Bob, Nancy, and Scout Butler sitting on couch

Consumer Highlight: Robert (Bob) Butler

Bob, Nancy, and Scout Butler sitting on couchRobert (Bob) Butler was born in Marion, Indiana and raised with 7 siblings. He went to Ball State University and then got a job working for the state of Indiana at the Department of Workforce Development. Robert also met his wife, Nancy, at work. He is now 71 years-old and retired from the state job where he worked for 40 years as a subject matter expert. His last project for the state, which lasted 10 years, was setting up a new computer system for the agency. This project was all consuming and once completed, he thought it was the right time for him to retire.

Ten years ago, Bob was diagnosed with diabetic retinopathy. This has been treated with eye injections directly into the eye to reduce the symptoms. On September 29th, Bob received an injection which resulted in a staph infection in his left eye, which was his dominate eye. Two days later he lost all his vision in his that eye and ultimately had to have the eye removed and replaced with a prosthetic eye.

Due to this vision loss, Bob has been most frustrated with not being able to read, drive, or watch sports. Prior to the loss in September, he was reading an average of two books per week. He is now adjusting to listening to audio books.

Bob is working with an occupational therapist at St. Frances to learn ways to adjust to his vison loss. When he asked her about what technologies may be available to increase his independence, he was informed about The INDATA Project at Easterseals Crossroads. He contacted Blake Allee, Demo & Load Lead, to discuss his challenges. They discussed several technology solutions including an iPad for magnified reading, audio books, and the Vision Buddy for watching sports. Bob’s difficulty is not being able to see the score or time clock while watching a game. Since Bob was not familiar with this device, Blake was able to bring that out to his home for a device demonstration.

Bob learned that the Vision Buddy is a headset that is worn like virtual realityBlake Allee demonstrating Vision Buddy goggles while Bob Butler is wearing them googles. It has a built-in camera that can magnify anything in view and a display where the TV can be streamed, and that image is magnified. It is very easy to operate and does not require internet connection. As it seemed like it would be a helpful device for him, he decided to borrow it for 30 days for free out of our Equipment Lending Library. The device bob in front of television with Vision Buddy magnifying gameallowed him to view sports games more clearly and to see the score and time clock, which has allowed him to watch the NBA playoffs. He was also able to wear the goggles to a Bruce Springsteen concert and could see the stage well. Blake was also able to give Bob a CCTV video magnifier that was donated to our Equipment Reutilization Program, which he has found to be very helpful in reading documents.

Bob indicated that he has found working with Blake very helpful to begin to learn different assistive technologies available to him. While learning about Bob wearing Patriot Vision gogglesand using the Vision Buddy he did some more research on similar devices and ended up purchasing the Patriot Vision, which is a very similar device. Bob said he would not have known about these devices without working with Blake and “finding out what possibilities were was a big step”. He said, “The device has helped me enjoy my pastimes and I am very grateful for the help and assistance that Crossroads provided me. Blake Allee was incredibly helpful.

Bob has a greater understanding of assistive technology now which makes him hopeful and increases his independence. He is thankful for everything he has learned from the occupational therapist and Blake. He also gives a lot of credit to his wife for being his #1 supporter during these difficult times.

Bob, Nancy, and Scout Butler sitting on couchNow that he is successfully using new assistive technologies to read and watch television, he has begun to learn more about bioptic driving and hopes he will be able to drive in the future. Bioptic driving utilizes a person’s general vision in combination with intermittent spotting through a telescopic system. Armed with an increased knowledge of assistive technology and finding some that have already increased his independence, he is hopeful that he will continue to enjoy the things he loves and relish retired life with his wife and dog, Scout.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *