If you’ve been a part of the blogosphere or the YouTube community for a while, whether it be as a writer, content creator, reader or viewer then you’ll most likely know about TAGs. The videos and blog posts which seemed to evolve back in 2012-2014, the content that was all the hype.
There is an abundance of tags online from the famous TMI tag to Zoella’s latest that gives more of an insight into the life of a YouTuber. But as I searched the internet, I realised that there isn’t a tag that has been specifically created for disabled bloggers (correct me if I’m wrong of course), but this got me thinking and encouraged me to create my own.
If you’re a regular reader of my blog or if you follow me on social media, you will know that I’m very passionate about talking about my disability online and I attempt to raise awareness and help others by doing so. Something I’ve been thinking a lot about recently is that disabled bloggers are often overlooked within the blogosphere, something I talked more about in this post.
So today, I’m taking it right back to basics by deciding to create my very own tag that I’m hoping my fellow disabled bloggers will join in on and we can all share our experiences of blogging as disabled people. I came up with 12 questions overall which you’ll find below along with my answers.
1. When and why did you start your blog?
I started my blog back in April 2015. I must admit that I didn’t have a clear idea of where my blog would go at that point, I didn’t expect it to be something I’d stick to. However, I quickly fell in love with it hence why I’m writing this three years on.
If you’ve been reading my posts for a while then you’ll most likely know my reasoning for starting my blog but for those of you who don’t, I started my blog with the aim of raising awareness of disability by talking about my experiences of living with sight loss. I wanted to aim to help, educate and motivate others by doing so and I wanted to create a platform that people could relate to and hopefully learn something from. I also wanted to share my passion for writing, beauty and fashion by also highlighting how I make daily tasks accessible to me as a blind/visually impaired person.
2. Did you intend to talk about your disability online from the beginning?
Yes, it has always been my intention to write about my disability on my blog. As I said, I wanted to create a platform and an outlet to raise awareness, to educate others and to mainly help others who might be in a similar situation to myself. I mentioned my vision impairment in my first ever blog post and I knew from that point that it was something that I wanted to continue writing about.
3. Have you ever been skeptical about talking about your disability online?
I must admit that there has been a part of me that’s been a tad skeptical at times. I think that’s because it’s such a personal subject to talk about and it can be somewhat controversial at times. But I’ve never let those nerves overrule how passionate I am about talking about my disability online. After all, it has always been my intention to talk about it openly in the hope that it can help to change even just one person’s perspective or that my story could make someone else feel less alone.
4. What kind of response have you/do you receive in terms of your disability related blog posts?
I’m very lucky in the sense that I’ve had an overwhelming amount of support when it comes to all of my blog posts, my disability related ones in particular. The feedback I receive from the online community is incredible but I’ve also received so much support by those I know in my life offline. I didn’t share my blog with many people for a long time, I think I was nervous about what people would think but I’ve since grown to be proud of my blog and I’m so grateful for all of the support I receive.
5. Do you write/talk about other topics apart from your disability?
Yes, those of you who are regular readers will know that I do also write about beauty, fashion and lifestyle related topics. My blog used to be much more beauty focused and although I still love talking about beauty and makeup, I’ve found that in the last year or so, I’ve fallen in love with talking about more lifestyle related topics and I now try to incorporate my disability in to many of my posts.
6. What steps do you take to make your blog accessible to yourself as well as other people?
As a blind/VI person, accessibility is the most important thing for me when writing my own blog and when reading other people’s blogs. When I click on someone’s blog, the accessibility either makes it or breaks it for me and always determines if I’ll stay on that site or not. When I started blogging, I changed platforms from Blogger to WordPress as I found that WordPress was far more accessible to me and it was easier to navigate, that’s just my own personal preference of course.
I’ve had quite a few designs and layouts over my time blogging and I’ve always tried my best to choose a design that’s accessible to everyone. Of course, that might not always be possible as everyone’s accessibility preferences are different. In order to make my blog more accessible, I always add image descriptions to my photos in order for blind/VI people to have an idea of what the image is, I choose texts/writing that I hope is clear and easy to read and I try to label things such as social media buttons in order for those who like me, use a screen reader, can know what each button is.
