From an early age, Dubbo's Annette Ferguson wanted to be a graphic designer despite having a severe vision impairment, but she says; "doors just kept getting slammed in my face."
Annette has been severely vision impaired since birth with a range of conditions including severe photophobia, poor depth perception, involuntary eye movements and an inability to focus on fine detail.
After leaving school in Year 10, Annette did work experience with a screen printer and "loved the process", but at the end of the two-week placement, Annette was not met with a job offer.
"I was told the only thing I could do was work on a switchboard - so that's what I did for five years after I left school, and it was the most soul-crushing thing you can imagine," Annette said.
"It was just the way it was back then, doors just kept getting slammed in my face."
But according to Annette, she was always determined not to let anyone define her or her capabilities.
"It [having impaired vision] was always a bit of a struggle, especially as a single mother raising two kids," she said. "I ended up changing my dream and decided to study naturopathy and massage therapy instead. I worked as a naturopath for 10 years. But no matter how much I tried to convince myself, I knew it wasn't me."
In 2000 a graphic designer friend showed Annette the basics of Photoshop and on-screen design. Despite the frustration of not being able to see a lot of what he was showing her, Annette knew she "had to find a way to do it".
Annette signed up for a TAFE course in desktop publishing, and through a combination of determination, a great teacher, YouTube videos and friendly trade printers, she was able to fulfil her dream.
Annette may very well be Australia's only legally blind graphic artist, now working for local business iClick2Learn, where she can bring her Guide Dog Leo into the office with her each workday.
"There's a great team of five that I work with, and we're quite a dynamic little group, we all get along really well," she said. "Most of our courses are about half an hour to an hour long and cover topics like governance, how to run meetings, how to write grant applications, how to manage finances in not-for-profits, that kind of thing - whatever the client wants really."
Annette has been supported by the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) for almost two years and said the greatest thing about her NDIS plan is the time it has freed up.
Annette's shared her story in conjunction with World Sight Day to encourage other vision impaired people to continue believing in themselves.