Advocate Extraordinaire: Laura Jotham
Orangeville’s Laura Jotham has been a tireless community educator, helping Headwaters learn about the role of service dogs for the visually impaired.
Laura Jotham and her trusty sidekick Watson are proof that people with impaired vision need not live limited lives. Born with retinopathy of prematurity, Laura is completely blind in her left eye and has only 10 per cent vision in her right. She describes what she sees as similar to viewing the world through a straw.
When In The Hills featured Laura and her service dog Watson as local heroes in 2014 for their work educating her community about the role of service dogs, Laura was a student at York University studying English and history. She graduated in 2017 with honours. She says her university experience was transformative: “Lots of late nights, reading, and spinning multiple plates. I’m proud of myself – and Watson – for completing our degree.”
Laura is working as a social media manager for a construction and restoration company in the GTA. The position allows her to work remotely, managing social media accounts and creating content. Off hours she’s volunteering at the Orangeville Food Bank.
Watson is doing well too. Laura says he is, “Happy as always, cuddly, and still enjoys a walk.” Of their bond she says, “I’m not sure what’s ahead for me, but I know I’ll approach it with Watson by my side.”