Ian Treherne's story
Ian Treherne, 36, from Rochford, Essex was born partially deaf and has limited vision. Ian has Usher syndrome, a progressive condition which slowly causes his eyesight to deteriorate.
Despite having limited vision since the age of 15, Ian has been working as a photographer but was forced to quit his job last year, when he was diagnosed with cataracts. Ian says that transport and accessibility are the main barriers he faces.
“My eyesight started deteriorating further last year and I had to leave my job, as it became unsafe to travel on my own. Meeting with friends has also got increasingly hard.
“Even simple things like going to the pub can be a stressful experience when you have both sight and hearing impairments. I have to try extremely hard to hear in noisy places and walking to the bar can be a challenge because of my tunnel vision. There aren’t many venues for young people that are accessible to someone like me.
“I’ve always liked to keep busy with work and friends. Nowadays it sometimes feels like my condition is restricting my personality because I can’t do so much anymore. But in reality it’s lack of awareness and support that limit disabled people.”
Ian is currently applying for support to help him get around. He hopes that a guide dog will make it safe for him to travel alone again and he wants to campaign for accessible venues in his local community.
“I’m glad there is support available and I hope that it will help me reclaim my independence. But the immense difference in my life in just one year shows how easy it is for disabled people to be excluded from society.”
First published: Tuesday 3 March 2015
Updated: Tuesday 22 December 2015