10 Reasons Why I like Being Blind

Hello everyone,

I hope you’re all well.

I thought I’d write a post on why I like being blind, as it’s not all negative.

Don’t get me wrong, I don’t love everything about my visual impairment, but there are a few things which I do like, so I thought that I’d share them with you.

Without further ado, let’s get into today’s post!

 

  1. Learning skills such as braille and being able to use assistive technology.

These are unique skills that I think set you apart from others and are extremely useful. If I didn’t have a visual impairment, I wouldn’t be able to read braille or use assistive technology for that matter as I wouldn’t need to.

A quote in braille that says "believe in yourself"

 

2. Being part of the sight loss community

I love being part of the sight loss community as you can help others, ask for advice and so much more.

 

3. Having a mix of both visually impaired and sighted friends

I have a mix of both blind and sighted friends and I absolutely love that factor. If I didn’t have a visual impairment, I wouldn’t have crossed paths with the majority of my blind friends.

 

4. Having the opportunity to share my experiences

This may be through blogging, workshops, or being asked to help others, I feel that sharing my experiences of living with a visual impairment is so rewarding. If I wasn’t blind, I honestly don’t think I’d have started this little blog, my corner of the internet which I truly love. It’s made me have even more of a passion for writing.

Blog header that says 'Life of a Blind Girl'

 

5. Being able to help and support other blind and visually impaired people.

If I didn’t have a visual impairment, as I said previously, I wouldn’t have the skills in order to do so. It makes me happy knowing that I have provided some support to someone, and been able to possibly make their life that bit easier, or provide them with advice. I love helping blind and visually impaired people, and it’s something that I’d like to do as a career.

 

6. The various benefits you receive when you are registered as severely sight impaired/sight impaired.

It has many perks: discounted train travel, free companion ticket at some concert and theatre venues, discounted entry at various attractions, and many more! Who doesn’t love discounts and free stuff?

Shawn Mendes concert ticket

 

7. The opportunity to have a guide dog

I don’t have a guide dog yet, but I plan on getting one in the future and that fills me with so much excitement. If I was sighted, I’d obviously be able to have a pet dog but being able to have a working dog that’s also your companion, pet, and possibly your best friend is something to cherish.

 

8. Not judging people on their appearance

So many people are quick to judge others by their looks. As I am blind, I get to know a person for who they really are. As the saying goes: “don’t judge a book by its cover!”

 

9. Having a genuine interest and passion for helping others

I may have had this passion if I was fully sighted, who knows, but I do feel that it is stronger as I want to help others that are going through the same, or similar experiences that I have been through myself. I know how challenging but how rewarding having sight loss can be.

 

10. Keeping up to date with all the latest information on visual impairment and disability

This is so important and is very interesting. If I didn’t have a visual impairment, I wouldn’t have a reason to do this.

 

That concludes today’s post, I hope you enjoyed finding out why I like having a visual impairment. See, having a disability isn’t all doom and gloom!

If you have a disability, what do you like about it? Let me know in the comments!

Holly x

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Blogging And Sight Loss: How It Works

Hello everyone,

I hope you’re all well.

Today I wanted to address a question which I get asked quite a lot, ‘how do you blog even though you’re blind?’

This is a very valid and interesting question, I get asked it by both sighted and visually impaired people. So today I wanted to tell you how I’m a blogger even though I am blind, give tips to aspiring bloggers out there and hopefully answer that question for you all.

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

 

Find an accessible blogging platform

Once you decide on the main focus of your blog, it’s important to find a blogging platform that’s accessible and one that you like, and feel comfortable using. You may need to do some research beforehand on different blogging platforms, this will help you decide which one is right for you.

Personally, I use WordPress, as I find this to be the most accessible with my chosen screen-reader. It’s also got an app which I also use on my iPhone or iPad which I find very useful and it is also very accessible. I do know blind and visually impaired people that use Blogspot, so it’s all about personal preference and finding out which one works best for you.

When initially creating my account, and setting up my blog, I did need sighted assistance to originally find a blogging theme and to help me with my blog header and things like that.

Blog header that says 'Life of a Blind Girl'

However, the pages, menus and other aspects that are on my site I did myself.

 

Writing posts

Writing content is obviously the main aspect of blogging. Everyone has different ways of doing this, and there’s no reason why you should be limited to doing this because of a visual impairment. There’s so much technology out there that can enable you to do this such as screen-readers or magnification software.

