Drop off practice (independent living skills series 17)

I was late getting up and I had to quickly get ready for school including packing my lunch. Despite rushing around I still had time to enjoy a cup of coffee. Soon my cab came, and I was still early for class. I was able to have a chat with some of the staff members. Soon we had our class assignments. Since my Orientation and Mobility teacher was not available I had to go to the computer lab; while I was in the lab a classmate and I looked at classes at The University of West Florida. We could not find what we wanted, so we looked at Hadley Institute for the Blind and Visually Impaired. We both found a class about self-employment that we both are interested in taking.

Thankfully, my Orientation and Mobility teacher showed up. We were off! Ready for our next adventure. I wanted to work on my drop-off skills; this will help me when I take a cab of another service like, Urber. My teacher dropped me off and I had to meet her two blocks down. I felt confident once I picked my landmark and I took off. As I walked I started building a mind map by using my environmental clues and landmarks. I listened carefully for the sound of the parallel traffic. The first crossing went well. As I continued to walk I continued to mind map. My second crossing went amazingly smooth.

I heard someone calling my name; it was my teacher. She was driving beside me, and she sped up the street so she could meet me at our meeting location. I continued down the smooth sidewalk. I saw the sign for the post office and I heard the environmental clue of the water flowing from the fountain. I continue to mind map and I quicken my pace as I came to the court-house and the cannons. I was happy I found my main landmarks, however I started to panic as I looked around for the car. I quickly found it, however I had to cross the street one more time. By now, the nervousness of crossing busy streets do not phase me. I was even more happy that I was now out of the heat and in the car with the Air Condition running.

Once I was cooled off I had time for one more drop off. My teacher quickly found another location. We had to walk another block. But then my heart just started to melt when I saw a cute brown dog. The owner was interested in the training I was getting. So we stopped and chatted with him for a while. My teacher did great answering his questions about blindness and Orientation and Mobility.

While they were chatting away my teacher had me walk around the nearby park. I used a landmark of a blue sign as my starting point and took off. As I walked I thought about all I saw. I saw another fountain, some fall leaves that were gold in color, and the stones of the pavement were rough as I walked. Soon I was back at our meeting place. Once again, I got to show off my skills to the man when my teacher had me cross all four lanes of traffic. I did fine except for the last crossing. I had my cane to far out in front of me. Next time I need to relax my arm; this is so I can have better take off time and a safer angle. If my cane is too far out in front of me my cane could get crushed by a car. Then I’m in deep trouble. The man was impressed with my skills.

After we thanked the man for his interest we headed off for lunch at Newk’s. I had my usual loaded potato soup and half of a chicken sandwich with a cherry Pepsi. I enjoyed my lunch. We then went to a hair salon to pick something up then we went to Marshalls; they really had some cute clothes that I loved. I really enjoyed my day.

Sunshine Blogger Award

Hi Everyone,

I am excited to announce that I was nominated for the Sunshine Blogger Award. I was nominated by my friend, Carol who runs the blog https://theinvisiblevisionproject.com/

Thank you, Carol, for nominating my blog for this award. It means a lot to me. 😊

There are some basic rules for this nomination and they are as follows:

  1. Thank the blogger who nominated you in your blog post and provide links to their blog.
  2. Answer 11 questions the blogger asked you
  3. Nominate 11 new bloggers to receive the awards and write 11 questions for them to answer.
  4. List the rules and display the Sunshine Blogger Award logo in your post on your blog.

Here are the 11 questions that Carol wanted me to answer:

  1. What are your hobbies/interests? My hobbies and interests includes reading, writing, shopping, going for walks and enjoying time with my family, friends and my dog.
  2. What is your favorite color? My favorite color is blue.
  3. What’s your favorite season of the year? My favorite season is Fall.
  4. If you could be any animal in the world, what animal would you be and why? I would love to be a dog because I love how smart and cute they are. I also love a lot of their traits.
  5. Who was the last person you talked to today? The last person I talked to today was my friend John.
  6. What is your comfort food? I love anything sweet.
  7. What was the last gift you gave to someone and when? The last gift I gave to someone was a gift of a dinner out for my Grandpa’s birthday.
  8. Where do you see yourself in five years? I see myself traveling around the world and freelancing.
  9. What do you do when you feel discouraged? I have a very bad habit of over eating when I feel discouraged.
  10. Do you play any sports? I like to go for walks around my neighborhood.
  11. Which country or city would you travel to on your next vacation? I would love to travel to England to visit my friends.

