Partially sighted and fully connected
Maria is 60 and lost the sight in her left eye when she was just 18.
Though she still has some sight in her right eye, even this started to go 5 years ago meaning but she can no longer write by hand.
Maria hadn't used a computer at all until 8 years ago. She was really nervous when she took her first steps on a computer but felt she should do it and is now she's glad she did.
When her remaining eyesight began to fail she wanted to stay as independent as possible & having computer knowledge has enabled her to do that. She advanced her computing at Henshaw's centre for the blind and now uses a computer every single day.
Maria uses software called Jaws. It reads web pages out loud and is a godsend to her. She uses her computing skills to send and receive emails, shop on-line, write letters in Word, download books and music, read the newspaper and research recipes so she can cook for her family.
When asked how she'd react if someone was to take her computer away she said 'take my husband instead'.
Maria also has a mobile phone that reads text messages from her kids out loud to her.
Maria is a firm believer of encouraging people to get on line, no matter what their age or ability "If I can do it then anyone can do it".