7. What is your favourite thing about blogging about your disability?
The fact that it’s allowed me to meet other people who are in a similar situation to myself. When I first started blogging, I never knew that there was such a big network of disabled bloggers out there to be discovered and I definitely didn’t believe that I’d have the confidence to talk or start a conversation with any of them. But I surprised myself and started to form great friendships, I even met my best friend through starting this blog, something that I never expected to happen but I’m so grateful that it did because now, I couldn’t imagine my life without her (cheesy I know but true).
Another one of my favourite things about blogging about my disability is the fact that is starts conversations, it educates people – well at least I hope it does – about the subject of vision impairment and how it affects my life. I’ve had a number of people tell me that they now read every post of mine and that they’ve been able to learn something from them, to me, that’s such a special feeling.
8. What are your top three favourite disability related blog posts that you’ve ever published?
I’ve written over 140 blog posts in my three years blogging so choosing my top three favourites is rather difficult but at the moment my top three are:
- 10 things I’ve learned from being blind – This post received an incredible response and I still can’t believe it to this day. I think for me, this was one of the first posts that brought me the realisation that I love talking about my disability online and that it’s something I want to continue to do for as long as my blog goes on.
- Do I want my eyesight back? – This proved to be quite a controversial question and subject amongst many but I loved writing it and I think it helped to prove to myself how far I’ve come in terms of accepting my disability.
- My vision impairment: My brother’s perspective – My last favourite would be last week’s new post which was all about my brother’s perspective on my vision impairment. That post was mostly written by him but it’s one of my favourites because it’s the first post I’ve ever published which truly reflects on what a member of my family’s thoughts are on my vision impairment.
9. Do you think that the disabled blogger/YouTuber community is overlooked?
I dedicated an entire post to this a few weeks ago, you can read it here if you’re interested. But to cut a long answer short, yes, I often feel like disabled bloggers and YouTubers are often overlooked within the blogosphere and I’m not completely sure why this is. I think it’s amazing that we’ve been able to establish our own community where all us disabled content creators can talk with each other and chat about our experiences but I do feel like we should be more widely recognised in the blogging world. Not in terms of views or stats but in terms of equality.
However, I am lucky in the sense that I have both disabled and non-disabled readers, followers and friends and I am in no way saying that everyone overlooks us disabled bloggers because I know for a fact that they don’t and I’m grateful to those people who show us support in the same way as they would to any other blogger, disability or not.
10. Do you find it difficult to think of new disability related content to publish?
When I first started blogging, I thought that the amount of disability related blog posts I could write/create would be very limited, I soon realised that this wasn’t true and there is so much ground to be covered when writing about my disability. However, I do find it difficult to think of new content at times. I always want to publish posts that my readers will enjoy reading. I think this is why I like to throw more topics into the mix and talk about things such as beauty and fashion as it’s something different. People always tell me that they’re quite shocked as to how I still come up with blog post ideas and if I’m honest, I shock myself sometimes as I don’t always realise how many things there are to talk about.
11. Do you think that blogging about your disability helps to change people’s perceptions?
I’d like to think so but it’s definitely a hard task. This world we live in is abound with misconceptions and preconceived ideas about disability so it would be impossible to change them all. I do however feel like blogging about my disability has helped for some people to understand it better, especially people in my life offline.
As I said, it’s a hard task but I will continue to strive to tackle the misconceptions and the stigmas that surround disability and I will try my very best to change people’s perceptions and take steps along with my fellow disabled bloggers to make the world a more accessible place.
12. Who do you tag?
I’d love for all these lovely bloggers to answer these questions next:
And of course, anyone else who would like to get involved!
If you’re a blogger or YouTuber then feel free to answer these questions yourself.
I’ve loved creating this tag and I can’t wait to see your responses. If you do recreate this then don’t forget to comment below or send me the link on social media.