruth also volunteers for the RNIB as part of the RNIB Connect team, and runs the Isle of Wight's macular support group.
She uses SuperNova every day on her computer to send emails, manage her address book, online banking and the weekly supermarket shop - as well as running three Facebook pages!
Ruth finds the read-back feature in SuperNova most helpful and the ability to access the control panel easily has been invaluable. She enjoys the flexibility SuperNova brings to her working life.
"I think SuperNova is great!
I use it every day and it's essential to my volunteering activities and home life".
Ruth, SuperNova User
About Cone Rod Dystrophy
Cone-Rod Dystrophy is an inherited disease of the retina, which does not presently have a medical or surgical treatment. This means treatment tends to be supportive - using screen magnifiers, provision of tinted glasses and registration as sight impaired for example. (Source: Moorfields Eye Hospital, 2020)
According to the Macular Society, symptoms of Cone-Rod Dystrophy vary significantly and sight loss progression happens at different rates for each individual. The amount of vision loss varies and so is difficult to predict. (Source: NORD RareDiseases.org article, 2010)
Progressive Cone-Rod Dystrophy - like Ruth's - tends to start in childhood and progress more significantly later in life. Whereas people with stationary dystrophy have the same level of sight loss from birth onwards.
Symptoms of Cone-Rod Dystrophy may include discomfort in bright light (photophobia), a loss of detailed vision and central sight loss. Some people with cone-rod dystrophy may also develop nystagmus (uncontrolled, rapid eye movements). (Source: The Macular Society, 2021)
Dolphin SuperNova empowers users with visual impairments to succeed at work. It is the world's first combined screen magnifier and screen reader, which enables people with sight loss to get the most out of Windows PCs, laptops and tablets.
SuperNova is available in different editions - to suit a range of sight levels:SuperNova Magnifier
SuperNova Magnifier & Speech