Accessible Voting

Hello Everyone,

Hope you are all doing well.

Here in Canada we have finally come to the end of a political campaign and there is same major changes to come our way. But as for the voting process have you ever thought, how willing would you be to vote if that process was not as accessible or as easy as it is for you. Many people take for granted how easy voting is, you walk into the voting station and cast your vote secretly. If you are blind or visually impaired ideally that is how the process would be but that is not the case.

You have to hope that they have the braille template, the list of candidates in Braille, or large print. That they will help you to read the ballots. Hopefully someone will be able to help you being a sighted guide to the voting station so that you can cast your vote. For some they can’t even get to the locations of the poling stations because of lack of public transit. It isn’t always as easy as getting on a bus and going if you have no idea where you are going and can’t see where you are going logistically that is not always possible or safe. Once at the poling station there is many times a huge confusion on how a blind or low vision person is to vote and how that process should work. More often than not the individual who is blind or visually impaired has to walk the staff through the process step by step, instead of the staff being there to support the person voting.

In the recent election there were so many people that were not able to vote the way they should have been able to vote, and in this day and age I believe that we are better than that. We are capable of so much better as people. All it takes is a little common sense and compassion.

Here in Saskatchewan we have a provincial election in our midst and I have high hopes that it will go much better than the federal election did.

I have high hopes that here in Canada people with disabilities will be treated as equals in all aspects of life, and have the same opportunities that all Canadians have.

Labelling How I find things !

Hi Everyone ! I hope you are all doing well.

The weather is cooling off and I am loving it. Fall is my favourite season !

I have had a few questions over the last little while about how I do things in my house, and find things. So I am going to try and explain how I label the things in my house and find things. I have three kids so this does not always work since they have moved things on me  in the past but such is life and it keeps it interesting.

So to start the most labelling happens in the kitchen. Mainly my pantry and spice cupboard for food and then for appliances my stove, and microwave are marked. I mark my appliances with bump it dots, these are raised rubber dots in various sizes shapes and colours. These mark the defrost button, 5, and 0 on my microwave. I also have small pieces of velcro on each number on my microwave since it is all flat so it can be a little hard to distinguish where the numbers are. On my stove I have used puff paint to mark the nobs for the front burners as well as the temperature like high, medium, low putting a line for those specific  temperatures.

In my pantry I use a couple different methods depending on what I am marking. I use my pen friend which has recordable labels that I can record what it is and an expiry date. I really like this asI can reuse the labels since they are rerecord able. I also have a few things that have braille labels on them like the spaghetti container, macaroni container things that are always the same.

I also use lots of bins in my pantry for putting things in like kids school snacks. I find it easier than having a hundred boxes that all feel the same. When it comes to my spices I use my pen friend, I have found it the easiest way to mark them the labels are small and convenient and it is easy.

When it comes to other parts of my house, I use a few different methods again.For medications which I keep in a drawer I typically use my pen friend and label them what they are, the dosage and if they are for someone specific.

When it comes to clothes I don’t really label them, for the most part all my pants are black, or dark blue jeans so they go with anything which really helps. I only own black dress pants so again that makes things easier. I can usually tell which shirt is which by feeling it. Some have distinguishing things like a button or a type of sleeve or a tag or something like that, for those times when I have the same shirt in two different colours I either wing it and hope I am right or I use face time with a friend to ask them. I have also used an app called be my eyes which is like face time but it is a volunteer on the other end and they can only see your back camera so whatever you are pointing it at. This is very helpful in day to day life with clothes make up, cooking instructions the list is endless. I also use my kids for clothes and ask them which colour it is.

My make up is organized into little drawers with the same products in the drawer for example one drawer has eye shadow, one has lipstick, one has eye liner and mascara and so one. I again will use my pen friend to mark what colours are which.

Technology is my friend when it comes to labelling things in my house, between my pen friend and Be My Eyes app, I am able to be pretty independent which is my main focus. But the one thing that makes my life much easier is, everything has a place, and needs to be put back in the place every time. I am lucky that my family is pretty good about this.

Thanks for reading, if you haven’t follow my blog and check out our instagram account our user name is ashleyandguiderick.

Until Next Time

Ashley and Rick