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My Story
Up until a few years ago I was your average sighted person who kind of knew a couple of visually impaired people in passing - a guide dog owner who joined us on parish walks, people in our churches who used magnifiers, etc; but I didn't have any real depth of understanding of the issues, not even of the different eye conditions that there are.
Then I got to know Dave - we met through church, but what really got us talking and becoming firm friends were his ideas about providing stuff for visually impaired people of our generation - the "Facebook generation" - who don't want to have their options restricted to joining in with braille bingo and day trips from the local blind club (not that there's anything wrong with those things as one  option among others - it's the idea that there are no other options on offer that we didn't like). I began to get involved in discussing ideas with him, running concerts and the annual carol service with him, and generally getting more and more passionate about the possibilities, and a greater awareness of the issues.
In 2011, I developed health issues which forced me to realise that I have vulnerabilities of which I wasn't previously aware, and that too has helped me to a greater understanding of the frustrations, anger, bereavement, etc involved in losing part of yourself - feelings which are also of course normal in anyone dealing with sight loss or any other issue which leads to being vulnerable or marginalised by wider society.
Lighting the Landscape has emerged from the work Dave and I have been involved in over recent years. We’ve realised that, alongside the concerts and events, we needed to reach out to the Facebook generation through (durr!) Facebook and a website. The Facebook group has grown into a fantastic virtual community where all kinds of people, sighted and visually impaired, young and old, church and non-church, etc can find safe space to ask questions, express their feelings, and above all have fun and find support.
LTL has been a great help to me, and it's great to know that it's been of help to others too. I hope it can go from strength to strength and grow into a real force for good. There's lots to do! There's the work of finding examples of good practice to be praised in businesses, churches and other organisations who welcome disabled and vulnerable people - beyond simply complying with the law. Of course there's also a need to address those instances where the law is not complied with, by standing firm with those who have been denied their rights.
I could go on - I often do! - but let me simply say that we want LTL to be a real resource for people, so if you have ideas that you'd like to share with us, please send us an email at 
info@lightingthelandscape.co.uk 
or log onto our Facebook group by clicking the Facebook icon in the sidebar and leave a post there.
And we hope that for you, we really are Lighting the Landscape.

Bill Braviner
mailto:info@lightingthelandscape.co.ukshapeimage_3_link_0
http://www.mikehardingfolkshow.com