Mid-term reflection: pondering thoughts (independent living skills series 21)

Since it is October and I only have four more months until my scheduled graduation I decided to write a mid-term reflection.

I like my classmates and staff at school. I feel like the school lacks organization when it comes to getting students organized for their assigned lessons.  I wish the teachers would provide class syllabuses to help students keep track on what they are learning.

When I first started school, back in May, I was hesitant to cook and to travel on my own. I had limited knowledge about the Alexa Echo.

I now have a new sense of freedom. I now know how to look up recipes, check spelling of words, do math, get times and keep my shopping and To-Do lists up to date. I use my Alexa daily.

In the kitchen, I am able to cook simple meals and desserts. As well as, use my adaptive equipment to chop fruits and vegetables, check temperatures on a wide variety of meats, and how to confidently place and remove pans from a hot oven. I cook for myself more often, and enjoy new dishes. (Yum, baked eggplant 😊)

When it comes to my travel skills I am no longer afraid to cross streets with heavy traffic, use escalators and elevators and use alternative transportation. I feel like I can travel anywhere I want including traveling abroad. Over these past few months I have learned to have high expectations for myself; all this despite having Nystagmus.  I have positive friends who believe I can achieve my goals and dreams rather than to say I cannot achieve.  On top of all this, I have decided not to listen to the people who say, “No, you cannot you have a cane; or you are visually impaired,” I say to those people, I have confidence and independence now that I have all this training. Getting this confidence and independence did not just happen over night and it came with a lot of work on my part, however I am happy with who I am today.  I know what goals I want to achieve in the future.

Thank you everyone for your support; without you I would have never made it this far. I am looking forward to my graduation.



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 Chelsey VIBlindResources (Guest Blog Post)

  1. What is your name?

I’m Chelsey Zumpano and I created a website, YouTube channel and various social medias to prove that we as visual impaired and blind people can do anything and to provide resources for our community.

  1. Age?

I’m 22 and will be 23 in August.

3. Who has inspired you the most in life and your blogging?

I am inspired by the author Rick Riordan because he touches lives with his diverse characters and shows that it’s okay to be yourself, and YouTuber Joy Ross because she shows me how independent I can become.

4. Besides writing, what do you like to do in your spare time?

Besides writing in my spare time I like to draw, read, (i’m a huge bookworm), hang out with my animals, hang out with my family, and make YouTube videos.

  1. Name a bad habit that you have?

I have a bad habit of not drinking enough water.

  1. Name your best quality?

I would have to say that one of my best qualities is that I am an open-minded person and that I don’t judge people.

  1. If you could interview anyone living or dead who would it be and why?

If I could interview one dead person it would have to be Edgar Allan Poe because I would like to know some of the thought processes behind his poems. A person that I would like to interview that is alive would be Joy Ross because I believe she is a great role model and more people need to see her story.

  1. What is your college major/Minor?

My major is early child education because I want to become an occupational therapist. I’m also thinking of majoring in journalism because the other night I was watching this TV show called “The Bold Type” and they are all journalists and watching them made me think, “I want to do that and that’s what I’m pretty much doing on my blog right now.”  I have two majors now.

  1. What school (college or university) did you go to?

I’m going to be starting college in the fall at my local community college.

  1. What is the title of your blog?

The title of my blog is VIBlindResources.

  1. When and why did you start your blog?

I started VIBlindResources nine months ago and I created it because I want to help people and to show that you are never alone!

  1. Where do you see yourself in five years?

In five years I hope to see myself as a published author, having a guide dog, dating or in a serious relationship, having a bigger following on VIBlindResources, and having a job as an occupational therapist.

  1. What is the name/cause of your visual impairment?

My visual impairment is called retinopathy of prematurity, I have a detached retina in my right eye and a partially detached retina in my left, so I have zero vision in my right eye and low vision in my left and you can learn about how it was for me growing up with it by reading “My True Experience Growing Up Visionally Impaired

  1.  How does your visual impairment effect you on a daily basis?   Some ways my visional impairment affects me on a daily basis are light sensitivity, (so I wear sunglasses when I’m going in and out), i’ll get migraines easier if I’m on my iPad for too long, I navigate with a cane, I read braille. If you want to see what my day to day life is like watch: The VIBlind experience and vlogs.  
  2. What do other people feel about your visual impairment?

