Meet Ruth

Ruth holds up a treat for her dog, who is sitting on the ground in front of her.

Ruth began to notice her vision changing around three years ago when it appeared that everything in her sight was ‘bouncing up and down constantly.’ She was diagnosed with nystagmus – which causes her to have reduced depth perception and rapid eye movements.

When Ruth came to Cleveland Sight Center (CSC) in 2023 for a low vision exam, she immediately felt comfortable and taken care of.

I didn’t have to explain that I can’t see this, or I can’t do this. They understood my vision problem and I trusted them. It was like, finally, someone gets it,” Ruth said.

Her low vision exam turned into an hours-long appointment where CSC Optometrists and Occupational Therapists listened to her, examined her eyes, and identified assistive technology and trainings that could help maximize her remaining vision. During her appointment, she expressed that she would like to be able to read, write and navigate her neighborhood for dog walks independently again.

To help her accomplish these goals, she received assistive technology* and accompanying training to utilize the tools. These included a lighted tabletop, handheld magnifiers, glare-reducing sunglasses, night glasses, glasses that include a prism to help focus her vision and decrease dizziness, and a white cane ahead of her upcoming navigational training at CSC.

Whenever I read before, I had to take my glasses off, close one eye, and put whatever I was reading an inch away from my face. Now, it’s a lot easier for me to read with the tabletop magnifier CSC gave me,” Ruth shared.

Ruth bends over to make eye contact with her dog, who is lifting her paw to do a trick.In addition to these tools having an impact on her daily routines, they also helped her prepare for a big transition as she moves to Columbus to be closer to her son. This preparation and process has been stressful for her due to the mounds of paperwork required for the move.

However, she now feels confident in not only completing the paperwork with the help of her magnifiers, but excited to explore her new city with her white cane.

Thanks to the generous donors to the Nicole Kahn Endowment Fund for Assistive Technology, Ruth was able to receive the assistive technology she needed at no cost to her. Ruth is so grateful to the current and future donors that made this all possible and wants to share the below message.

The biggest of the biggest thank you. You’re like fairy godparents. I don’t know really how to how to put that in words, except that from the deepest part of my heart, thank you,” Ruth said.

*Assistive technology is any tool used to simplify life for people with disabilities and is used to help people with vision loss overcome barriers they may face in navigating a sighted world. To see other examples, please visit