Blind In Business

Unfortunately it is not only those poor people in Nepal and other Third World countries whose eye sight problems cannot yet be solved.

Despite amazing medical advances, there are still many people in our midst who would cheerfully hand over their life savings or travel to the ends of the earth to undergo any pioneering form of treatment in order to prevent their blindness. They would opt for any sight enhancing surgery, choose lenses or glasses (however ugly or uncomfortable) in fact try anything to be able to see.

Thirty-nine year old Paul Ryb from North London is one of them.

The father of two, who holds down a top position as a City trader with RBS, suffers from myopic macular degeneration disease which has caused increasing loss of sight in both eyes to the extent that he is now registered blind. Despite this, according to the Royal National Institute for the Blind and Blind in Business, Paul is currently the most senior person working successfully in the City with this level of visual impairment.

Recently I interviewed Paul for the Independent newspaper. The Indie wanted the article angled towards the technology that Paul has personally sourced which enables him to continue working. (Published December 16th – can be found by putting in “Paul Ryb” into Google on the Independent’s home page

Paul now wants to show other visually impaired people (especially those who are relatively young) that these visual aids exist; enabling blind people the possibility of staying on their career paths. His mission is also to encourage blindness charities to become more active in the workplace and to improve the advice given to recently diagnosed patient.

He is now also a counsellor for the Macular Society and despite his severely limited sight his philosophy continues to be an inspiration to others. Giving up has never been an option.

There is very little that Paul will not attempt; and in his free time he enjoys going to the theatre, cinema and football – he is able to capture at least some of the experience by wearing “Zoom Glasses” that look like mini binoculars

He also plays five a side football.

“My team mates sometimes criticise me for not passing the ball … but to be honest if I keep it, it is only because I cannot recognise them!” he jokes.

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