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A View from a Friend

I’m 82. My dry macular degeneration has recently worsened. I’ve sent my driving licence back. What matters much more is how hard it is now to read. I’m a historian, researching and writing about how we have dealt with disputes without litigation, by arbitration and mediation. I use my computer all day to get at the sources and create my text.

From the start, the JR Eye Hospital has confirmed my faith in the NHS. The Low Vision Clinic put me on to OAB. Losing sight must be miserable for many but, from the time I first arrived at the Resource Centre, I have felt boosted. My welcome was so warm and real and human. I felt so cared for just as me, not a client, still less a customer. In my 65 years in universities I have never met anyone more expert and so able to make me understand new technology.

I have bought all the latest magnifying aids and can get on with my work, though I admit it is more of a struggle. My wife, Susanna Hoe, and I will tomorrow send off the manuscript of our book Women in Disputes, and I’m working happily with my research team on a book about arbitration and mediation in 18thcentury England, for publication next year. OAB has made all this possible.

I think I have met all the staff at the Resource Centre now. We always have a bit of fun. And I come away with a sense of joy at their humanity and willing helpfulness. Strange words – fun and joy – to find in an account of going blind. But that is OAB.

Derek Roebuck
Senior Associate
Research Fellow, Institute of Advanced Legal Studies, University of London.

Frideswide Square

Have you had difficulty using Frideswide Square in Oxford, or do you completely avoid the area? OAB, Guide Dogs and RNIB are teaming up to try and make a difference with the inaccessible shared space, if you’d like to get involved with the campaign, please call OAB and ask for Mark Upton.