Monday, October 8, 2018

Tony Giles - Blind World Traveler and Writer

Tony Giles travels the world solo-- and without sight!

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Tony has already visited over ten countries or more so far this year in 2018...

Tony's travel biographies are on his observations and crazy adventures as he travels the globe.  After numerous television and radio appearances, Tony enjoys every moment and claims that his sense of smell, taste and touch have let him experience all the wonders and beauties of the world.

“I can travel blind because of four things – confidence, wanting to travel, good mobility skills and good planning.  That’s all anyone needs." 

MaxiAids offers products specifically designed to assist those with special needs while promoting a healthy, active and independent lifestyle.  We specialize in product solutions for the Blind, Visually Impaired, those with Low Vision, the Deaf, Hard of Hearing, Disabled, Seniors (Elderly), Children, and the Special Needs of those with Medical Conditions. Our goal is to bring you the best products available, including the latest innovations to help you live every day to the fullest!

MaxiAids has portable travel accessories for the sight challenged adventurer.  See our... 

- Portable vibrating alarm clocks
- Braille, talking, and vibrating travel alarm clocks and bed shakers
- Portable pill and vitamin organizers
- Money organizer wallets
- C-pen reader pen scanner
- Adjustable folding canes
- Inflatable travel pillow
- Identifiers and labelers
- Alerting indicators
- Braille watches

and more!

Read about Tony here...

Born in England in 1978, Tony was nine months old when it was discovered he had a rare genetic visual impairment.   Born with cone dystrophy and photophobia-- there were no color nerves in the back of his eyes.  This exposed the optic nerve to light, forcing him to spend much of his earlier life in darkness. Tony was given dark glasses to wear inside and outside until about the age of 15.  Around the age of 10, the light vision began to decrease.  On top of it all, at the age of 6, he was partially deaf in both ears.  At that time Tony was given analogue hearing aids.  Now he wears digital aids giving him back some hearing capacity in a quiet room with one-to-one conversation.  

At age 10, Tony attended boarding school for the blind and visually impaired which completely changed his life and helped him gain independence and mobility training.  He learned to use a long cane and navigate his way around, finding objects, crossing streets, going into shops, getting safely on buses and trains-- using public transportation to find locations.  His first travel adventure began on a school trip, visiting Boston, Massachusetts in 1995.  In 1998 he visited New York and Washington D.C., which lead to other trips to California, New Orleans and Hawaii with a fellow student from Australia. These trips completely sparked his desire for travel, besides the travel adventure stories told to him as a young boy by his father (who was in the merchant navy before Tony was born).  These stories excited him, planting the seed for future adventures.  Also spending time away from his family increased Tony's need to make frequent home visits, traveling back and forth independently.

Attending a mainstream college in 1998-2001 with students who were not blind and disabled, Tony was given a grant from his Local Education Authority to purchase computer equipment with speech software.  "I was a confident typist, having been taught touch typing at school, but speech screen-reading software was still at a reasonably early stage and I hadn’t been exposed too much at that point. I can touch type without speech, but having software that reads every letter I type and, the entire screen if I command it, makes studying, researching and writing much easier. I employed fellow students to help me research books, find quotations and correct my spelling and grammar. I have a scanner with speech software which allows me to read any typed text including my post (mail). This vital piece of equipment enabled me to function at the university at the same level as sighted students. I had to scan the books myself and then listen to the entire text. This took twice as long as a student reading with sight, but it made me more determined to learn."

Loving new adventures and exploring the unknown...

Between 2001-2002, Tony backpacked by himself without any aid to Australia, New Zealand, South Vietnam, and Thailand.  With complications of high blood pressure and kidney failure, he underwent a kidney transplant which took him three months to recover from.  Now in 2018, he has since traveled to over 130 countries around the world independently, not allowing his disabilities or health issues slow down his travels.  He travels nine months out of the year.

Providing mobility has been MaxiAids' priority in enhancing the independence of the blind and sight impaired.  Explore our range of mobility products, products for the blind, low vision products, low vision aids, blind accessories, and hearing amplification devices to help you to succeed in an active lifestyle.  --Audrey Leonard

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