|Welcome back to my disability Q&A . Today’s interview is brought to you by Holly, some of you may know her on social media as life of a blind girl.|
Hol and I met on Twitter, we got chatting and soon realized that we both had a passion for changing peoples’ perspectives.
She is caring, bubbly and funny and I am proud to call her one of my closest friends!
Over to you my lovely…
Tell me about yourself:
Hello I’m Holly, I’m 20 and live in the United Kingdom. I am currently a student, studying Children, young people and families in the hope of working with blind and visually impaired people when I graduate. My hobbies include playing the flute, seeing friends, listening to music and all sorts of stuff really.
Now we know the basics, can we learn a bit more about you?
What is the medical reason you have a disability? Retinopathy of prematurity
Have you had your Visual impairment / disability from birth? Yes
Which terminology do you prefer: Partially Sighted, Visually Impaired, Sight Impaired, Severely Sight Impaired or Blind?
Severely sight impaired or blind
Do you have a cane, Guide Dog or neither?
I have a cane.
If you could extinguish your disability, would you? – If not, please explain why.
Yes I think I would.
For those who do not know much about your VI what can you see?
Not a lot…light and dark and close up hand movementsF.
How has your disability affected you?
I have felt socially excluded/isolated at times.
I have had a couple of really low points but have got through them and I accept my disability so much more now. I do have my down days but I know how to deal with them so much more now.
Do you think your disability has made you who you are today? Please give a positive example of how this has done so… Example: Not judging people by their appearance
Yes it has definitely made me who I am today and shaped me in so many ways. A positive example is that I have learnt to not judge others and really get to know them. ‘don’t judge a book by its cover’
Is there a particular question you get asked often because of your disability? If so, please explain below.
‘What can you actually see?’ because I have such little vision.
What are the positives of having a disability?
There are quite a few positives of having a disability. Discounts on various things, being able to help other blind/visually impaired people are just a couple.
What are the negatives of having a disability?
Not being able to see the beauty in this world, not knowing what my friends or family look like.
What would you say is a difficulty for you being VI / disabled?
Not being able to go to anywhere I want; I have to learn routes.
As a person with a disability, what are the things you face on a daily / weekly basis that frustrate you?
In your home
Cooking things sometimes
Outside your home
Planning ahead for things such as train assistance, I can’t just make an instant decision of going somewhere. Also, sometimes mobility.
Are there any tips or tricks you use in daily life you’d like to pass on to another VI/ disabled person?
Keep clothes colour-coordinated. When applying make up maybe count how many times you need a certain thing on such as powder.
Do you use Assisstive technology in your daily living? c.
I use a lot of assistive technology.
Screen-reader: Jaws and apple VoiceOver, sometimes NVDA.
I use a braille display.
There’s loads of apps that I use to help me in my daily living. Tap Tap See, Cam Find, KNFB reader or other apps that do the same thing. I also use Ariadne GPS, BlindSquare and apps such as National rail, The Trainline etc.
I sometimes use a liquid leveler and talking scales.
What piece of advice would you give to someone newly diagnosed? Or going through a deterioration in vision / or mobility?
Admit that you need help or support; it doesn’t mean that you’re weak or struggling. Also, as hard as it it is at times don’t let your barrier be a barrier.
Any advice you’d like to give to a person with sight / no disabilities?
Don’t just assume, ask.
Did you seek out any specialist services / charities to help you and your family deal with your situation?
I haven’t used them a great deal but the ones that I have used are The Amber Trust, RNIB, Action For Blind and Blind Children UK.
Where can people find you out in the world?
Thank you Holly for sharing your story, I hope people find your tips and explanations useful!
Please don’t forget to follow her links, and why not share the love? Leave her a comment, we would both appreciate it!