Now I would like to nominate the following bloggers for this award:

  1. Glen (Well Eye Never)
  2. Elin (MyBlurredWorld)
  3. Lucy Edwards (LucyEdwards)
  4. Molly Burk ( MollyBurkeofficial)
  5. Sassy Wyatt (Sassy Wyatt)
  6. Holly (LifeOfABlindGirl)
  7. Kel (couldbekel)
  8. Maria (com)
  9. George (https://poppingwheelies.wordpress.com/)
  10. Cockney in the Country Side (cockneybumpkin)
  11. Elm (TheOtherElm)

Here are my eleven questions for the new nominees

  1. What is your favorite food?
  2. Do you have any pets?
  3. What is your favorite TV show?
  4. What is your worst habit?
  5. What is your favorite drink?
  6. If you could go forward or backwards in time which way would you choose and why?
  7. What is your favorite sweet?
  8. What is your favorite holiday and why?
  9. What is your favorite kind of music?
  10. Who was the last person you text messaged?
  11. Do you like hot or cold weather?

Thank you again, Carol for allowing me to be nominated for this amazing award!

Amanda Gene

An Interview with Glen Well Eye Never (Guest Blog Post #3)

Hi Everyone, I got the pleasure of interviewing my friend Glen. He is the fantastic blogger and YouTuber who runs Well Eye Never. Many thanks to Glen for allowing me to interview him and for allowing him to interview me in return. Don’t forget to check out his website 🙂

