If you Want it Done Right, you Do It Yourself… or Ask Someone Else to…

I liked her post so much I had to share! So enjoy, and seriously, think about this stuff!

Life Unscripted

Last week I posted on my facebook status a question about which blog topics friends, family and readers wish me to cover. One topic brought up a HUGE level of discussion from blind and sighted friends alike:
When is it appropriate for a sighted person to say no to a request from a blind family member or friend? When is saying no selfish? When should the blind relative/friend take responsibility for themselves and be as independent as possible?

I took to Twitter and asked the question, and the level of responses was astounding. Ultimately, the answers went something like this (and I am inclined to agree):
1) A blind person should do whatever they can to be independent, but (just like sighted people) may find certain skills hard or challenging. Ultimately, making a concerted effort without resounding success is one thing; not even bothering to try in the first place…

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“So, Like, he takes care of you!” or…?

Life Unscripted

Beyond my blindness, which is fairly visibly obvious, one of the first things people notice about me is the ring on my left ring finger.  Many of them will say something about me being married, and the topic comes around to the fact that my husband is sighted.

“Oh, that’s great!”

Are they happy that I am married, happily, to someone who loves me?  That I share my life with someone who carries me through dark times as I try and do for him?  That we own a house, laugh at the antics of my guide dog and our three cats, cook, clean, bicker, smile, laugh, share hobbies, misunderstand each other, argue over money or sex or in-laws, smile and nod at little quirks that we just accept about each other?

Or are they happy that he can see?

Thankfully, Ben has told me that we don’t often get people…

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Take Off the Blindfold

Yeah…As usual…What she said!

Where's Your Dog?

When I was a child, my peers would sometimes make half-hearted attempts to understand what it’s like to be blind. They’d cover their eyes and stagger around a bit, or they’d borrow my cane and wave it carelessly from side to side, effectively clearing a path of about a half mile radius. It was cute, and always done with kindness, so I never bothered to inform them that mucking about with a stick for two minutes wouldn’t offer them the insight they were looking for. Others tried putting on those silly glasses you can get that are intended to demonstrate different visual impairments (one lens is foggy, the other very blurry, etc.). Again, wearing these goofy things for five minutes was not going to show anyone what blindness is like; all it could do was cause them to trip a few times and, worst of all, pity me even more…

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The Word Is Blind

See? When Meagan writes, I write…Well, sort of… Well, ok. Not really. I um, reblog. But you hear from me, at least, right? Well, ok, you still aren’t hearing from me. You’re hearing from Meagan. But but but…She writes so good…I mean well…Yeah. She writes well.

So have this, because believe me, it is a sentiment that I definitely share! Share as appropriate!

Where's Your Dog?

“So, you’re blind—I’m sorry! I mean…visually impaired—I mean…uh…I’m not sure of the…terminology…”

I’ve been called a lot of things in my life (and, yes, most of them were nice). Many of the labels people have placed on me because of my eyes are diplomatic but straightforward: visually impaired, low-vision, visually handicapped, physically handicapped, disabled, etc. These are all accurate, so I have no objection to them (though low-vision perpetuates the misconception that I see far better than I actually can). Of course, I’ve also been called—and heard others being called—more “politically sensitive” terms: differently abled (really?), differently seeing (uh, no…), special (gag me with a spoon, please), and handicapable (I wish I was kidding).

We are currently surrounded by an environment that demands political correctness and unbiased language. Normally, I’m one of the most enthusiastic supporters of bias-free language, because I understand the power of the words we use. Even…

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Apple Watch iPhone ‘Companion’ app revealed w/ new Watch features, monograms

I want! Probably won’t get. But I want! And yes, life needs an update, to, but unfortunately it’s happening too fast and is way too complicated for a few short words. So have this for now, and know that I’m still alive.

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Don’t Just Stand There: On the Disturbing Nature of “Rubbernecking”

Definitely not going to claim I’ll write soon because every time I claim that, I fail. So I won’t. But I will say this post, yet again from the lovely Meagan, is worth a read. And a share.

Where's Your Dog?

