Charlie Taylor
Congenital Cataracts


Indiana


It was inevitable that I would jump on the opportunity to become a bioptic automobile driver when I learned twenty-five years ago that vision enhancement systems were available--and legal in Indiana.  From the time I was a little boy growing up in the Cleveland area, I had a burning passion for cars and a dream of being behind the wheel.
 
I can still remember sitting on my mother's lap and "steering" our 1929 Dodge down Eaton Road in University Heights.  I couldn't have been more than six or seven, but what a thrill!There were two obstacles to my living my dream.  For years I could never attain the 48" line that would have qualified me to be the driver of a bumper car at Euclid Beach's "Dodgem."  Eventually I was no longer vertically challenged.  I thought that day would never come.
 
A less easily overcome problem was (and is) a vision disability that started with my first of what have become fifteen eye surgeries when I was less than three years old.
 
Congenital cataracts are prevalent in my family.  Almost eighty years ago childhood cataract surgeries were performed by a series of needling procedures.  I went through my first eight operations by the time I was eight. Undaunted by or oblivious to my limitations, I began my real driving career when I was sixteen--just like the other kids.  Driver eye tests weren't a requirement back in those days.  So the examiner and I survived the driver test--and I was off and running.

By a quirk of fate, I had the opportunity to become a driving instructor between my junior and senior years at Kent State University.  I observed two lessons given by the co-owner of the Euclid Driving School one Friday evening, taught myself to parallel park that same night, and "taught" eight lessons the next day. I subsequently earned a minor degree in Driver Ed from Kent and sustained a career as an instructor for seventeen years.
 
When my family and I moved to Syracuse, Indiana in 1968, earning a driving license wasn't as easy as it had been in 1944.  The examiner in Syracuse irritably deemed that I confine myself to daytime driving only.What a blow for a driving instructor to be labeled less than perfect.
 
In 1984 or 1985 I learned that bioptic systems were now acceptable in Indiana and that Dr. Richard Windsor was the highly recommended low vision optometrist who might be able to provide me with the correction that would get me back in the good graces of the BMV and enable me to see the world as I had never seen it before at distant points. With the help of bioptic devices I was able to achieve a career as a traveling insurance agent averaging 40,000 miles a year for sixteen years until "old age" dictated my retirement in 2001.
 
I still drive wherever and whenever I please--and without ever having a chargeable accident.
 
Thanks, Dr. Rich, to you and your staff.  With your support, I plan to drive until the wheels fall off my body--not my car.
 
Charlie Taylor´╗┐