Seija: Technology and Quality of Life

In 2018 Seija reported that she had given up and was sad because life was so hard due to her significant vision loss from macular degeneration. An immigrant from Finland, Seija lives with her husband on Minnesota’s Iron Range.

Through low vision occupational therapy services with Lynne and adaptations to her environment, Seija was able to resume reading and daily living tasks. She was re-energized.

Inspired, in 2019 Seija contacted the Lighthouse again requesting technology services. Lynne had showed her all that was possible with the iPad, and she had bought one!

Seija had before never used a computer. She did not know how to e-mail, surf the web, what a podcast was, or how to take a picture.

Nonetheless, Lynne was able to adapt her iPad so Seija could operate it with voice command, enlarged font, bold type, and contrast. Seija learned how to compose an email, take a picture, and send it to family far away in Finland. She now listens to Finnish radio stations. She can even access Finnish books and choose to read them with enlarged lettering or have them read to her through a program on her iPad.

Lynne also linked Seija to a peer mentor – someone else in her area who has vision loss.  Seija and her husband have now become close friends with her peer mentor, Judy and Judy’s husband. Seija has found this especially beneficial, because she lives in a rural area and can no longer drive to meet up with friends.