Confessions of a Guide Dog is the story of Uska, written by his owner Joanne Roberts. Joanne lost most of her sight 14 years ago as a result of diabetes and was registered blind. Uska has been her guiding companion for the past 8 years, and during their time together they’ve had lots of adventures, which Joanne decided to write about from Uska’s point of view.
Losing her sight meant that Joanne was unable to use a computer in the same way she had previously. She discovered Dolphin Computer Access, the Worcester company which develops software to enable blind and visually impaired computer users to access technology in the same way as fully sighted users.
It’s a misconception that people who are blind have no sight at all. In Joanne’s case she has limited vision in one eye, which she still uses as much as possible. Using Dolphin’s SuperNova software Joanne was able to develop her computer skills by making use of the built in magnification with her remaining sight and the addition of speech to read screen content aloud, enabling her to navigate websites, emails and Microsoft Word.
Joanne credits Dolphin with her rehabilitation after her sight loss, she said:
“The way I turned my life around was learning about SuperNova software, I would recommend SuperNova to anybody who is in fear of losing their sight or has actually lost their sight”.
Confessions of a Guide Dog was first released as an eBook available to Kindle users, but Joanne wanted to make her work fully accessible to all audiences. She began working on an audio version with Amazon’s Audible.com. They commissioned the work, and matched the mischievous Uska with the voice of well known radio and TV broadcaster, Nicholas Parsons.
A guide dog will cost £50,000 during their lifetime, and Joanne was keen to raise money for the charity to thank them for the difference Uska has made to her life. Uska is nearing retirement age and Joanne is now on a waiting list to be matched with a new guide dog, although Uska will remain with her as a faithful family pet.
Confessions of a Guide Dog is available to download as an audio-book now, you can purchase the kindle or audio version at www.amazon.co.uk. Guide Dogs for the Blind will receive 10% of the purchase price of each book sold to help raise funds for the UK charity, find out more about the incredible work the charity does at www.guidedogs.org.uk.