History of Wylie cards

John Wylie

3rd May 1946 – 4th June 2010.

John was born in Newcastle upon Tyne in 1946, and lived with sight loss from early in his childhood. All through his life John was always very creative and inventive and, overcoming his sight loss, trained to be an industrial designer.

Sadly in adulthood John’s sight deteriorated further and caused him to give up his work. With time on his hands John started to work on inventions which would help blind people. Wylie Cards are just one of John’s inventions.

The Wylie Cards came out of necessity. John needed to have something to show sighted people when that would demonstrate the level of sight he had. These cards would give an idea of what blind and partially sighted people could and couldn’t see. Working towards erasing the stereotype that all blind people have no sight.

The Sensory Support Team at Newcastle City Council arranged for an art and design student to work on the ideas. They photographed the iconic Quayside in Newcastle and edited the pictures to show the six most common eye conditions. There are a vast amount of different eye conditions, but most can find a similar Wylie Card to represent their vision.

Wylie Cards are now sold across the UK and Worldwide. These provide the people with sight loss a vital means of demonstrating to the sighted world what it is like to live with their particular sight condition.

John was a strong supporter of NSBP and through this NSBP was asked to take on the marketing of the Wylie Cards. The money raised through selling these cards goes towards supporting NSBP’s services, enabling blind and partially sighted people living in Newcastle upon Tyne to overcome sight loss.