It's surprising at first glance, what is achievable in the office in spite of Stargardt. On closer inspection however there are several obstacles that can be difficult to handle, especially when directly cooperating with other people. It starts with the simple reading of files and stops at the blind presentation.
Thanks to various tools, in particular from the IT sector, a Stargardt person can get quite far doing screen work, though not always at the same speed as normal vision people. And when working in a group some bizarre situations might occur. Here's an example: At nine we start with a meeting. I had the screenreader reading me the documents that were kindly submitted ahead of the meeting. Only one pdf document did not want to be implemented acoustically. Must be be due to the way how the document was created. And the rather complex Excel spreadsheet sounded in the screenreader more like a Dadaist poem then a work plan. So I have read them using the screen magnifier tool. In the meeting room more documents are provided: the latest information on the topic. I unpack my handheld magnifying device and start to read. Since I generally read two to three times slower than the other, I get hardly though the first of the two pages when the others are done and plunge into the discussion. I skim the second page diagonally - with a magnifying device this is collecting text samples in the hope that they make sense when put together - and contribute to those parts where I know what it's all about - and where I where I have something meaningful to say. When the discussion moves to the second page, I primarily listen to the to open me up the content of the second page. In the end I think I have identified the essential, and can join the debate again.
After that, the theme is divided into sub-topics that are given into smaller groups. Each group creates a flipchart with its reflections ans conclusions. No problem so far but then the smaller groups are dissolved and all may wander from flip chart to flip chart and note down additions. Here I drop from the procedure: hand-writing is a challenge (including my own ...), and to decipher them, I would have to stand so close in front of the flip chart that nobody else could see anything. So I wait for the group to unite again and to discuss each flip chart in plenary, and I hope that nobody takes my waiting as a lack of interest.
The various summaries bring me back to the current state of knowledge. But the following task to the whole group to identify still further relevant points is done again without me. I have no clue what is written exactly on the flip charts, I have only the summaries. So I don't know if an additional point I identify isn't already mentioned somewhere. While the others are disecting the problem further in pursuit of still missing aspects, I try to recognize first patterns and relate the discussions so far to the bigger framework. Rather than analyzing, I am thinking already towards a synthesis: To what is the whole thing boiling down? Does it still meet the mission of the organization? What relevance does it have compared to other topics and how are they related? Sometimes I can engage thanks to this approach, when the others start to get lost in some details. I see this as a direct application of Stargardt: For me, many details slip through the cracks, so I focus rather on the broad lines and the big picture. It remains the anger that I once again could not contribute to the topic like I would have liked to. For me the topic is still a patchworkk of parts that I've seen and holes where I lack information.
In the afternoon the group will present its insights from the morning to a larger number of people. I need to refuse the question if I could do this reporting since I can not present with a handwritten flip chart as a note. For this I would have to learn all the points on the chart by heart, which is not feasible in the short time. Additionally I lack some background information from the discussions (see above) that I need to explain the result properly. Fortunately, I have to give afterwards another presentation, as input to another topic, so I get a dispense from the reporting.
For my presentation a laptop is provided - only it is not as expected on a lectern, but on a normal table. The organizers hand me a remote control for the beamer and give me the floor. Now I'm standing there in front of a table with a laptop whose screen I can not read. Luckily I have my prepared in a way that I can speak freely. But for some enumerations I was counting on a visual aid. Unfortunately the screen behind me does not help, it is positioned in such acute angle to me that I can not see anything on it. And finally I can't see my audience too , as it sits too far away from me and the projector blinds me, even if I'm not right in the projection beam. I call this a blind presentation. But as I know my topic and the photos on some slides point me in the right direction I get through my presentation. Unfortunately the last few slides are not illustrated, and I promptly don't recognize my last slide and ruin the conclusion of my presentation.
Next time I will write the presentation twice: once for the audience and the laptop, and once for me and my own laptop. The second gives me the keywords that I need to get through the first one. I just have to find a trick how I can command two presentations at the same time ...