Today’s post is a collaboration with my good friend My Blurred World. She’s honestly kept me going throughout my time as a blogger and we’ve become really close, she’s so amazing and inspirational and I feel so lucky to have her as one of my friends. She’s an incredible writer so make sure you check out her blog! We’ve wanted to do a collaboration together for a while now but neither of us have had the time so I’m super excited that we’ve finally got round to doing one!
This post is a tag, so you can all join in if you like! This post is about daily living for blind and visually impaired people. We decided to split the questions into 5 different categories; beauty/fashion, mobility, education, assistive technology and friendships. The main aim of this post is to inform people on the daily struggles we go through as blind or visually impaired people and how we adapt everyday tasks to suit our needs. I hope you find this post informative and have fun reading it as much as we did putting it together and writing it!
- 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?
Kind of, I have my daily casual clothes separated from my smart clothes that I wear for going out. I also have jumpers together, leggings together and so on.
2. When you want to buy new clothes, do you:
a. Do online shopping on your own.
b. Go shopping with someone.
I usually go shopping with someone. That way they can describe the clothes to me and then I can decide whether I like them or not.
3. 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?
I ask them to describe things to me. If I’m buying makeup I will ask them to help me match my skin colour making sure that I get the right colour for my skin. The people close to me know my style so shopping is usually relatively easy.
4. Do you find it difficult to pick out an outfit due to your visual impairment?
Sometimes, yes. I can’t see clothes clearly because I only have light perception so rely on apps such as Tap Tap See or for sighted assistance to tell me the colours. I can also do it by touch, I know what my clothes feel like so this enables me to pick an outfit out myself.
5. Do you find online shopping accessible?
It depends on the website and whether they have descriptions of items. I can’t see the pictures so have to rely on descriptions and sometimes these are non-existent or unclear.
6. Does your visual impairment stop you from applying makeup? If so, why?
No because I’ve learnt how to apply makeup myself. It took a lot, and I mean a lot of practice!
7. How do you organise your clothing/beauty products?
I have all my clothes in my wardrobe and tops I don’t wear as often in drawers. For example, shorts and tops for summer.
In regards to beauty products, I have the products that I use every day in a makeup bag and others I don’t use as often I keep them separately.
8. Do you have any kind of mobility aid? If so, what is it?
I use a long cane.
9. Do you prefer using this or to be sighted guided?
I don’t mind either way. It depends on the situation that I am in.
10. If you use a cane, do you feel self-conscious whilst using it?
I used to feel very self-conscious whilst using my cane due to bad experiences and judgements from others which knocked my confidence but I have got over that and I feel much more confident in using it now.
11. When it comes to transport, do you go on the bus, train etc. by yourself?
Yes I do. I have also been on a plane by myself which was such a scary but exciting experience!
12. How do you feel about travelling independently?
Don’t get me wrong, it is quite scary but it is such a great milestone to achieve. I used to be really anxious about travelling on my own but have got over this fear now.
13. Do/did you attend a mainstream or specialist school?
I attended mainstream school all the way throughout my education.
14. If you had a choice, which one would you prefer to go to?
I’d probably say mainstream due to the fact that you meet people that will understand your disability and others that won’t so you learn to accept that. You also learn how to have a backbone when people are damn right rude or don’t understand the simplest of things. I’d definitely say that attending mainstream school has helped shape the person I am today.
The plus side of going to a specialist school is that they are fully equipped for blind or visually impaired students and you have dedicated lessons for mobility and independent living skills.
15. Overall, was your experience of education as a visually impaired person mostly positive or negative? How could it have been improved?
I’d say mostly positive but like everything, it did have negative aspects. My teaching assistants 100 % made the experience so much better and I’m not even ashamed to admit that. My friendship group made the hard times so worthwhile as they supported me throughout. I sometimes felt rather isolated because some of my peers saw me as “the blind girl” and didn’t get to know me for who I am. Also some of the teachers didn’t understand that I needed work adapting and this often caused problems.
I also didn’t have access to some equipment that I could have really benefited from due to funding so this is another improvement.
16. Did you carry on into further/higher education? If so, how did you feel about this transition? If not, why?
Yes I carried on into the sixth form at my school and I am now at university.
I remember being really excited to start sixth form but I’ll be completely honest, it definitely wasn’t what I expected. I loved the subjects that I chose but my main issue was with people in my year just being focused on learning to drive and going out at weekends and I felt very isolated because of this.
Due to this I was very anxious but excited about starting university. It’s crazy how different people are at university, I am so much more accepted than I ever was at school and it has most certainly made me much more happier. At university, people look beyond my disability. It did have its rocky patches but I am so glad that I continued on into higher education.
17. What is your opinion on assistive technology for blind and visually impaired people, do you think it is vital?
I absolutely love assistive technology! I couldn’t live without it, it opens up the world for us blind and visually impaired people. I’ve used it since a young age and I feel so lucky that I can use it and be just like a sighted person.
18. Do you use assistive technology?
Yes all the time! I use it on a daily basis. Quite frankly, I couldn’t do my university work and some everyday tasks without it.
19. What assistive technology/specialist apps could you not live without?
My screen-reader on my laptop and VoiceOver on the Apple products that I have. In regards to apps, I use Tap Tap See, KNFB reader and the money reader all the time so probably couldn’t live without those. I have previously written a post on aps that I use so if you’re interested check it out Here.
20. If you could recommend one piece of technology for a blind or visually impaired person what would it be and why?
I’d definitely recommend a screen-reader on a computer or VoiceOver on Apple products depending on which you prefer. I think this opens up the world for blind and visually impaired people because it allows them to browse the web, send emails, write documents and so much more.
21. What’s one piece of assistive technology that you’d really like?
Probably a braille note taker. I’ve recently got a braille display and I love that.
22. Do you mainly have sighted friends or blind/visually impaired friends?
I have both. I probably have a few more sighted friends but I do have a good set of blind and visually impaired friends as well.
23. If you have blind/visually impaired friends, how did you meet them?
I met them through blogging. As mentioned at the start of this post, My Blurred World who I have collaborated with to write this post I met through the internet and I couldn’t imagine my life without her. I also met one of my best friends through the internet and she happens to be blind as well, we met on twitter. I have also become really good friends with the people that I have mentioned later on in this post. We have become really good friends and I am so glad we met. I also spent a week at a specialist school so made some blind and visually impaired friends whilst I was there that I still keep in contact with now.
24. Do sighted peers understand your disability and try to help you?
Since I started university I’d definitely say that my sighted peers are more understanding of my disability and do try to help me.
25. What’s one thing you wish your friends understood about your disability?
They’re absolutely amazing in terms of understanding my disability and what I can/can’t do, what I feel comfortable/don’t feel comfortable doing and all that so this was quite hard for me. However, it sounds really silly but I wish they realised that my screen-reader doesn’t read pictures so I can’t join in on things on group chats on Facebook. That probably sounds stupid but yeah, some people that have experience this will get what I mean.
26. Who do you tag to do this post?
I tag Yesterdays Wishes Thinking Out Loud-SassyStyle Molly Burke See My Way and fashioneyesta have fun doing this girls! If you’re blind or visually impaired or maybe you have another disability feel free to do this tag and adapt it to suit you!
Hope you enjoyed this post 🙂
Make sure you check out the people’s blogs that I have tagged to do this post and like said at the beginning, make sure you check out My Blurred World
Feel free to give me feedback on this post/any suggestions for future posts – I’d love to hear your thoughts and ideas! You can comment below your feedback and suggestions or click on my Contact Holly page to find out other ways of contacting me 🙂
I look forward to hearing from you and hope you enjoyed this post!