Monday, 14 May 2012

Vision Impaired due to a Brain Tumour - 2. What Mohammed sees

We’ll continue this video presentation of Mohammed with some comments on how he now sees the world after his operation. Mohammed had a brain tumour and after a stay in hospital and several operations his eyesight is severely reduced.  Only he can explain exactly how he sees, so I have asked him to describe how he now sees the world. The difference between Mohammed and many young people with visual impairments, of course, is that he has a very large memory of what the world should look like and he can compare what he sees now with what it was like. 

Mohammed tells us that his vision was normal but now as a result of his brain tumour he has severely restricted vision. All aspects of his vision are now affected: central detailed vision so vital for rapid scanning of the world and all that is in it, distance vision and being able to recognise people and watch the television and colour vision. 

Mohammed has lost the vision in his right eye and 50% of the vision in his left eye. In addition his vision fluctuates and he cannot see clearly beyond one metre. He cannot identify a face and he needs giant print size to be able to read.

He says it is like looking through a frosted window; it is blurry and unclear.

Mohammed cannot read normal print. He needs print in 26 point Arial font in bold formatting. Obviously this size print is not easy to produce as a rule in school and a lot of thought needs to go into how exactly this size and quality of print is to be produced for Mohammed.

Note that just by looking at Mohammed's eyes you would NOT think he has a visual impairment. His eyes look normal. The damage is in the brain hidden away from sight. That itself can create difficulties, because people who do not know him might think he can see when he cannot. 

Thank you Mohammed for these insights you have allowed us to have through your very lucid explanations. 


  1. I recently made an app for android that takes a picture of a page (words) and then speaks it aloud. I wanted to do it open source (free), inspired by a Ted Talk video that stated this technology used to cost a lot.
    Now any android phone can do it, here it is I'm trying to get it out there to those who can use it:

    On the left of the app page you will also see a version that takes a picture of ANY language (but this one is more geared to travelling:)


  2. Above link has been changed, See Say Image to Speech for the Visually Impaired is now here on Google Play:

    Take Picture of Book Page, Android Reads it Aloud! See Say Image to Speech OCR.
    An app for android that takes a picture, and speaks the text aloud:) A tool for the visually impaired, or just for the curious.
    I was inspired by a Ted Talk that mentioned that not too long ago, this technology was available for around $10,000.00, for the visually impaired. Technology has come so far that I am able to write this app and release it for under five bucks :)

  3. There is also one that does page image to speech translating from any language:

  4. Further along the lines of Visual Impairment, I spent the better part of 6 months developing Object Recognition, in other words, picture of ANY object to speech. This tool works best on "things", not people, and it gets smarter each update. It's named ANDROID EYE, and it won Reviewers Choice Award, with much great positive feedback: