Hello everyone and welcome back to My Blurred World.
I hope you’re all doing well.
Today I have a very exciting post for you and it is in collaboration with Holly from the blog ‘Life of a Blind Girl‘. Holly is visually impaired like myself and I highly recommend you go follow her. She is an amazing person and a true inspiration. She blogs about disability and how to stay positive even if life isn’t exactly treating you well. She’s so determined to conquer her blindness and to raise awareness of disability. Holly’s blog posts are of excellent standard and she deserves so much more support and recognition for what she does because she’s doing an amazing job! She’s become a really good friend of mine here on the internet and I’m so lucky to have met her. Please go check her out and follow her because she is an amazing person and as I said is a true inspiration.
Anyway today we decided to create a TAG. This is the VIP (Visually impaired people) daily living TAG. The aim of this tag is to let people know of the daily struggles we go through as visually impaired people. We decided to split the questions in to five different categories consisting of beauty/fashion, mobility, education, assistive technology and friendships. We will both be tagging other visually impaired bloggers/YouTubers to do this TAG so be sure to read to the end to see if we’ve tagged you.
1. When preparing an outfit, do you have your clothes set out in a specific way so that it makes it easier for you to choose an outfit yourself?
One way I like to organise my outfits is by categorising certain pieces of clothing in my wardrobe e.g. I will place all my t-shirts together, all my dresses together etc so that I know which pieces of clothing are where. I have previously written a post about my closet/wardrobe and jewelry organization tips which you can read ‘here‘ as I go into much more detail about how I organise my clothes and what method works best for me in that post.
2. When you wan a at to buy new clothes, do you:
• Do online shopping on your own.
• Go shopping with someone.
I normally go out shopping with someone. I normally go with my Mum and my Nan as both of them can pin point my style to the tee and they pick out the clothes that they know I’ll love. I do occasionally go shopping with my friends but I do find that can be harder as they don’t fully understand my disability (something I’ll talk more about later in the post) and they just believe that I’m able to spot a piece of clothing that I’ll like straight away which is certainly not the case. When shopping for makeup I prefer to do this online as I find it’s easier to roam the Boots website or others alike than it is to go in store and pick out a new item. I personally like to inspect the ingredients of a product before purchasing just incase there are some harsh chemicals included in the product therefore shopping online for makeup is much easier for me as a list of ingredients is provided on most websites so I can read them on there (something I wouldn’t be able to do in store as the writing on the packaging is far from visible for me).
4. When you go shopping with friends/family is there anything that you ask them to do for you to help choose clothes/makeup you might like?
As I’ve mentioned already both my Mother and my Nan know my style extremely well therefore I don’t have to describe what kind of thing I’d like to buy, but if I’ve seen something online that I like and want to find it in store I’ll ask them to see if they can find it for me. The same goes for makeup, if I want to buy a certain product in store I will ask anyone who is with me to find it for me.
5. Do you find it difficult to pick out an outfit due to your visual impairment?
It can be difficult occasionally especially when it comes to determining the colour of a certain piece of clothing and to know if it matches what I want to wear it with, but I believe that my way of organizing clothes really does benefit me when it comes to picking out what I want to wear.
6. Do you find online shopping accessible?
I am not persistent when it comes to online shopping, I only shop online occasionally (as I said above it is mainly for makeup/beauty products) but I do find that some websites could be more accessible, I won’t name any but some websites I’ve come across have been far from accessible and therefore I haven’t been able to use them independently but other websites I find are easy to use and I have found the ones I prefer. As I am not fully blind it might be of advantage to me that I can sometimes zoom in when using the web and this might be slightly more accessible on certain websites than using a screen reader.
7. Does your visual impairment stop you from applying makeup? If so, why?
No it doesn’t. I don’t let my visual impairment get in the way of me accomplishing anything, this includes putting on my makeup. Yes it can be difficult especially when applying something such as eyeliner/mascara but if I’m struggling I’ll just ask my Mum for her assistance but even if I do so I still apply my makeup myself but my Mum will be there just for support and to say if I’m blending it in properly etc.
8. How do you organise your clothing/beauty products?
To discover how I organise my clothes again you can read my post about closet organization here. In terms of organizing my beauty products I keep all my makeup on my dressing table (I am hoping to buy a desk) but I keep all my products in the same place so I know where they are when I want to use them again. I also label some beauty products with a braille labeller to ensure that I’m using the right shade of foundation or anything like that.
1. Do you have any kind of mobility aid? If so, what is it?
I currently own a cane.
2. Do you prefer using this or to be sighted guided?
I definitely prefer the method of sighted guide but that does mean that I have to depend on another individual therefore using a cane gives me a little more independence which I think is necessary for a visually impaired person to have.
3. If you use a cane, do you feel self-conscious whilst using it?
I used to be terrified of using a cane out in public as I was so scared of what people might say (especially the younger generation) but as I’ve become more confident I don’t worry as much anymore. I still feel a tad self conscious but there is absolutely no reason why I should because people need to realise that it is totally natural for a blind or visually impaired person to have a cane, after all that is their way of getting from one place to another. I’ve learned not to care so much about people’s opinions because at the end of the day they don’t matter. If I’m happy and if I feel comfortable then everything is ok
4. When it comes to transport, do you go on the bus, train etc by yourself?
This is a skill that I have not yet mastered. I had a very traumatic experience involving a bus and it’s driver a couple of years ago and haven’t been on a bus since. I know that sounds irrational but it really set me back (I’ll keep that story for another time) but the experience knocked my confidence when it comes to travelling alone but again this is something I’m working on and I will have hopefully mastered the skill of travelling independently at some point in the future.
5, How do you feel about travelling independently?
Again this links with the above question but long story short I am extremely nervous when it comes to travelling independently but as I said it is something I’m trying to improve on and I will hopefully feel much more confident about the situation in a few months.
1 Do/did you attend a mainstream or specialist school?
I attend a mainstream school and I’m currently studying in my last year of sixth form.
2. If you had a choice, which one would you prefer to go to?
I think I would prefer a mainstream school, I have nothing against specialist schools but I believe that attending a mainstream school has given me a little bit of a challenge. It hasn’t been easy but I don’t regret it.
3. Overall, was your experience of education as a visually impaired person mostly positive or negative? How could it have been improved?
Well in terms of support it’s been absolutely amazing. I’ve had a teaching assistant working with me since I was in primary school and that has made a huge difference in my school life. In terms of education in general it’s been great, I’ve succeeded in many of my classes which I’m extremely happy about. I complete all my school work on a laptop which has also been great for me as I am now a very sufficient touch typist and can complete written tasks very quickly. So all in all I think my experience in education has been mainly positive in terms of support and completing work etc but in terms of my education experience in general it hasn’t been the best. I’ve had many negative moments during my school life and still continue to have them. I must say the hardest part of education has been the people involved. I’ve not been the happiest of people in school just because of other’s discriminating against my disability. I am a very shy person at school which is a complete contrast to the person I really am. The people at sixth form have made me feel small and worthless and even though I don’t have to deal with direct bullying, I do hear the things that are being said about me because of my visual impairment. I feel like this answer is going on a complete tangent but I just wanted to share some of my experience in education due to having a visual impairment.
4. Did you carry on into further/higher education? If so, how did you feel about this transition? If not, why?
As I mentioned previously I am currently in my last year of sixth form and am hoping to continue into further education in September. Even though the thought is quite daunting for me I am very excited to start a new chapter in my life.
1 What is your opinion on assistive technology for blind and visually impaired people, do you think it is vital?
I definitely agree that assistive technology is vital for us visually impaired people. I personally couldn’t imagine a life without assistive technology. It helps so much in my day-to-day life, I just think it’s incredible that all these devices and softwares are being created to help visually impaired people. It’s amazing that more and more equipment is being created each year to help us, it’s all in all great in my opinion.
2. Do you use assistive technology?
On my laptop at sixth form I do use a speech software which is also a magnification system. I can’t remember what it’s called at the moment but it’s a great piece of software. I have also used Supernova and ZoomText in the past which have also worked well for me. Another piece of equipment I use is an Optelec, what is this i hear you ask? Well it is a digital magnifier. It’s amazing and i absolutely love it. It has a number of different settings including options to change the screen colour, contrast, the amount of magnification you want etc. Even though it’s compact it can be a little heavy to carry around everywhere with me therefore I do have some apps on my phone which I also love in terms of magnifying, I’ll talk more about those apps in the next question. I also use a speech software on my phone called VoiceOver.
3. What assistive technology/specialist apps could you not live without?
I have a number of different apps on my iPhone which are amazing in assisting me in my day-to-day life.
The first is Tap Tap See. This is an app which helps visually impaired people to identify objects, All that is required is that you take a photo of something and then it will tell you what it is, amazing right?
Another app that i use is one called ‘Mag lite’. This is essentially a magnifier for your phone. I use this whenever i don’t have my Optelec with me and it works perfectly if not just as well as the Optelec (in terms of magnification).
I have a number of other apps on my phone that I could talk to you about but I don’t want to make this post to long therefore do let me know if you’d like me to write a post dedicated to accessible apps for visually impaired people as I would be more than happy to do that.
4. If you could recommend one piece of technology for a blind or visually impaired person what would it be and why?
I would highly recommend Apple products. I personally have the iPhone, iPad and Macbook. I know it seem extreme but honestly these products help me so much. I don’t own Apple products just for the sake of it, I use them for their incredible accessibility and no other reason, I assure you of that. I find Apple products to be far more accessible to me personally than any other brands. In my opinion the accessibility is absolutely incredible, the products include both zoom features and voiceover which is so helpful for me. I can’t recommend them enough.
5. What’s one piece of assistive technology that you’d really like?
I’d love a braille reader. This is a piece of technology that plugs in to your computer/laptop and any text that is displayed on the screen of your device will show up in braille on the braille reader. Sometimes I do feel like I don’t want to look at a screen or listen to a screen reader’s voice therefore this is why I believe that a braille reader would be perfect for me as i would be able to read the text that is on my computer screen with my hands!
1. Do you mainly have sighted friends or blind/visually impaired friends?
Most of my friends are mainly fully sighted.
2. If you have blind/visually impaired friends, how did you meet them?
I’ve met most of my blind/visually impaired friends online. Take Holly for example (the person this post is in collaboration with) we met through the internet and have become really good friends. I think it’s amazing that we are able to connect with so many people through the internet these days and I’m so glad that I’ve found someone I can relate to and who can understand me just by starting this blog.
3. Do sighted peers understand your disability and try to help you?
This in my opinion is a two-sided answer. On one hand some sighted people understand me (or try to at least) and are very lovely about the situation and are extremely helpful which I’m really grateful for but on the other hand others have absolutely no understanding at all. This to me is saddening because some people don’t even try to understand and are very discriminating. This is one of the reasons why i started this blog because I want people to be more aware of disability (visual impairment in particular in my case) because some of the things said about us visually impaired people is truly hurtful and insulting and i wish people had a better understanding of visual impairment.
4. What’s one thing you wish your friends understood about your disability?
There are many things that I wish my friends would understand about my disability but one thing is that I wish they’d realise that i can’t spot someone from across the room. What i mean by this the that when I walk into a room I can’t see anyone who’s there or if there’s anywhere free to sit, but unfortunately my friends don’t realise this even after I’ve told them a million times they still don’t seem to understand. They don’t come to me when I’ve walked into a room (I’m referring to school here) and therefore I go sit down by myself not knowing if my friends are there or not and then they get mad at me for not sitting with them and they think there’s something wrong with me, but the truth is that I can’t see them or anyone else in the room so if I did then I would have gone and sat with them. This is a scenario that occurs often in my day to day life but no matter how much I try to explain things to my friends they still don’t seem to understand (this is certainly not true for all my friends as some of them are very supportive and understand my disability better than others).
5. Who do you tag to do this TAG next?
That’s it for today’s post everyone. I hope you enjoyed it. Be sure to go and check out Holly’s blog (click here) as she deserves so much support!
Be sure to comment below with any feedback you may have as i would love to hear from you .
Thank you all so much for reading and be sure to join me next time to learn more about My Blurred World xox