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Old 09-11-2017, 02:28 AM
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Join Date: Jun 2004
Location: Lubbock,Texas
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Originally Posted by bfjou812 View Post
Any suggestions or ideas are welcome.
I don't really have any advice so you'll have to settle for a little bit of encouragement.

Almost 50 years ago I got to know a guy who had lost all of his central vision in both eyes and even some of his peripheral vision in each eye. I actually worked with his wife & she thought he & I should be friends.
This was a fellow with a bad temper, a near encyclopedic memory and as much determination as anyone I've ever known.

Our acquaintance began when I was trying to assemble a Heathkit stereo amplifier, knowing zero about electronics & I ran into some problems either with my work or possibly some defective parts, or both. His wife brought him around to help me figure it out.

This began a long friendship that started off with me watching Carl draw electronic schematics with his face turned sideways using a magic marker, from memory, and using only half of his peripheral vision. We did eventually get that amp working.
Later he decided to go back to college; he needed transportation so he bought a Sears garden tractor & drove himself all over Lubbock & the Texas Tech Campus. After tiring of the slow speed he switched to a bicycle. Scared me to death watching him ride it but he stayed alive and proved us all wrong.

Along the way, he lost his voice box to laryngeal cancer and had to develop a novel way of speaking, which he did by practicing on me. He got frustrated at times but eventually it was just another speedbump for him.

I don't recall that he took up welding but he did operate a table saw for small projects; never saw him rip any 4 x 8 sheets but he did pretty much whatever he pleased. One Christmas he built jewelry boxes for my daughters & an ammo box for my son, to hold his BB's. My younger daughter, now in her 40's was talking about her jewelry box just a week or two ago.

Later he bought a new 12 inch Craftsman lathe and off he went, learning to operate it. Over the years he introduced me to several college kids with varying degrees of vision problems, all the way up to total blindness. I got a glimpse into the way those kids went about their business & how they adapted to those handicaps. It was inspiring to watch.

My point is that I gained a lot of respect and faith in the visually impaired.
Those who wanted to do almost anything badly enough seemed to be able to develop ingenious ways to compensate for the lack of vision or for very limited eyesight. Their fingers became their sensors and their ability to memorize layouts and patterns were far beyond mine. It required a lot of patience & it took them longer to get some things done but eventually they could do almost anything if they really wanted to. I learned to never doubt whether he or they would eventually succeed. Just stay out of their way & give them time.

I have little doubt that you can do the same. It might take a little electronic rigging, such as a couple of cameras to present 2 views of the weld joint & project them into your helmet. Or something like that. You might find that you could work better by viewing it on a monitor. I can't imagine what Carl & his buddies could have conjured up if they had had access to the technology that we have today but I am sure it would have been impressive.

As I said, I offer only encouragement but it is based on those observations from 40 & 50 years ago.
"In the land of the blind the one-eyed man is king", the saying goes.
But he shouldn't take his subjects for granted because they very likely have undeveloped talents that most of us never think about using until we are forced to.
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