“One of the gifts of my vision loss is that I get to see how good people can be,” says Kerri Largo, PhD.
Kerri was diagnosed with Stargardt’s when she was 15 years old when she noticed she could not see things projected onto the board at school. In the beginning, it was more annoying and inconvenient, but she adjusted to the changes in her field of vision.
In her 20’s her vision changed enough that she needed bioptic lenses to drive, and that was when she met Dr. Williams and became part of the Spectrios family. “I always looked forward to seeing Dr. Williams. He always took the time to explain to me what I could expect in the future. I was prepared for my vision loss to became more profound, I was not surprised when it happened and knew I had resources and support to manage that change.”
When Kerri began her career as a high school teacher, she recalls an administrator asking her if she could be a teacher with her vision loss. She thought, “oh game on mister.” As a result of that comment, she was motivated to earn her department head certification and eventually her PhD.
Once she started telling people about her vision loss, she found that they were very accommodating. “As soon as staff members found out that I needed a little extra support, they made sure to do things like email me presentations so I could look at them on my iPad to make sure I could fully participate.”
Even her students go out of their way to accommodate her vision loss. When they see her in the hallway, refrains of “Hi Dr. Largo, this is Sam,” can be heard as the students make sure she knows who is addressing her. When they are working on their laptops and need help they just enlarge the text before she gets there so she can see it.
“I understand the depression and fear people have about losing their vision. I am fiercely independent and I don’t want to be a burden on anyone. It has been a struggle for me to ask for help or even tell people about my vision loss. But I have learned that once people know they are very willing and interested in being supportive. Sure, it is annoying to have to explain to new people, but they don’t know what they don’t know. My vision loss has given me the opportunity to see the best in everyone.”
Kerri embodies the Spectrios philosophy of not being defined by her vision loss and we are so honored to be able to be part of her support team!