Ian Capon's story
Ian Capon, 52, lives on the Isle of Wight and was born with congenital rubella syndrome, which left him deaf and partially sighted.
He is unable to work due to his health issues and relies on his voluntary work and particularly his involvement with the local Sense deafblind forum to maintain a circle of friends.
Ian, who lives on his own, says:
“I went to a boarding school for the partially sighted in Exeter. So once I left school I came home to nobody really as my friends were at boarding school and then they were all over the country so I never saw them.
“Apart from my family, the only people I know really are the people I do voluntary work with. The Sense forum gives me a chance to meet with similar people but I would like more friends who have the same interests as me - record collecting, photography, IT.
“I think it has got better for me over time only because I decided to get out there and do things. It would have been easy for me to sit and do nothing and you can’t do that really.
“For people with disabilities generally, I think it depends on your disability, what your background is, how you survive. For some groups of people I’d say it has got harder rather than easier. For me, it’s difficult – very often communication is one of the key problems for people who are deafblind when they are trying to make friends.”
First published: Tuesday 17 February 2015
Updated: Tuesday 22 December 2015