This morning, I was reading an article about a legally blind woman who strayed off of a snow-filled sidewalk and into the street, just missing a guard rail that would have kept her on the correct path. She must have slipped and fallen, because she was seen on her hands and knees in the street while cars zoomed by, honking furiously. Evidently, people were taking the time to honk and curse with frustration—not to mention stare at her—but no one seemed to be interested in actually helping her. Finally, a city official noticed her, changed lanes, and offered her his help. I came away with a sour taste in my mouth: I am continually dismayed by people’s ability to gawk openly at someone in distress and fail to help them. Surely if you have time to stare at someone, you have time to help them!

I recognize that if a…

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Every Day is an Audio Challenge

Ok…She does it…Again…So have this!

Where's Your Dog?

Every Day is an Audio Challenge

I’m ninety percent through the long and complicated process of filling out one of those lengthy internet sign-up forms. They’ve wanted everything from my phone number to my Social Insurance Number, and it’s getting a little excessive. There’s only one more field though, so I’m almost there… and then my screen reader cheerfully states  “Type the two words below! We need to check that you’re human!”. At this point, my very human impulses urge me to start keyboard mashing until something explodes. I calm down a little, though, since there’s an equally cheerful “Visually impaired? Get an audio challenge!” button below the text field.  Normally, when I hit this button, garbled but mostly comprehensible speech guides me so that I can successfully prove my humanity and move on with my life. Unfortunately, there are exceptions to everything, and this is one: I type the…

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I’m a Real Girl!

Perhaps I should just turn my blog over to Meagan! She certainly seems to be the only one writing in it lately! Well, ok, that’s not her fault. But anyway, have this!

Where's Your Dog?

A few months ago I was enjoying lunch at a pub with some friends. We were chatting idly about Lush Cosmetics, a particular weakness of mine, when the server approached to bring us drinks. Interrupting, she said, “Oh! I’ve heard of Lush, but don’t really know anything about it; I’m not a real girl.”. And this got me thinking…

What does it mean to be a “real” girl? Or, more appropriately, what does it mean to be a real woman? Some claim it’s motherhood—that the ultimate purpose and design of woman is to bear children. Our society has moved a little beyond such a primitive and restrictive view, but what hasn’t It moved beyond? Some say it’s about being “girly”. But what does that mean, exactly, and at what point aren’t you girly enough to be “real”?

When I was growing up, my lack of “girliness” was keenly felt. Not…

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Can You See Me?

Basically, what she says here. Sorry, she writes too well for me to add anything. I would just mess it up if I did!

Where's Your Dog?

A few years ago, I performed an informal little social experiment while in the grocery store: I began by walking just behind the cart (I was pushing, my sighted companion steering) with my cane out and plainly visible. After a few minutes, I folded the cane and put it in the cart so that it was out of sight. I have “normal” eyes, so I don’t look conspicuously blind; if the cane isn’t easy to see, people don’t always realize right away that I have any sort of disability at all. Since I was just pushing the cart, the blindness really wasn’t obvious. You may well ask what the point of such an experiment could be. Here is what I discovered: while my blindness was on display, as it were, I got pitying, fascinated, or outright terrified looks. Mothers instinctively pulled their children from my path, even when they were…

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I Apologize For The “Inconvenience”

Uh yeah. I know, I know. I should update. And I do want to. But life is crazy, including a flooded condo with floors and ceilings and cabinets that are being replaced. But since I don’t have time to write for myself, I give you more of the awesome Meagan, because, ya know, she writes way better than me, and makes way better points, to!

Where's Your Dog?

I call you for the third time this week. I’m crying. I’m soaked with rain, and windswept, and utterly lost. There isn’t a soul around and I have no idea how I’m to get home. My phone is dying, my gps is no help, and I’m standing under a tree’s meager shelter while thunder explodes in the sky above. I feel like a complete failure. I’ve been getting lost so often lately, but then again this is a brand new neighbourhood. It’s the first time I’ve ever used transit in my life. I’ve lived here only two weeks, and barely have a handle on the route to and from work. I’m begging you to help me. And you do—but first, you tell me how inconvenient this is for you—that you’re getting awfully sick of it.

I sit hopelessly at my desk, explaining for the umpteenth time that the tactile diagram…

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