About Natalie Doig (née Salmon)

Hello! On this page you'll find some information about me and my disability.  On the next page you can see my CV.

My Impairment / disability

Having a disability does not mean you are an expert on disability or impairments, far from it! I have had to work hard to learn all I have over the last 16 years about disability and equality legislation, social theory, disability in practice, how different barriers affect people with different impairments and I am still learning every day. Having a disability does however, give me some personal insight, which I can draw upon when needed to illuminate my work.

I was born with cataracts which were removed when I was a baby, in what was then pioneering surgery at Moorfields Eye Hospital in London. I've been an out patient there ever since (and some time inpatient!) I am often asked what my vision is like and it is very hard for me to explain as I don't know what "normal" vision is like. Although I have vision in both my eyes one of them is technically blind, the other has about a third of "normal" vision. To me the world is very much like a Monet painting, very beautiful but a lot more fuzzy and blurry than what most of you will see. I also don't have great perspective (I have no lens in my eye so I can't focus on things) this means everything is a bit flat like an early renaissance painting. 

What would be a more useful but infinitely more complex question would be how has my visual impairment affected me during my life? It's too difficult to go into it here and the barriers I have faced have been both surprising and predictable. I was born with a natural abundance of perseverance, determination and energy which have meant that I have generally seen most obstacles as challenges, things to climb over or break through. As I grow older though I realise that there have been some obstacles I've faced, which I couldn't demolish or thought I couldn't.

As well as my visual impairment I have a mental health condition, which has affected me from time to time over the last 15 years. I now realise that in a way my mental health has links to my visual impairment as well as other factors in my life and probably my genetics! I have found being open about mental health is far more difficult than being open about my visual impairment but I believe that in my line of work I need to be open about both. I have experienced anxiety, depression and periods of lifted or more "manic" mood over the last 15 years and like the barriers I face as a result of my visual impairment, I have tried to break through, work round or remove the barriers I face because of my mental health condition. 

Personal Information

I live in Bedfordshire on the edge of a small market town with my husband and 2 cats. When not working I spend my time baking, knitting, gardening and visiting too many local coffee shops with friends. I'm a real book worm having a particular fondness for crime and historical novels as well as nonfiction history, psychology and travel.  I'm lucky to live where there are plenty of lovely walks from my doorstep as I love walking and photography. I also love spending time with my 9 nieces and 2 nephews! 

© Natalie Doig 2021