  1. What is your name?
    Glen Turner
  2. Age?
    In a few days time I’ll be 35 years old.
  3. Who has inspired you the most in life and your blogging?
    My parents also have sight loss like myself, and have always encouraged and supported me to achieve whatever I want to do. At the school for the visually impaired I went to, the teachers there were also very supportive and really helped me to grow in confidence. My friends also mean a lot to me and inspire me, of course. And the blogging community has been so welcoming and supportive of my efforts since I started doing this. It’s great to see that so many people want to work together with others, and aren’t just in it for themselves.
  4. Besides writing, what do you like to do in your spare time?
    I like going out and about a lot, to see theatre shows and museum exhibitions, take part in quiz and game nights, go for walks and socialise with my friends. While at home I enjoy listening to a lot of music, podcasts and audiobooks, and watching TV and films.
  5. Name a bad habit that you have?
    Not exercising as much as I should. Walking’s great and important in itself, and I eat well, so I’m not particularly unhealthy. But I would like to get fitter, and I could do with something like a gym buddy to give me the help and motivation to do that.
  6. Name your best quality?
    I’m friendly and kind, I like to help others, and I have a positive attitude to life. There can of course be occasional frustrations because of my disability, but I very rarely get angry or really upset about things, because I don’t like feeling negative.
  7. If you could interview anyone living or dead who would it be and why?
    I could pick loads. But from the music world it would have to be Freddie Mercury, because I’m a huge fan of Queen and Freddie was an amazing man, taken from us far too early. I could talk to him forever about the songs he wrote and performed with the band and in his solo career, and about his early life in Zanzibar and India. He had a great personality and sense of humour, so he wouldn’t be boring. And from TV, I’d love to interview David Jason about his life and work, as I love his comedy shows in particular, especially Only Fools And Horses. He’s such a genuine, down to earth, clever, funny gentleman, so it would be absolutely fascinating to chat to him.
  8. What is your college major/Minor?
    At college I got A-Levels in Maths, Information Technology (i.e. computers) and Economics.
  9. What school (college or university) did you go to?
    I went to the University of Exeter after leaving college, where I got a 2:1 Bachelor of Arts degree with honours in Accounting & Finance.
  10. What is the title of your blog?
    My blog’s called Well Eye Never. It took me a while to think of a name that felt unique, and I wasn’t sure if it would work to begin with. But it’s actually caught on really well and people seem to like the play on words. So I’m very happy with it and have no intention of changing it.
  11. When and why did you start your blog?
    I’d never really used social media much in the past. But when I was preparing to move to London, I started exploring online to see the best accounts I could follow for news and events, and useful ways to make connections with other visually impaired people. That was when I was discovered the disabled blogging community, and the more I explored, the more tempted I was to get involved. So eventually I did, and I’m very glad I did. I’m really enjoying raising awareness of my visual impairment, discussing disability in general, sharing the adventures I have in London, and talking about other stuff that I enjoy, because people have responded so well to it.
  12. Where do you see yourself in five years?
    I’ll be 40 then, wow. I’ll still be in London, still exploring the city and still enjoying myself. I have no plans to leave the city, I love it here, as there’s always so much to see and do. Hopefully I’ll be settled down with a partner by then as well. It’s possible I might look for a new job in that time too, but I’m not sure yet.
  13. What is the name/cause of your visual impairment?
    I have Aniridia, which means I don’t have an iris (the coloured circle around the pupil) in my eye. The iris is a muscle that controls the size of the pupil, to regulate the amount of light coming into your eye. So without it, I cannot easily adjust to changes in light. I do adjust a little bit, but it’s not very much and it happens very slowly. So I’m very sensitive to glare when I go out, even if it’s not sunny, and I find it harder to see in the dark. I also have Nystagmus, which means my eyes shake and wobble involuntarily all the time. So I can’t focus on things that are small or at a distance – they have to be large or close-up instead.
  14. How does your visual impairment affect you on a daily basis?
    I have to wear green tinted sunglasses when I’m out in the daytime, even if it’s not sunny, because they help to reduce the glare a lot. And when I use my computer or iPhone, I invert the colours to have the screen in negative mode. That way, the background is black, so there’s no glare, and the white text on top stands out very clearly Also, when I’m outdoors I can’t see signs, street names, train departure boards, museum object labels, what’s happening on the stage in the theatre, etc. But I get around that by using a small telescope called a monocular, and at the theatre and museums I can get audio description and touch tours too. It can also be hard to find and navigate unfamiliar places, but apps like Citymapper and Google Maps really help there, while other apps like Seeing AI can help me to read things if need be. Technology has really helped me to be more independent, it’s amazing.
  15. What do other people feel about your visual impairment?
    Members of the public often don’t notice it, because I don’t use a cane or a guide dog, as I feel I can see well enough not to need them. But people are generally happy to help if I need to ask them for it. My work colleagues were a bit unsure about how to interact with me when we first met, and were worried about saying anything that might offend me, as they weren’t used to having a visually impaired person around. And they weren’t sure how much I would be able to do in terms of the work. But very quickly, as I settled in and they got to know my personality and capabilities, they realized I was basically just like them and they didn’t need to worry, so they relaxed around me very quickly.
  16. If you had to give one piece of advice to others about having a visual impairment (or other disability that you may have) what would it be?

Don’t assume you can’t do things, because you’re capable of far more than you realise. You can do almost anything that anyone else can, with a bit of help if need be from technology or other people. So don’t be afraid to try new things, take up opportunities and pursue your dreams. It’s entirely possible to live a successful and happy life with sight loss.

Where can other people find you on Social media? (Please list and provide links)

Blog – https://welleyenever.com/

YouTube – https://youtube.com/c/WellEyeNever

Twitter – https://twitter.com/well_eye_never

Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/welleyenever/

Instagram – https://www.instagram.com/welleyenever/


Shopping and compass directions (independent living skills series 16)

The van was late, but I still made it on time. Once everyone was in the student lounge, our main teacher told us about a focus group meeting that was being held at the main office. I, along with two other students, were chosen to go to the meeting. That meant that my lesson was going to be cut short.

Once again, I was assigned Orientation and Mobility.  My teacher gave me a choice of what I wanted to work on. Because I feel like I was getting stressed with the street crossings I decided to work at the mall. The mall was not as busy as I expected it to be. As we looked around at what the stores had to offer my teacher asked me questions like, “What direction is the water?” The answer was simple; its in the South. Because I was looking for more shorts I had to ask someone for directions for that department. I followed the persons directions and as I was traveling my teacher asked me what direction I was going. Sometimes I would get the direction right and other times I would get it wrong. It is definitely something that I need to work on more. We found the shorts, but I could not find any style that I liked. I still made out pretty well. I got a pair of tan shorts, a pair of gray pants and a camo top. All for $20.00.