My family treats me the same as my siblings and my friends treat me  how they do any other friend.

  1. If you had to give one piece of advice to others about having a visual impairment what would it be?

My advice to those who are visually impaired or blind is that your disability does not define you, so remember that we are all made up of multiple parts and we can do anything we set our mind to!

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

If you like to be featured on VIBlindResources please email me at: viblindresorces@gmail.com

Website: https://viblindresources.com/

YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCtorb__ooFW8Ytk7ZbucVyg

Facebook: https://m.facebook.com/viblind/

Instagram: http://instagram.com/viblindresources

Twitter: https://mobile.twitter.com/viblind

Tumblr: https://www.tumblr.com/blog/viblindresourc. 


The Disabled Bloggers Tag

This Tag was first created by Elin otherwise known as MyBlurredWorld.

Click here to read Elin’s The disabled blogger Tag post

1, When and Why did you start your blog?
I was a Freshmen in college, and we had to set up and keep a blog for the semester. I liked the class because we were able to choose the content of our blogs.
2. Did you intend to talk about your disability online from the beginning?
Yes, because my eye condition is so rare, many people haven’t heard of it.
3. Have you ever been skeptical about talking about your disability online?
No, I haven’t been skeptical about talking about it. I was hoping that this would actually help educate the public on the conditions I have.
4. What kind of response have you/do you receive in terms of your disability related blog posts?
For me its been positive, and a lot of people have came forth to say “Thank You,” because they have one of my conditions themselves and they stated they no longer feel alone.
5. Do you write/Talk about other topics apart from disability?
I’m trying out different topics, and I love learning about what other interests my audience have besides disability related topics.
6. What steps do you take to make your blog accessible to yourself as well as other people?
I love using WordPress, and for me, this has been the easiest platform for me to blog on. I try to make the blog accessible to others by reminding myself of the color scheme and the size and style of font that I use.
7. What is your favorite thing about blogging about your disability?
The fact that I can use this platform to help educate the public about the myths and true facts that surround disability.
8. What are your top three favorite disability related blog posts that you’ve ever published?
My three favorites would be:
1.Call to action: Come help make a big splash for a big impact!

2. Nystagmus Tag (Nystagmus Awareness Day)
3. Jessica and Diesel: the freedom continues
9. Do you think that the disabled blogger/YouTube Community is overlook?
Not really, I think there are a lot of other bloggers and YouTubers that are making a difference to help stop the stigma around disability. However, we still have a long way to go when it comes to continuing to making the facts more positive rather than negative facts known.

10. Do you find it difficult to think of new disability related content to publish?
Sometimes I do. However, I have a lot of great role models out there who are providing great ideas.
11. Do you think that blogging about your disability helps change people’s perceptions?
I think I am, and I’m proud to help shine some positive light on what people with disabilities can do.
12. Who do you Tag?
I would like to Tag the following bloggers to complete the tag:
Well Eye Never (Glen)
Life’s Journey (Jessica)

Compass directions…

Hi Blog world,

Yesterday, my teacher and I went downtown and we worked on compass directions, along with crossing streets, landmarks, and crowd travel.  I did well on my landmarks, crowd travel and crossing streets.  However, I am still learning the compass directions.  Since I have a good grip on the cardinal directions my teacher decided that I could start learning my sub cardinal directions.  This was very confusing to me at first but after practicing them I am getting a grip on this.

To make this lesson easier, we had our compass with us.  Sadly, “Bob the compass” was taken back to the store, and my teacher brought a new compass. The compass I joking named “R2D2” from the star wars movie, because the compass looked like that robot.

These compass directions will come in handy if someone gives me directions such as.  “The food store is at 123 East Street two blocks from the furniture store.”

Have any of you had to help someone who is visually impaired or blind by giving them compass directions? Tell me in the comments below. 

Blog  soon,

Amanda Gene