To write my posts I use Jaws screen-reader on my laptop and sometimes tweak them using VoiceOver on my iPhone or iPad. In simple terms, a screen-reader reads out loud everything that is on the screen and also what you’re typing.

Before I even write my posts, I like to plan them and write down any ideas that I have for future blog posts. To do this, I usually use the notes app on my iPhone as it’s something that I can refer back to quickly and easily.

picture of an iPhone

In terms of writing posts, I will either write my posts on a word document or write them straight into WordPress and spell check them using the built-in editor.

 

Visual content

For fully sighted people, visual content is often as important as written content. It catches people’s attention, and can often draw them into reading your posts. Depending on how much vision you have, adding images in your posts may be something you need assistance in doing. When you insert images into your posts, it’s important to add Alt text (alternative text) or a photo description so people who are blind or visually impaired know what the photo shows. That goes for any sighted bloggers out there as well!

I’m going to be honest here, I don’t take blog photos myself as I don’t have any useful vision to be able to do this. My Mum or Dad take them for me, which I am extremely grateful for. I do insert them into the posts myself and write the descriptions to go with them. I will often get my Mum or Dad to check whether they look okay before I press publish.

 

Sharing posts on social media

It’s important to share your posts on social media in order to gain new readers, followers, and visitors to your blog. All social media such as Facebook, Twitter and Instagram are fully accessible for blind and visually impaired people so this shouldn’t be a problem. Sharing and promoting your posts is all part of blogging! Social media is also a great way of interacting with other bloggers and being part of the blogging community. It’s important to share the love!

 

Engaging with other bloggers

It’s important to engage with other bloggers – read their posts, leave them a nice comment and you may even find that you will make new blogging friends along the way. Depending what blogging platform they use, you may experience accessibility issues such as not being able to leave a comment but there are other ways in which you can do this such as contacting them on social media or sending them an email. It may also be good to let them know if their blogs are not accessible as they may want to try to change this.

I like to engage with other bloggers and have also found some of my closest friends through blogging. Engaging with other bloggers may lead to blogging opportunities such as being asked to write guest posts or being contacted by brands.

 

That concludes today’s post everyone, I hope some of you have found it useful or that it gave you an insight into how I blog as a blind person.

If you have any questions, feel free to leave them in the comments, or do not hesitate to contact me. Are you a blogger with a visual impairment and have some other useful tips? Or are you a fully sighted blogger and have some general blogging tips? Then leave them in the comments below!

Holly x

My Mainstream School Experience

Hello,

Today’s post is a long one so grab a cuppa, get comfy and enjoy!

 

“How did you cope in mainstream education?” is something I get asked all the time. I attended mainstream school all the way through education and continued on to university. This blog post is to no way brag about what grades I got, or anything like that, I simply wrote it to highlight the challenges and difficulties that I faced in the hope that it might help others in a similar situation as me. I also want to discuss some of the positive aspects of my mainstream education experience because by no means was it all bad.

When I look back and reflect on my experience in a mainstream environment I feel a mixture of emotions – a sense of anger, frustration, isolation, proud and most of all a sense of achievement.

The overall experience gave me a rather big insight to people’s perceptions on disability (in my case visual impairment), their lack of knowledge and understanding on how to teach a blind/visually impaired person in a mainstream school, making friends and growing up. I know that every disabled person that goes through the mainstream education system faces different challenges and in no way are our experiences exactly the same but many students will have similar experiences throughout their time in education. Whether you’re in mainstream education or specialist school it’s hard to balance the academic work alongside the normalities of growing up, even more so as a disabled person. Let me tell you why. You’re still discovering who you are, what your future goals and ambitions actually are, where you want to go in life, finding out who your friends are, how to adapt work so that it makes it easier for yourself and most of all, you’re more than likely still getting to grips with your disability. Do we ever really accept our disability, yes we learn to live with it and feel comfortable in our own skin, but that’s different to loving having a disability.

 

My time at primary school was enjoyable, there were a few hiccups but nothing major. I never felt isolated and I guess I didn’t really think about my disability, what young child does really? I felt like every other child in my primary school. However, my time at secondary school didn’t go as smoothly and it certainly wasn’t the same.

