Jessica Jackson is a 25-year-old bank teller from Monroe, Wisconsin. She was diagnosed with Stargardt’s Disease at the age of 17.
Being diagnosed as a teenager made transitioning into adulthood more challenging for Jessica. For most teenagers, 17 is a time of self-discovery and increased independence. Not only was Jessica figuring out who she was a person, she had to begin searching for different tools to cope with her diagnosis so that she could maintain her independence at school and later at work.
“At 17, you know as a teenager, you’re still going through stuff trying to figure out who you are and what you’re going to do with your life. Being told that you were going blind was not exactly what you wanted to hear.”Jessica Jackson
Life before eSight
For years, Jessica had difficulties doing everyday tasks with hand-held assistive technologies.
As a bank teller and essential worker during the COVID-19 pandemic, Jessica had to cope with small print on a regular basis. When cross-referencing a customer’s identification with the one on file or inputting new customer IDs in the database, Jessica would hold documents close to her face or use a hand-held magnifier. While these magnifiers can be helpful for reading, they do not allow for multitasking. As such, she found writing and typing while using this device extremely difficult.
Jessica began to look for an option that would increase accessibility and independence in her workplace and everyday life. When she came across eSight 4, it changed her life. During the home experience trial period Jessica was able to see things clearly for the first time. And with eSight 4’s hands-free design, she knew it would be a gamechanger at work. However, Jessica could not afford the device on her own. Fortunately, with the help of eSight’s fundraising program, her dream would become a reality.
Fundraising with eSight’s eMPOWER Program
For many, starting a fundraiser is a daunting task – Jessica was no exception.
Using the eMPOWER program to fundraise for my eSight 4 was kind of intimidating because I’ve never actually done any kind of fundraising for the amount of money that I was going to fundraise for. The first day, I had already raised over a thousand dollars, and I started getting more and more excited – but then thought, you know what, it was the first day and the momentum is going to plummet.Jessica Jackson
Little did she know, it would be the kindness of a co-worker and donor that would change her life. Hear first-hand how this experience shaped Jessica’s low vision journey and helped her raise enough money to purchase her very own eSight in only four days.
Life with eSight
Thanks to eSight, Jessica’s newfound independence has made her days at work more productive – giving her a stronger sense of confidence. She can also return to her favorite hobbies like reading books and having movie nights with her family.
With her eSight, Jessica feels more connected to her nephew because she can see his face more clearly. The recording feature on her device has also allowed her to document and share special moments with her family. And the device lets her keep a better eye on her two mischievous pet cats.
Jessica’s hope for the future
Jessica is hopeful that in the future individuals living with a visual impairment will have more access to assistive technologies like eSight 4.
This is why eSight works tirelessly to increase affordability and accessibility. By advocating on behalf of the low vision community we are urging government bodies and workplaces to cover the cost of our device. In doing so, we hope to help even more people like Jessica see new possibilities.