Once we were done with our lesson we made a quick stop through a drive through. I got a hamburger and a large coke for $4.00.

We then went to the meeting. I can not tell you what happened at the meeting because it is confidential, however I can tell you about what happened afterwards. I was supposed to close my case in September, however because I advocated for myself that I still was struggling with my travel and cooking skills my caseworker extended my Individual Employment Plan until next March. That is such a big relief off my shoulders.

I am not sure what lesson I will have next week, but I will keep building my confidence one lesson at a time.


Let’s add compass directions to the mix (independent living skills series 15)

The van was on time and I was early for class. While I waited for class to start I talked to my classmates. There were eight of us, and our main teacher gave us our assignments for the day. I was assigned to the part-time Orientation and Mobility teacher. Since I have been struggling with street crossings we headed to downtown Pensacola. While we were driving around to find a parking spot I saw the Union Jack and Wales flags. I quickly decided on my landmark and took off.

I came to a crossing and decided to cross, but a truck went ahead and pulled out in front of me. Here in America, we have a white cane law. According to American Council of the Blind, Florida’s law states, “(2) Whenever a pedestrian is crossing, or attempting to cross, a public street or highway, guided by a dog guide or carrying in a raised or extended position a cane or walking stick which is white in color or white tipped with red, the driver of every vehicle approaching the intersection or place where the pedestrian is attempting to cross shall bring his or her vehicle to a full stop before arriving at such intersection or place of crossing and, before proceeding, shall take such precautions as may be necessary to avoid injuring such pedestrian. A person who is convicted of a violation of this subsection is guilty of a moving violation punishable as provided in chapter 318.”  The person in the truck broke the law. My teacher and I went and spoke to the driver to tell him about the law. We then went on our way. The next crossing went a little better. The third crossing was difficult, because many people tried to wave me on to let me cross, to make matters worse one person kept telling me it was safe to cross. This was kind of them, however sometimes I can not see your hand signal, furthermore I was taught to cross with the parallel traffic. I was taught to only cross when it is safe, so please do not yell for me to cross or give me hand gestures for me to go. I will go when it is safe for me to do so.

Furthermore, do not grab me and pull me across the street. If I look like I need assistance, first, introduce yourself and then ask. I may say no, and do not feel bad if I do not accept your help. If I do ask for your help be sure to offer your elbow. I will walk two or three steps behind you.

When I was feeling quite confident with my crossings my teacher added compass directions. She had me walk three blocks to a nearby park.

Then she asked me if I was ready to walk to Subway by myself. I was eager to put my skills to the test. My teacher watched from a distance and the only fault I did was I followed a hand signal-a big no-no. My last crossing was perfect.

We went to Newk’s for lunch, and I continued to practice my independence by using my telescope to read the menu. I had a ½ chicken salad sandwich and a half a bowl of loaded baked potato soup. The sandwich and soup hit the spot-yum 😊

Once lunch was over we went to the mall. I was a smart alec and showed off in front of someone who was scared to go on the escalator. My teacher had me do it a few times, and now I feel confident.

Next week I am hoping to get a video of me working.

102 heat index (independent living skills series 14)

I was  an hour early for school. There was only one other student and a few teachers. I talked to my teachers about a few concerns I had. Once that was taken care of, I went back to the conference room. Soon my other classmates filed in and we got our assignments.

I, along with another classmate, were assigned Orientation and Mobility lesson. Since I am getting closer to my graduation date my teachers and I want to be sure I have the confidence to travel independently.

It took quite a long time to find a parking space, and sadly I was a bad journalist and did not get any footage of the downtown Pensacola area. However I did see some interesting sights. I saw a funeral home that looked like a Mexican restaurant, a woman wearing a stylish dress, and of course the Pier, with it’s water fountain.

Once we did found a parking space we headed off. Because I felt like there was not much room to work, I was not working my cane properly. My teacher saw this and she pointed out some more space. I began to work better after a further adjustment.