One of the main difficulties that I faced in mainstream education was the lack of knowledge that teachers had when teaching a person with a visual impairment. From my experience most teachers did not always understand that I needed materials adapting and putting into braille, I could not write in books – my work was either done on a brailler or on a laptop, I could not see images so they needed to be described to me clearly and I could not watch videos that did not have any spoken commentary. Teachers did not seem to understand that materials needed to be given to my teaching assistants in advance so that they would have plenty of time to prepare them for me and put them in a format that I could actually work from and most importantly, read. I wish teachers realised as a matter of fact it does not just take my teaching assistant 5 minutes to put a textbook or revision guide into braille/audio for me, it in fact takes hours. It sometimes takes that long that they have to be requested from the publishers or specialist companies. Work needed to be given to my TA’s in advance so it meant that teachers had to plan ahead. For example, giving a double lessons worth of work on the day the lesson is taking place does not help me as a student, my teaching assistant or the teacher. The amount of times this happened is crazy! I am not having a go at or criticising teachers, I am just highlighting issues that I encountered.

All of the above issues took place throughout my time in education so it was definitely a challenge for me. Despite all of this, I got a good set of GCSE’s, most of which ranging from A-C.

Many disabled people face bullying in mainstream education which really does make me angry. I was no exception to this. It could have been so much worse than it was but I think these issues really do need highlighting. When this happened I probably didn’t stand up for myself as much as I should have, and I think that was more a confidence issue but I did not let it bother me. I was worth than those that didn’t understand my disability and I stand by that, even today.

 

As I continued on to sixth form at the same school there were still the teacher issues, especially not getting resources to my teaching assistants on time. There were a couple of teachers that went above and beyond to ensure that I was included in every activity, had work prepared in time for me and that I felt comfortable when taking part in group work. I fully believe that they helped me get the A-levels that I did achieve. Although I put the work in, they helped me build my confidence dramatically and actually believed in me as a person.

One other thing that I personally believe that are taken for granted are teaching assistants. I was god damn lucky with the teaching assistants that I did have, they believed in me and one of them was more like my friend. She would fight for my work to be given on time so that she could make it accessible for me but one thing she did without realising was that she always lifted me back up whenever I was down due to my visual impairment. Even today, she still supports me in everything that I do. I know that not everyone has the same relationship with their TA’s as I did and I feel so lucky to have had their continued support. Just a note: never take your teaching assistants for granted!

 

One of the main challenges that I faced was isolation from peers. There were the usual fallouts but I especially felt isolated when I was in sixth form. Everyone was learning to drive, going out partying and I obviously wasn’t included in any of this. I remember finishing year 11 and feeling so excited to start sixth form and truthfully, it was definitely not what I expected. The A-levels that I took were sociology, English language and music. At the end of year 12 (the first year of sixth form) I ended up dropping music because I felt that it wasn’t fully accessible for me and it was not what I thought. I tried other subjects such as RE but had no luck with that either. I ended up doing an extended project which is a bit like a university dissertation, I was able to write about a topic of my choice which did help me prepare for the university style of writing. I ended up leaving sixth form with 2 full A-levels in sociology and English language and 2 AS levels. But I didn’t let that phase me because I still got into my first choice university!

As I previously said, I felt rather isolated throughout sixth form. I had a couple of friends but that was it. I felt like the rest of my year thought “we’re too cool to be friends with the blind girl”. This probably did affect my confidence more than I realised at the time and that has become more apparent to me now. I remember counting down the days until I left that school and dreaded getting up each morning for sixth form. I have honestly never been so down and low before. But I got back up, moved on when I went to university. I believe that sixth form was just the bridge that I had to cross before my life got better when I started university. At one point I thought that I was going to fail my final exams and I even started thinking that if that was going to happen I couldn’t stay in that school any longer, I’d fully prepared myself to try and get a place at a specialist school for the visually impaired.

 

There’s so much assistive technology out now that enables blind and visually impaired people to become much more independent. When I was in school I didn’t have the most amazing technology as I’ve seen others have but the technology that I did have enabled me to be independent and complete work on my own. As I have previously mentioned I completed work on a laptop or a brailler. I didn’t use an iPad, braille display or braille notetaker in school, not like many blind and visually impaired people do now. I relied on Jaws screen-reader and masses of braille paper in folders. I think this had it’s advantages and disadvantages as using braille gave me the opportunity to extend my knowledge, I learnt braille in three languages: English, French and german and also learnt braille music as well. However, it did mean that when it came to revision the amount of folders I had was rather overwhelming. I could have benefited from something like a braille display as I have one now and find it very useful.

