Welcome to Veronica With Four Eyes!
Whether you’re new to the world of low vision and assistive technology, or just wondering what’s new, I’ve created Veronica With Four Eyes to share free positive and practical resources for living with vision loss, chronic illness, and disability, with tips on how to make the most of free and low-cost mainstream and specialized assistive technology resources.
About Veronica Lewis
I’m Veronica Lewis, also known as @Veron4ica. I started Veronica With Four Eyes from my dorm room at George Mason University in 2016 because I wanted to share what I had learned about living with low vision and using assistive technology with others. I was the only student identified with vision loss in my school district and there were limited resources for assistive technology, so I started writing blog posts to educate my teachers and others about what it’s like to go through K-12 public schools and college as a student with low vision. Over time, Veronica With Four Eyes has grown to include posts about using mainstream technology as assistive technology, learning to use a blindness cane with low vision, designing for vision loss, independent living and the expanded core curriculum, creating accessible content, and other topics that I find interesting. Basically, I aspire to be the resource and role model for living with low vision that I wish I had when I was younger.
More about my eyes
I was diagnosed with low vision due to the condition accommodative esotropia at age 3, a common childhood eye condition that gave her double, blurry vision, a lack of depth perception, and limited peripheral vision. Because of accommodative esotropia, my eyes turn inward towards her nose, which is reflected in the logo for Veronica With Four Eyes- the “eyes” inside the pair of glasses are not perfectly straight. I was given an IEP in kindergarten and was told my vision would improve as I got older (a common characteristic of accommodative esotropia), but a secondary medical condition caused me to experience sharp vision declines every five years, which often caused me to have more difficulty seeing faraway objects and reading standard print. I started using a blindness cane at age 18 on my first day of college as a mobility aid, and it’s the greatest tool for independence that I could have ever asked for!
The secondary medical condition went undetected until a vision decline at age 14 also involved the onset of various neurological symptoms, which four years later were confirmed to be from Chiari Malformation, a structural neurological condition that can also contribute to low vision, with symptom onset often beginning in a patient’s teenage years. Because I have limited sensation in my hands from Chiari Malformation, I do not read braille, though I recognize that braille is an important literacy tool for many people with vision loss. With the combined diagnosis of accommodative esotropia and Chiari Malformation, a third diagnosis was made for decompensated strabismus, and my latest low vision evaluation lists me as being legally blind.
I use a mix of person-first and identity-first disability language and have no preference for what language people use around me or when writing about me. However, I ask that people refrain from using terms that make disability sound miserable or awful, such as “suffering from low vision” or “plagued by Chiari Malformation.”
Other fun facts about me
- My academic background is in data science and assistive technology- my Bachelor’s degree is in Computational and Data Sciences from George Mason University, and I completed the undergraduate minor in Assistive Technology at GMU as well. I love exploring how mainstream and emerging technologies can be used to help people with disabilities and chronic illnesses
- I’ve been featured by numerous news outlets, nonprofits, and tech companies, including Microsoft, Perkins School for the Blind, The Wall Street Journal, The BBC, and several other organizations
- The name “Veronica With Four Eyes” comes from the term “four eyes”, which is a slang term for someone that wears glasses and is often used in a teasing way. I decided to reclaim the term by adding three additional I’s to my name, making me Veronica with four i’s (eyes)
- Outside of writing and tech stuff, I love anything related to the clarinet, cooking, baking, reading, and visual/performing arts. I also love animal photos with alt text and/or image descriptions added- it’s probably my favorite thing to see on social media.
- My favorite color is purple, and it’s also the color for Chiari Malformation awareness and the color of my glasses frames, so the color is incorporated throughout my website.
Want to stay up-to-date with everything related to Veronica With Four Eyes? Here are some ways to follow me:
- Get emails with the full text of new posts as they are released by signing up for free email alerts at the bottom of any page on the website.
- Follow Veronica on Twitter @veron4ica for a mix of original content and retweets from other accounts related to visual impairment and assistive technology
- Follow Veronica on Pinterest @veron4ica and see posts organized in a visual way
- Connect with Veronica on LinkedIn for more technical details about her work and her latest resume and certifications.
- Use the “Contact” page for further inquiries including guest posts, speaking engagements, reprinting posts, and other information. Please do not repost content without prior permission.