The first street crossing went great, however when I came to the next one I got nervous. It showed. My teacher had to provide feedback as to my crossing techniques. When were done with the lesson, my teacher, classmate and I went to go get something to drink. My teacher went to Starbucks, and my classmate and I went to get some sodas at a nearby sandwich joint. While we enjoyed the Air Conditioning and our drinks we talked about our eye conditions and how American Politics effects benefits for the disabled.

When we got back to the center we had lunch; and while we were eating, we had a class meeting. We decided to all pitch in and have a class pizza party in the near future. I am looking forward to it.

Once lunch was over, another student and I headed back out. This lesson was going to be much shorter than the first because the heat index was 102. Finding a parking space was quicker than in the morning. As we walked down the sidewalk I saw some interesting things. The tax collector’s building looked neat as it used to be a historic building. I saw a bright orange thing on the sidewalk. We were not sure if it was a large toy or a moving chair. All we knew was the color and that it was in front of a candy shop and that it moved. We continued to walk and cross the streets. I struggled at a four-way stop because I went with the flow of traffic, yet when I saw a car approach I froze. Even though there is a white cane law, I still have a fear of people not stopping. My teacher had to reinforce the white cane law to me. After that we headed back to the center. Just in the nick of time-a rainstorm hit! I can not wait for my next adventure and I am looking forward to graduation day.

An Interview with Carol The Invisible Vision Project (Guest Blog Post #2)

Hi everyone, I got the pleasure of interviewing my friend Carol. She is a fantastic blogger who runs The Invisible Vision Project. Many thanks to Carol for allowing me to interview here and for her featuring my interview on her website. Don’t forget to check out her website 🙂

  1. What is your name?
    My name is Xin (Carol) Sun
  2. Age?
    I am 28 years old.
  3. Who has inspired you the most in life and your blogging?
    My guidance and teachers (sometimes, I call them my positive team members in life) have been the core inspirations and supporters in my life and in my work as an activist and a blogger.
  4. Besides writing, what do you like to do in your spare time?
    In my spare time, I love to read, listen to music and watch Japanese anime & TV shows.
  5. Name a bad habit that you have?
    I have a quick temper and I can be impatient sometimes.
  6. Name your best quality?
    I am caring, considerate, and reliable. I am also very organized-I like to plan things out before doing them.
  7. If you could interview anyone living or dead who would it be and why?
    I don’t think I have anyone (living or dead) that I would like to interview. I just haven’t really thought about it at all.
  8. What is your college major/Minor?
    My major is in Gender Studies. I don’t have a minor but, I do have a Bachelor of Arts degree in History.
  9. What school (college or university) did you go to?
    I am an undergraduate student at Queen’s University
  10. What is the title of your blog?
    The title of my blog is called The Invisible Vision Project
  11. When and why did you start your blog?
    I started blogging since April 2016. The intention of my blog is share my story and, to raise awareness on issues of Accessibility, Disability, Gender, Mental Health and Social Justice.
  12. Where do you see yourself in five years?
    This is a tough question. But I think, I can see myself living a life of having a manageable and stable career, that is, working as a motivational speaker and a disability and social justice activist.
  13. What is the name/cause of your visual impairment?
    I have several eye conditions but one of which is an eye condition called Degenerative Myopia.
  14. How does your visual impairment effect you on a daily basic?

Despite that I can see objects close to me but things in the distance are very blurry. Also, my night vision is significantly impaired, more so than my day vision. Fortunately, I can manage daily life just fine, provided I use my assistive technologies/equipment.

  1. What do other people feel about your visual impairment?
    For the most part, people around me feel OK about me my visual impairment. I didn’t lose any friends because I have a disability or that I am visually impaired. Also, people around me generally try to be helpful when they see me struggling or needing a hand.
  2. If you had to give one piece of advice to others about having a visual impairment what would it be?
    Don’t let your visual impairment define you. You are stronger than you think!

Where can other people find you on Social media (Please list and provide links)


Blog: https://theinvisiblevisionproject.com/

E-mail: theinvisiblevisionproject@gmail.com

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/theinvisiblevisionproject/

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/theinvisiblevisionproject/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/tivp_official