Although Keith Clancy cannot see – he doesn’t feel like he’s blind. He says he feels like someone with a permanent headache.
The 48-year-old has no sight, but has constant flashing lights behind his eyes.
Keith has an eye disease called CRB1, which means he lost his vision gradually before going completely blind around eight years ago.
He went to a mixed boarding school for partially sighted people before joining a college for blind people at 18.
This was something he struggled with, having not been around people without sight before.
“It was different for me as I had never met anyone who was blind, just partially sighted,” he said.
“That was a difficult step for me – a sort of painful realisation.”
But he overcame the struggle and his visual impairment has not stopped him living an exciting and varied life – he’s lived in Sri Lanka, Cannes and Cyprus to name a few and regularly visits his Italian fiancée in Burma.
Now, he’s based in Earls Court, London, where he’s a director of a housing association and involved with several charities.
He has one of BWBF’s internet radios, the Sonata plus+, and as someone who has never been interested in television – his set is extremely important to him.
“I’m a terrible snob so I hated TV from being a young kid,” he said.
“I threw my TV away when I was 17 and haven’t had one since – nothing to do with having bad eyesight I just couldn’t stand watching trash.
“I was always looking for ways of using my brain. I became really interested in BBC Radio 3 and 4 and the World Service, which was only on shortwave which I didn’t have.”
Keith was told by a friend they had been given a radio by British Wireless which they could listen to the World Service on, so he made inquiries and was accepted to receive a set.
His radio is a really important tool for him, one which he says he uses constantly throughout the day.
He says: “When radio became internet that was really interesting for me – the new Sonata has a much more powerful wireless connection which allows me to use it in any room in my home.
“It boosts up very quickly and the remote control is slick and fast.
“I’ve got a massive interest in world affairs, especially having lived in Sri Lanka, so it’s great for me to listen to radio stations I used to listen to there and from anywhere in the world – having it is a treasure.
“I can have easy access to radio stations all over the planet in a very accessible way and the other thing which is absolutely brilliant is all the podcasts – I can flick through all of them much more rapidly than using a laptop.
“I’m constantly educating myself – it’s extremely useful.”
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