Life is twice as hard with Usher Syndrome
BENTLEY resident Wilma Brass spends hours playing her favourite tunes on the piano or perfecting her painting portraits with splashes of colour.
But with two sensory disabilities, Ms Brass does these activities a little differently.
At age 26, Ms Brass was diagnosed with Usher Syndrome, which left her with both vision and hearing impairments.
Now in her late 50s, she uses three different pairs of glasses for different situations, has two sets of hearing aids, uses a cane for the blind and a walking cane and has recently acquired a walker.
While Ms Brass said Usher Syndrome did present her with challenges, in some aspects it had made her life much brighter.
“It sure has made my life more colourful, literally. I need colour to be able to see. Black and white or light and dark colours are a lot harder for me to see,” she said.
“My home is equally filled with every colour.”
Deafblind Awareness Week ended on June 30 across Australia and aimed to bring sensory disabilities to light.
As a client of Burswoodbased organisation Senses Australia, Ms Brass said raising awareness for people with more than one sensory disability was extremely important.
“People do not understand problems with dual sensory loss; they’ll come up with solutions that work for a blind person, but I’m deaf as well,” she said.
“A lot of elderly people are becoming deafblind and they don’t know what’s hit them, it’s so isolating.
“All of a sudden you can’t talk with family for you can’t hear what they’re saying, you can’t see what they’re doing or what they’re showing you.
“Adjusting to hearing aids alone takes time to get right; learning all these new skills is so hard when you’re aging.”
Before her official diagnosis, Ms Brass took up the piano and began drawing portraits as a creative outlet.
Wilma Brass has Usher Syndrome, a disease which has made her both vision and hearing impaired.