Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Blind Eye Photography

Well, to start I need to say I have been doing photography all my life, from as far back as I can remember. As a kid right on up till now the bigger kid
I am today. I was of course the hobby photographer and then married in to a family of professionals that set the hook in me to become more serious.
I used SLR cameras for the longest time when I started to notice my shots were continuously blurry no matter what correction I was doing with focus on
The camera. Off to eye doc to get "better" glasses or contacts so I thought. This is when I was diagnosed with RP (10 yrs now) so, for a while I let
My photography sit on the side as I became depressed and annoyed, angry, all those normal emotions one feels going thru this.
Then the day came I just decided "to hell with it" I can make this work, just take more time deciding what shot I was taking, what I was doing and most
Of all if I needed help. My husband Dan is big on telling me I can do anything, so he has encouraged my love of photography in any way he can.
Now I have a DSLR (digital SLR) and I am loving my photography more and more every time I go out and get my WOW shots. I love to take pictures of nature
and sometimes I will have to ask Dan where a bird I hear is and he helps me by pointing me in the right direction but I am the one taking the photo, (we
Are a great team). Dan generally tells me using a clock as a locator for me, it works pretty good. I also use the eyepiece on my camera not the LCD screen
As I cannot see it, so the eyepiece helps keep out light when I am trying to focus in on my shot. Many shots I have taken I don't know what I have until
I get home to my computer, so it is sometimes a wonderful surprise on my screen.
Being visually impaired I do have to really take my time, pick my shots carefully, if I am looking for something specific, but if I am just having fun out
with my husband and dogs, I just aim and shoot.
TTFN Nora Devane, California
"My Sunshine Does Not Come From the Skies,
It Comes From the Love in My Dog's Eyes"

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Story by RP Friend

As with any animal, the love and affection you feel and receive from your guide dog can be overwelming. My decision back in 2000 to get a guide has turned
out to be one of the most important decisions I have made in my life. Although a lot of work and love goes into these pups, the love and willingness of
these great pups to please you and make your life and mobility a more pleasurable experience can't be fully expressed in words. We must remember, however,
guide dogs aren't for everyone. You must be prepared for the responsibility and work it takes to keep these pups up in their training and health. The better
you take care of them, the better they will take care of you. 
The RP experience can be a long and drawn out roead full of self pity, depression, stress and worry due to its constant changing nature. I believe the inconsistancy
of this disease to remain stable is the main factor that makes this disease and its constant attack on the vision wittling it down step by step is what
makes RP stand out from other eye disorders. At age 56 I have fully traveled my RP road reaching the point where I am fully totally blind, for some of
you this may seem the most frightening thing that could possibly happen. However, I am fully comfortable with my life at this point. The constant change
in my vision from year to year in the past took more of a toll on me metally then dealing with being stable for once in my life. Because I have fully traveled
the RP road, I do feel pain for those who have the long road ahead of them. Fortunately I believe that with science and research moving at such a high
rate of speed and the many breakthroughs due to this research, I hold big hopes that others may not have to fully go down this long and sometimes painful
Daniel R. Huhn, Missouri  

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Stories by RP Friends

The Path to a Guide Dog

By Larry Marcum, California-2001      

As many of my friends know, I am about to embark on a new and exciting experience in my life. Because of my diminishing eyesight due to an eye disease called
Retinitis Pigmentosa, I decided a few months ago to apply for a guide dog, also known as a seeing eye dog. Retinitis Pigmentosa (RP) is also known as tunnel
vision. The cells in the retina die off as it progresses, and the tunnel gets smaller and smaller, and can result in total blindness.  Night blindness
and loss of visual acuity are also symptoms. My field of vision is less than 10 degrees, whereas a person with normal vision has a field of about 180 degrees.                                                                                                                                                                             

The school I selected is Guide Dogs for the Blind in San Rafael. The course is 28 days long, with training 6 days a week. Persons eligible for a guide dog
must be legally blind (corrected vision of worse than 20/200 or a field of vision of less than 20 degrees), at least 16 years old, physically, mentally
and emotionally able to care for and work a guide dog.     

The application process has included doctor’s verifications, Orientation & Mobility training (white cane), personal references and phone and personal interviews
by the school. I was notified by the school just before Thanksgiving that I was accepted (and am I thankful!). I will travel to the school January 6th
with graduation February 2nd.     

This is an exciting time for me. Just knowing that right now as I write this, this dog that I have not met yet is being trained to help me. This dog will
guide me for the next 8 or so years, going most everywhere with me, keeping me safe and allowing me to go places that otherwise would be difficult for

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Comment on Fatal Friendship

I loved the book. It was exciting and you didn't know what to expect. I also like it because it had my parent’s house in it. That was exciting to read about.
I felt like I knew everyone. Great job and good luck!!


Thursday, January 29, 2009

Fatal Friendship

Available at:

Comment on Fatal Friendship


Sunday, January 11, 2009

News article Published Jan. 11, 2009

From a local newspaper near Alexandria, La.

By: CARISSA HEBERT Managing Editor

Dianne Dee of Alexandria has published "Fatal Friendship" through Publish America.

Dee is following a dream of hers to be a published writer. She was diagnosed with retinitis pigmentosa over 15 years ago. After residing in Texas for 23 years, she recently moved back to her home state of Louisiana.

When asked if it was difficult to follow her dream to be a published writer, Dee said, "As an individual with a visual disability it was difficult to overcome facing the rest of my life knowing I had to live with blindness. I just made up my mind that I had to live a normal life and accept it so that is what I am doing. I have worked as an advocate for others with disabilities and taught computers to the blind and visually impaired for four

Years. I also belong to a chapter of Affiliated Blind of Louisiana, which is very rewarding to me, along with my writing."

Dee said her book, "Fatal Friendship," is purely fictional. If she was going to encourage someone to read it, she would tell them "it's about Louisiana and about people in Louisiana." Being a native of the state she has lots of experiences to draw from.

She was born to French-speaking parents and grandparents. Her parents are the late Edison and Mary Fontenot, who once resided in the Beaver Creek community in Evangeline Parish between Ville Platte and Oakdale.

Dee is happy to be living once again near family members and old friends. When she is not writing, you can find her teaching the blind to use computers. She is not totally blind; she said she still has lots of vision. To cope with the handicap of her disease, she uses a Computer with a program known as JAWS. (JAWS works with software applications and the Internet using an internal speech synthesizer and the computes sound card to read information

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Sunday, January 4, 2009

Fatal Friendship

Fatal FriendshipDianne Dee
Dean Morris had led a complicated and rough life. Having gone to a small school in Louisiana, he was known to be a bully by his classmates. He grew up with a large family of eight and remained apart from the rest of his siblings; however, he had been close to his mom. He seemed to always find trouble, but he thought that trouble would find him instead. Some would say that the end of his life could have been predicted from the way he had grown up during his childhood.His parents thought that things would change for him when he met and married Dana Harris. They thought that she would change his life for the best but would later discover that was not the case. Manny, his best friend, and he had problems but were able to work them out together. No one had known that the friendship would end with Dean’s death or that the lives of almost everyone in that town would never be the same.