My Favourite Memories of 2016

Hello!

I hope you all had a lovely Christmas! I just wanted to start off by saying a huge thank you for all your support in 2016, it has truly been incredible and I cannot tell you how much I really do appreciate it. It’s hard to believe that I’ll have been blogging for two years in January. I really upped by blogging game in 2016 and really put my mind to it, trying my best to get my blog out there and noticed. I know I’m not one of the most popular bloggers and I doubt I ever will be but I’m really pleased with the progress I’ve made with my blog this year, it’s reached milestones that I never thought I’d achieve.

In this post, I wanted to write about some of my favourite memories of 2016, it’s been a pretty rubbish year with everything that’s gone on in the world and for me personally, but there have also been some good times for me too so I wanted to share them with you all. I’ve tried to do it in chronological order, I hope you enjoy!

 

Putting my blog out there

It was only at the start of 2016 that I created a Facebook page for my blog and it’s really helped get my blog out there and I’ve received some lovely messages from my readers.

I also started doing guest posts at the start of 2016 and received requests from sight loss charities and organisations asking me to write a post for them. I felt truly humbled and this was a huge achievement for me. You can check out all the guest posts I’ve written so far in my portfolio.

 

Volunteering on an Action for Blind Family Weekend

This was such a big step for me. When I graduate from university I am hoping to work in the sight loss sector so volunteering on this weekend really did give me some great experience. One of the things that I did was help run a talk on education for blind and visually impaired young people which allowed me to explain my own tips, give my own account and experiences and answer any questions that the families had. This was something that I thoroughly loved doing. It was something completely new but I felt that I gained many skills and valuable experience from doing so.

 

Passing my second year of university

Second year of university is such a huge jump from the first, anyone that’s been to university will know exactly what I mean! Back in 2015, during the first semester of second year, I wasn’t sure if I was even doing the right degree, I’d gone from wanting to be a primary school teacher to not having the first clue of what I wanted to do. But I figured it out, now I’m working towards getting that degree and working with other blind and visually impaired people when I graduate. I finished second year of university with a 2:1 which I worked so hard to get, it set me up nicely for my third and final year.

 

Celebrating passing second year of university with my friends

Everyone was together, we were all extremely proud of each other and it was just a great time.

 

Getting my first job

I’ve wanted a job since I was around the age of 16 and tried ever since to find a VI person friendly job if you get my drift! I started as a volunteer for LOOK UK in the summer and was employed as a Project Worker a couple of months down the line. It’s such a huge achievement for me as not only am I gaining experience in the field that I want to work in when I graduate university but I also can work hard and earn money just like my sighted friends. It’s given me so many skills and I am really enjoying it so far.

 

Attending Sight Village

I’ve never been to an exhibition like this before, it was an opportunity for me to see the latest technology and services that are available for blind and visually impaired people. I got passenger assistance for the first time when I was travelling down to Birmingham for the event and it didn’t go as planned, I have discussed this in a previous post. That experience really opened my eyes and possibly made me even more determined to not let my visual impairment be a barrier, even when things go wrong.

 

Being featured in RNIB connect Magazine.

This was a real shock for me as I read the Connect Magazine, so to be asked to be featured in it was wonderful.

 

Getting my OrCam.

The OrCam is a marvellous piece of equipment and it has had a huge impact on my life.

 

My family holiday

This was such a lovely holiday, I had time to relax and spend quality time with my mum and dad. It’s important to have family time with those that mean the most to you.

 

Meeting my best friend

Some of you will know her as Elin from the blog My Blurred World. This was by far one of my favourite memories of 2016, it was genuinely such a lovely day. We’d been speaking for over a year and finally got to meet in person. We got to know each other through blogging so that day was so special for the both of us. She lives over 150 miles away so you really do have to treasure moments like that. We’ve helped each other through a lot in 2016, the good and the bad and constantly stuck by each other whilst we’ve both had people we cared about walk away, helped each other through the rough times, given each other the kick up the bum when we’ve needed it and I think that’s true friendship. I’m so excited for more memories with her in 2017.

