This is my 7th year as a high school “Band Mom”. I have supported and watched my kids practice, perform, and compete countless times in our school’s award-winning marching band. This year, because of my vision loss, I hear the music and see nothing a fog on the field. No kids, no formations or snazzy visuals. I can sense from the music, it’s another ahh-mazing show! I’ve seen enough field shows to know, a fantastic show will grab your attention musically and visually!! The music part I got. So, how do I get me some visual?
I use the camera on the iPad and I zoom in on the field. It’s not perfect, and it’s probably blurry…like that matters! What matters is that I’m there and can “see” the kids performing out on the field! …I could easily choose to be sitting at home pouting with a package of Oreos…double stuff! *credit to my son who took this photo unbeknownst to me at the time.
I suspect some people around me think “Why the hell does she have that iPad all up in her face like that?” … Oh, because I love the feel of the burn in my arms as I hold the iPad up to my face for long periods of time! Yeah THAT’S why! Ha ha! Okay, I know I don’t look different, but my vision IS. This is my “different” way of watching a performance that I have always enjoyed. That blurry view is as good as it’s gonna get, and I’ll TAKE IT!! ...If you bring me a Starbucks coffee, I’ll take that too!
I am thankful for assistive technology and I will admit sometimes I feel self-conscious using it in public. After watching my daughter and her high school marching band perform last weekend, through my iPad, I said to my son “God, people must think that I looked kinda weird.” My son said “Mom, when you got up to leave and pulled out your cane, I’m sure it made sense to everyone.” …. Yeah, oookay. …. Damn, another win for the white cane!