Shalom! My name is Mordechai Weis, but everyone calls me Mordy. I am 37 years old and was born profoundly deaf.  I have Usher Syndrome Type 1F.   I am originally from New York, but I have been living in Israel for almost 6 years since my Aliyah.   I have been a very independent person.  My family is one-hundred percent Ashkenazi Jewish.  Both of my parents’ parents came from Germany.   I have three older sisters and the oldest has Usher Syndrome too.  The second and third sisters have normal hearing and vision.

During one summertime when I was a little boy, about 8 or 9 years old, my parents rented a bungalow in Catskills, Upstate New York.  One afternoon, I rode a bicycle and hit something that I did not see and then fell over.  My friends saw the incident and asked me if I was okay.  My mother then often took me to an eye doctor for routine eye check up. I thought it was normal check up.  I had no trouble seeing at night when I was younger.  I didn’t know that I have Usher Syndrome then.  Actually, I didn’t understand what was Usher Syndrome until when I was about 18 years old, and I noticed my vision degraded perhaps 2% every 6 months or a year.

I get frustrated that I can’t see well during nighttime, and I can’t chat with other friends or lipread in the car at nighttime. Sometimes they put the light on so that I can see better.  I recently started using a mobile cane during nighttime when I feel that I need it.  Because my vision is getting worse, I use Zoomtext on my computer.  I also have difficulties in reading black fonts on a white background.  I feel more comfortable in reading white fonts on a black background.

I always dream of being able to drive a car.  I have never driven a car in my life because of my vision issue.  I use public transportation all the time.

I always dream that my vision will be recovered fully like a normal vision in the future. I know that there is no cure for Usher Syndrome.  I have a BIG hope for a cure for Usher Syndrome type 1F as soon as possible.