 

Becoming more confident using a cane

I wouldn’t say that this happened at a specific point but I feel that I have become more confident and comfortable when using my cane over the last couple of years, even more so in 2016.

 

My 21st birthday

I spent the weekend before my birthday with a close friend and my actual birthday with my family which was special to me. Family really are so important.

 

Reaching 10,000 views on my blog

This happened a few weeks ago, and it’s crazy to think that I have had over 10,000 views on my little corner of the internet!

Those are a few of my memories of 2016, I hope you’ve enjoyed this post. I would just like to thank you again for your continued support in 2016, it really does mean the world to me! I really hope you’ll stick with me as I continue my blogging journey in 2017.

I would like to wish you all a happy New Year and wish you all the best for 2017!

Once again, thank you.

Holly x

Advertisements

Helping Blind/VI People During The Festive Season

Hello everyone,

Welcome back to Life of a Blind Girl, I hope you’re all well and prepared for the festive period.

I’ve wanted to do a Christmassy post for a few weeks now but still wanted it to relate to disability so I thought it might be quite interesting to give you a few tips on how to make Christmas fully accessible for blind and visually impaired people. This is the first Christmas post that I’ve ever done on my blog! It’s part of mine and Elin’s seeing through sight loss series so if you’re new to the series then you can find everything you need to know about it and our previous posts here.

In this post we wanted to share some tips on how to make Christmas fully accessible for blind and visually impaired people and how to help us a helping hand during the festive period. We’re not saying that these tips will work for everyone, or that you have to use them and we are in no means saying that we personally use them all but we wanted to share them in the hope that it might help some of you as a bit of a guide at this time of year. There are many ways to make the festive period accessible and we couldn’t cover everything, we know that everyone is different but here are a few tips that we thought some of you may find of use.

So without further ado let’s get into today’s post!

The first way in which you can make Christmas accessible is by brailling or writing a large print message in Christmas cards.

However, it can often be difficult for sighted people to braille Christmas cards themselves, especially if they do not know braille but there are places that sell braille cards, these can often be found online. If you would like to try to braille your own Christmas card for a blind and vision impaired person there are braille guides online to help you with this. If you are interested in brailling a card yourself, it may be a good idea to make the message a bit shorter as braille is larger than print.

To write your cards in large print for vision impaired people, it’s a good idea to write them using a chunky pen on a white or yellow background.

For blind and visually impaired people, brailling or writing large print Christmas cards can be a fun activity to send to other blind or visually impaired friends or family.

By doing this, it means that the blind or visually impaired person can read the cards themselves independently.

 

The next tip is to Label gifts in a format that’s accessible for a blind or visually impaired person. This can be a huge help! You can braille the gift tag, write it in large print or use something such as a penfriend labeller or the ORCam to label the gifts and create a spoken label. These two devices are not a necessity so don’t worry if you don’t own one of them!

 

The third way in which sighted people can help blind or visually impaired people at Christmas is Brailling or putting large print numbers on advent calendars. It can be impossible for totally blind people to find the correct door on an advent calendar and very hard for those with low vision to see the written numbers so doing this makes it fully accessible. It’s also a way of promoting independence and it also makes the blind or visually impaired person equal to those with sight. If a blind or visually impaired person would like to do this, it means that they will more than likely need sighted assistance at first in order to stick the numbers on the correct doors but it can be a fun activity, especially for children. I used to love doing this when I was younger! If you don’t really have the time to do this, you can also buy tactile advent calendars which are often accessible for blind or visually impaired people.

 

My final idea in making Christmas fully accessible for blind and visually impaired people is purchasing accessible games. We all play games at Christmas right? You can get well known games or new ones in both braille or large print from many places so it’s fun, inclusive and accessible for everyone.

 

I hope you’ve enjoyed this post and found it useful! Make sure you check out Elin’s post to read her tips on making Christmas accessible for blind and visually impaired.

I would just like to wish you all a Merry Christmas!

Holly x