After losing his eyesight without warning two years ago, a Fixer from Hampshire has helped create a film to show that being blind doesn’t necessarily mean being completely in the dark.
Richard Wheeler (26)* from Winchester has the rare genetic condition Leber’s Hereditary Optic Neuropathy and lost the majority of his vision in 2011.
However, he says because he hasn’t lost his independence, people sometimes accuse him of exaggerating about his blindness.
He hopes his film will help people realise that being blind doesn’t necessarily mean a person can’t see at all.
‘The idea is that my film will raise awareness and get across the message that visual impairment is not all black and white,’ says Richard.
‘I am often accused of lying about being blind because of how capable I am and how independent I can be.
‘When I tell people that I am accused of lying about being blind, they are shocked, but it happens.
'I want to encourage people to think before they speak.’
In his Fixers film, ‘Seeing It Through My Eyes’, Richard demonstrates how he completes tasks like making a cup of tea and receiving a text message.
Some of the scenes are blurred to help flag up the challenges he faces on a regular basis.
‘The film is really a day in the life,’ he explains.
‘There are difficulties I face and it’s not straightforward. Even little things like meeting up with people are difficult and there is a lot that people don’t take into consideration.’
Richard is hoping to show his film at the University of Winchester and wants to send it to a number of local schools, so more people have a better understanding of visual impairments.
You can watch his Fixers film 'Seeing It Through My Eyes' above.
*NOTE: Fixers sometimes go beyond the 16-25yr age bracket while working on their Fix