How ZoomText Helped Shoot Me First
“You can’t go back to Afghanistan, Grant. Stargardt’s has finally caught up with you.”
The ophthalmologist peered into the machine, and into my eyes. If it had peered into my heart, it would have seen tears. It didn’t matter that I had been Project Support Director for a huge eye-care program with its headquarters in Kabul. But hey, I was 64, and typical Stargardt’s would have taken out my central vision before I was 20. I packed a lot into those four bonus decades.
His voice was a mile away. “You can go back to sell your gear, but that’s all. The last bit of the macular could go any time.” It was a hard call after serving the needy for so long in Pakistan and Afghanistan.
“You should write Grant,” friends said. “Start while you can. You’re a good story teller and you have plenty of stories to tell.”
I soon had the title: Shoot Me First. It came from a tense confrontation with bearded, rifle toting Pakistani Pashtuns who did not want me to rebuild a girl’s school. Yet the day before a bright-eyed girl had said, “I want to go to school. One day I want to be a doctor.”
The subtitle was easy: “A cattleman in Taliban country – 24 years in the hotspots of Pakistan and Afghanistan.”
With my remaining vision I went proactive and researched the internet for the most suitable screen reader for my future use. That was when I found out about ZoomText. Ai Squared came up as a progressive, innovative company with good worldwide support.
The best piece of advice was given a few months after I had installed the program. “You may think you don’t need it yet, Grant,” the tall rep drawled at an Adelaide Techfest, “but switch it on and leave it on… then it will grow on you.” And it did.
That was three years ago and I am now legally blind. Thanks to ZoomText I have recently published the book, and people say they can’t put it down. I consider ZoomText to be the most valuable of my vision tools. As I start my next book, I am looking forward to getting into ZoomText 10 with all its innovative features.