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Reporter opens up on life as a visually impaired journalist

Rebecca BrahdeA reporter who is unable to read her own newspaper has opened up on life working with the condition.

Rebecca Brahde joined Tindle-owned Media Isle of Man, which runs the Isle of Man Examiner, Manx Independent and the Isle of Man Courier, in October 2022.

The Manx native has been visually impaired since the age of 16 and uses a screen reader to help her write stories.

In a piece published on Tindle’s corporate website, Rebecca, pictured, said she “would not have been able to do this job 10 or 20 years ago”.

She added: “I use a screen reader which means I listen to everything that is written in front of me. I cannot read the newspaper but I am lucky in that the technology means I can listen to text being read out digitally.

“Due to my sight I cannot drive. However, as most interviews are on the phone or walking distance this does not cause many issues.

“When necessary, transport is provided to me, however, this has only happened once. At court I am allowed to use my laptop. I do a lot of my work on the phone.

“Being based centrally in Douglas makes it easier to meet people. Before entering the field, I got advice from a visually impaired journalist, who explained how he gets around various barriers.

“This was helpful as it provided me with ideas of how to find a way around certain difficulties, like not being able to do shorthand.

“My screen reader is good for proofreading and writing as it reads everything out to me, which also helps me ensure it is spelled properly. I have an AI transcription service which saves me time in preparing my notes and copy.”