Condition: Type 1 diabetes led to damage to the retina and thus vision loss
1. What is your profession and why did you decide to choose this field?
I am a businessman and entrepreneur and creator of Ramble Tag. I had a large dog (Mr. Finn) whom sadly I have recently lost. My partner in the business, and also my neighbour Laura Maclean, used to walk with me when we walked our dogs. On our walks, I would hold Laura's arm or the material at her elbow. But we were continually separated by the pull of the dogs which left me insecure at times and Laura concerned. I suggested a handle attached to Laura'a arm. From this, the initial prototype of Ramble Tag evolved. On speaking with blind organisations and individuals and taking on board their suggestions and advice, we developed the Ramble Tag as it is today. To date, it has received many endorsements and much acclaim from a variety of sources worldwide.
When I was younger, I was an artist, somebody like a graphic designer in today's world. I had a knack for art and could design anything because I appreciate design and that is my background.
2. What is the most rewarding thing about what you do?
Someone phoned me up and said, 'your invention has changed my life and it is wonderful to walk with Ramble Tag'. A marathon runner called me and said, 'Ramble Tag has made a huge difference, so simple but very good'. Its acceptance and use at many International airports that give visually impaired travelers choice is, in itself, very rewarding. Calls with comments like that make me feel that I am doing some good. We want to make it affordable for everyone. I feel happy and satisfied with the impact the Ramble Tag has had on the lives of people who use it.
3. What is your advice to all the other VIPs around the world who don't believe they can be successful in the area of their interest because of their disability?
The opportunities for visually impaired people are very few and far between. Regardless of impairment, everyone has drive and determination, it is only a matter of using it and not giving up. Go for it, listen to advice, and act on it.