I am 20 years old and I have Usher Syndrome (deafblind), I am severely deaf and am registered severely sight impaired (legally blind). What I see is like looking through a straw with my right eye and that is in good light, sadly my left eye is now just a blur.
This summer I took my A levels and achieved good results, my parents rewarded me with several gifts for my hard work amongst which was a Bradley Timepiece. I had heard about "The Bradley" and thought it would be good for me, but on actually getting one I was elated as it was more than I had imagined. It comes in is tactile box and has Braille on it, whilst I'm not a braillist it is great that it has been made accessible in that way. On opening the box, which was a touch fiddly, there were also Braille instructions which was impressive, However, I'd have liked to also see instructions in large print would have been better or even a link to instructions I could access electronically.
My First impression of my "Bradley" which has a mustardy yellow strap and a very stylish, retro looking face was classy and light. The strap was a little stiff but after a couple of weeks of wearing it it has softened and is much more comfortable to wear. The face of the "Bradley" is very tactile with it's markings for what would be the numbers on the clock, a triangle shape marking the '12 o'clock' at the top and the other numbers marked by dashes makes it easy to feel your way around it. Bradley doesn't have hands, it has two small balls which rotate to show the time, the hour ball rotates around the side of the watch and indicates the hour and the minute ball rotates around the middle of the watch and indicates minutes. I did have to ask help in setting the time for the first time, however, I knew how to tell the time immediately.
I am the first to admit that as a result of my condition I am clumsy and prone to bumping into things, tripping and falling, However, whilst the Bradley is light It has so far been "Molly Proof" even after several knocks it, with a shake of the arm resets itself and remains unmarked and working perfectly.
I have previously tried digital watches for the blind which tend to come with large and bright screens, LCD digital numbers and the ability to speak the time. These never worked for me, not only because they are too bright and glared which is unacceptable for my type of blindness And being deaf a talking watch has little use unless extremely loud and even then I often mishear. Even for those who can use a talking watch they are not ideal in a quiet area like a lecture hall or conference hall hence the beauty of a completely silent and tactile timepiece.
I cannot tell you how many people have commented on my Bradley and that includes most of my friends and family who would like one just because it looks so good and quirky, it really is a looker and also a conversation opener which has been great for me just starting at university.
As a result of the practicalities of this product for people with deadblindness it has been agreed by the Trustees that the Molly Watt Trust it to fund and/or part fund The Bradley for people with Usher Syndrome
Application Forms will be available soon.