 

However, it wasn’t all doom and gloom, my mainstream school experience did have it’s positive aspects as well, there were many of those in fact. One of which I have previously mentioned, my teaching assistants who definitely helped me get through mainstream school. Another advantage of mainstream schools that I think is very important is mixing with non-disabled people. Not everyone is going to like you, you’re not going to like everyone either, people won’t accept your disability and others will so hold on to those people that do because they’re special. It fully prepares you for the outside world and being a minority in a majority of nondisabled people really does give you a backbone. It makes you stand up for yourself and speak up when things aren’t going right or something needs changing/adapting.

One other positive aspect of mainstream education is that you get to take part in the majority of activities just like everyone else. I took part experiments, school trips and all sorts of other stuff. Mainstream education made me independent in many ways., I wanted to work on my own in many lessons and nearly every lesson in sixth form I didn’t have my TA sat by my side. This may shock some people but I felt that I wanted to be independent and work on my own because no one was going to sit with me in university and in the workplace. My TA’s were absolutely fine with this as it allowed me to mix with my classmates but it also allowed me to work independently just like everyone else. Many of the teachers were fine with this arrangement, however there were a few that did panic and often wondered if I could cope on my own. For me, independence wasn’t just about learning to use a cane, yes that’s important but it was also about learning to stand on my own two feet, not relying on anyone being by my side. These for me, were the positive aspects of mainstream education and although I didn’t always love school (who does?) I will always value my time there because it definitely contributed to making me the person I am today. I’m not as bothered anymore if someone says something harsh about my disability or asks me questions, I believe that mainstream education allowed me to grow up just like every other sighted person and that’s what I’m most thankful for.

I haven’t pointed out significant events or experiences in this post because it’s rather personal, confidentiality and all that I guess but there are many good and bad ones that I have experienced.

 

So a note to any disabled person in mainstream education: you’re going to have to fight more than your peers in order to get what you want. But speak out and if something isn’t working for you then shout about it and make your voice heard. If you put the work in, there’s no reason why you can’t achieve excellent grades just like everyone else. You can go on to further/higher education, employment or whatever you want to do, mainstream education won’t stop you from doing that. You’ll have rocky patches, more than likely a lot of them but if you pull through them you’ll look back on them later in life and be proud of yourself.

Being a blind or visually impaired person in mainstream education is not uncommon so don’t think you shouldn’t be there. If you have the right support and equipment then you can go a long way!

 

I haven’t wrote this post to tell you my life story, I’ve wrote it because I know the challenges disabled people face in mainstream education so I wanted people to know that they’re not on their own, that there are people out there that have experienced the same or similar challenges and got through them.

If you would like to know any other significant aspects on my mainstream school experience or have any questions then please do ask.

 

See, I told you it was a long one! If you’ve read till the end then congratulations and thank you! I hope you enjoyed this post and it gave you an insight into my education as a disabled pupil.

 

Holly x

Revision Tips For Blind And Visually Impaired Students

Hello everyone,

I hope you’re all well.

I know this post won’t be of use to a lot of you but if you know anyone that’s taking exams and may find these revision tips helpful then please do share it with them.

If you’re anything like me, you’ll hate exams and completely panic and be an absolute stress head when it comes to exam season! Yes, I was probably the biggest ball of stress when it came down to taking my GCSE’s and A-levels…let’s not go there!

I thought I’d put together a few revision tips for blind and visually impaired students. It can make things so much harder when you’re constantly sat using a computer or surrounded by a mountain of braille!

 

Create a revision timetable

This can be electronic or on paper. Divide your day up into subjects, topics and make sure you list different revision techniques that you will use. This means that you won’t be sat using the same technique all day and the information will actually go in.

 

Make a revision plan

Your teachers probably tell you that you have to be organised and plan your revision. Well it’s true. Trust me, from someone that’s been there there’s nothing worse than sitting down to revise and not having a clue where to start.

It doesn’t have to be anything fancy, just create a new document on your computer or in braille, list the topics and divide them into sub-topics. Once you’ve done that, go through them and put a symbol next to the ones you struggle with. That way you’ll know what topics you need to go over more thoroughly. As you revise keep checking back at your plan.

 

Use different revision techniques

Instead of sitting reading through documents all day use different revision techniques to enhance your learning. Some techniques are discussed below.

 

Complete past papers

I’d say this is one of the most important revision strategies. Completing past papers gives you some indication of what to expect in the exam, what sort of questions will be asked/what topics are likely to be discussed and it gives you ideas on the wording of the questions. Completing past papers gives you the chance to have a practice run through. Why not time yourself in pretend exam conditions? Ask your teachers if they have time to look through them and marked them so you know what you’re aiming for and what you did right/where you went wrong so that you know for the actual exam.

