Social life with low vision by Winston Davis
Solving low-vision problems is a
Ellen Kampel was 22 when she woke up blind
in one eye. She would be 26 (and on her honeymoon) when she learned that MS was the reason
why. Vision problems of one kind or another have
dogged her ever since.
Today Kampel, 55, holds down a demanding
job at Microsoft (where she has worked for the
past 24 years), in addition to having an active
social life and a family. While optical aids and
computer adaptations play a role in helping her
manage, especially when her symptoms flare, her
“Everyone with MS is so different,” Kampel
commented. “I’m legally blind in one eye, but my
most constant problem is the small bits and pieces
missing from my central vision.” That means
she may not see the telling visual cue in a movie,
the moving baseball at a big game, or details in a
person’s face that make recognizing a neighbor or
an important business acquaintance effortless. She
has developed a laundry list of work-arounds.
“In the movies I sit in the first four rows—and
let my friends sit further back. We’ll talk it over
afterward. I do the same in business meetings.
I’m right up front. And even if I miss a bit of the
action, I love the feeling of being at the ballpark.