 

Make simple revision notes

Condense your large documents down into notes highlighting the key points. This can especially be useful for blind and visually impaired people because it reduces the amount of information you have to read with a magnifier, screen-reader or in braille.

 

Use textbooks and revision guides

You can get a whole range of revision guides in accessible formats from libraries, the publishers or websites such as Load2Learn. Ask someone at school or your QTVI about these.

 

Make revision cards

This can be a bit harder for blind and visually impaired people but it can be done. Why not print off or braille the key words for a topic and have the definitions separate? This is a bit time consuming but if you have the time then it can be really useful.

 

Use revision websites

BBC Bitesize is a great website that is mostly accessible for blind and visually impaired people. They condense topics into small chunks and have quizzes for you to answer, it makes revision that bit more interesting.

 

Watch Youtube videos/listen to podcasts

These aren’t always the most reliable sources of information but if you’re tired of reading/writing then these can be great just to watch or listen to. You can usually find them if you search on the internet.

 

Convert documents into audio

You can record yourself saying everything you know about a topic, see how much you remember and then check back through your revision notes.

Websites such as RoboBraille are also especially useful. RoboBraille let’s you convert documents into audio for easy listening. I found this especially useful for converting my revision notes and revision guides. Remember they are a charity so you can donate if you like!

 

Other tips

Find the best study style that suits you – whether that’s on your own or with others.

 

Work somewhere quiet and free from distractions. I know this is really hard when you’re blind or visually impaired when working on a computer or tablet because it’s very tempting to go on social media! But this really does not help you concentrate and it will not help you pass your exams.

 

Take regular breaks and relax

You don’t want to be revising for 7 hours straight because nothing will go in. Take regular breaks, refuel your brain by eating and drinking and relaxing for a bit. Then you’ll be more likely to get more revision done if you’re not tired.

 

Recap on the main bits

Once you’ve revised a topic go over the main sections, this will stop you from stressing too much.

 

On the day of the exam:

Make sure you have had something to eat before you take the exam. Chances are if you’re blind or visually impaired you’ll have extra time so will be in the exam room for a while so make sure you’re not tired before you even start the exam!

 

Manage your time for each question

Know how long you need to spend on each question so it gives you chance to proofread your answers at the end of the exam.

 

I hope you found this post helpful and hope some of you found these revision tips of use. If you have some other tips that are not listed please feel free to comment below to help others!

Remember: Your intelligence is not always defined by your exam results. If you put the work in then I’m sure it will pay off!

All that’s left for me to say is good luck to those of you taking exams!

Join me next time.

Hol x

I need your help | Q&A

Hi everyone,

I’d just like to thank you all for the support on my last post – it’s been incredible! Thank you for all the tweets, comments and likes/shares on Facebook!

I thought I’d get my readers involved with something so I’ve decided to do a Q & A (if it all goes to plan).

So I need your help! I would like you to send me questions that you’d like me to answer in a Q&A blog post. It can be anything to do with disability, visual impairment, me as a person, lifestyle, beauty, technology…if a question springs to mind then please fire away! Feel free to send me more than one question if you like.

There are several ways that you can send me your questions:

Commenting below

Via email lifeofablindgirl@gmail.com

Send me a message or comment on this post on Facebook

Or you can tweet me: hollynataliet

 

I hope to do this post at the end of next week so please get them in by the start of the week if you can.

For future reference, if you have any questions after I’ve done the Q&A please do send me them, I could use them for inspiration for a blog post or for a future Q&A so ask away whenever a question springs to mind!

I look forward to answering your questions!

 

Hol x

The VIP Daily Living Tag

Hello everyone,

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!

 

Beauty/fashion

  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?

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.

 

Mobility:

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.

 

Education:

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.

 

Assistive technology:

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.

 

Friendships:

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!

Holly x

Guest Blog For RLSB

Hi Everyone,

I would just like to say thank you for all your support, the response that I have been getting the last few days is amazing and it really does mean the world!

Today I  am sharing another guest blog post, if you haven’t read My Blog For Action For Blind People then check it out!

Todays guest blog post is for RLSB (Royal London Society For Blind People). In this post I talk about life as a blind university student. Check it out here!

 

Hope you enjoyed this post 🙂

One last thing, I now have a Facebook page, please go and have a look and press that like button by clicking here it would honestly mean the world!

 

Once again, thank you.

Hol x