Top 10 Perks Of Not Driving Because You Are Blind

Hello everyone,

I can not tell you how many times someone has said to me “oh I couldn’t be blind and not drive”. Not being able to drive is a little bit of a pain in the rear but it definitely has its perks.

1. You never have to try and find your ride, or your car because they park in the same spot every time !

2. If your in a bad mood or just want to be left alone you can put in headphones and not hear “what is wrong with you?”, “why are you so grouchy today”, “what’s wrong?” On repeat like a broken record.

3. When people call you, they never want to talk long because of the background noise and all the people. Plus it is rude, so you can easily get out of talking to anyone!

4. You do not have to have road rage and you will get to your destination without almost needing bail money. I don’t know how you people do it to be honest, I swear like a trucker and I am not in traffic with people who have no idea how they even got there, let alone how they are supposed to get to where they are going!

5. If your bus gets a flat tire they come and pick you up with a different bus and you walk away from the broken one!

6. People make you feel like you are the most amazing thing every day simply because you got your blind behind to a bus stop and are on that thing alone! I mean you my friend deserve a Nobel prize!! And if you are not the biggest inspiration to someone, you may have someone pray over you or even get a marriage proposal because your guide dog will attract all the people you want to talk to.

7. It is the only place you can walk on and make someone move out of a seat simply because you want it and you are disabled so you can have it!

8. When your friends have to pay to fix their cars or put gas in them; you can justify as many pairs of shoes as you want! I mean you walk everywhere!!

9. When someone says to you “ma’am I need to see your drivers license.” And you say “I am blind”. The story and shovel they start digging the biggest hole with is quite comical!

10. If you are ever late for anything, all you have to say is “I had to take the bus” and no one will say anymore because they feel bad for you. If you drive they would say something like: ” well you should have left sooner I guess”.

There are many more perks I am sure I am missing, but I am sure you can now see why taking the bus isn’t the worst thing that could happen!

Until Next Time !

Ashley and Danson

My Top Tool For Work As A Blind Employee

Hello Everyone,

I have many different things that I use to do my work, many of them are specific tools for people who are blind or partially sighted like a braille display for example. But there is one tool that I can not rave about enough. This tool has made a huge difference in how I am able to get my work done, keep on task, keep organized, be efficient and so much more.

The one thing I can not make it through a work day without is my iPad. My last iPad died a few months ago after 3 years because I used it to death literally. And in the short time that I was without my iPad for work I realized how much I rely on it for so many things during the day. It is my note pad, my post it notes, my calendar, my sanity when things get busy and there is too much to keep in my head.

Some of my favourite apps on my iPad that make it my favourite tool are many of the Office 365 Tools that we use at work; Outlook, One Note, Microsoft Teams, Word, Excel, One Drive and so on.

The one that I use the absolute most is by far One Note. I have always been someone who writes things down in some way as my vision has never been super the way I do that has changed. When I got my first iPad I was using Pages that came on the iPad and I still use it for some things but One Note has been a game changer for me.

I am able to make different NoteBooks for the different things that I am working on, and within those notes I am able to create different sections and different pages. So it is really like a binder but an accessible version. I have a To Do list that is great I create a new To Do list for each and every week and there I add in all of the things that I need to work on I also take notes for many of my meetings on that document to keep all my work for that week together. This has been really good with Voice Over because in Pages or Word you have to select the text to find out if it is highlighted or bolded or anything like that but with One Note I am able to highlight text with say pink and then when I arrow down through the bullets it will say “highlighted” . I can also create tick boxes but I really like to highlight what is done it just works best for me.

I use Voice Over on my iPad with a Logitech case that has a keyboard that is on it. This set up means that it is much more convenient to take it to meetings and when travelling for work and so much lighter than a laptop. Because so much of what we do now a days is cloud based that means that there is so much more that I can do on my iPad and not have to use a computer.

Beyond One Note and Office 365 on my iPad I use it for my calendar, email, reading books, keeping all my recipes for home, keeping track of my kids school things, editing videos, writing my blogs so many things. I am also able to hook my braille display up to it and read books via braille with I really love doing and it is much more convenient than a bulky braille book.

I feel like many people when they are in a work environment don’t realize that people who are sighted many of them carry a note book to meetings and take notes, and keep themselves organized that way. As a person who is blind you need to find what that equivalent is for you. Going into a meeting with nothing to write anything down is not going to help you be successful, no one can remember every little thing. Even though many of us have to remember so many different things every single day we need a tool that will put us on the same playing field as out co-workers.

For me, my iPad has been my most important tool in getting my work done. I think it is so important to find what works for you, it may not be an iPad but I am sure we all have a tool that will work for us and make us more efficient and organized whether we are sighted or blind.

Until Next Time,

Ashley and Danson

Self Care …. For Where You Are In Your Journey.

Hello Everyone,

As we move through our own journey in life no matter what that is, we can so easily get stuck comparing where we are at with those around us. Social media makes us compare our lives to what we see online. When the reality is that what we see online is not the reality.

I have had people come and tell me that they wish they were as confident and independent as I am in their blindness. The reality is that I have walked this journey in the good and the bad. I have those bad days, I have doubt, I have anxiety, I have break downs and there are sometimes tears and the feeling like I can’t keep going. We are all on our own journey and that journey will look very different for everyone.

The reality of those bad days are so important to share, and to be real about. Because those bad days make us so much more relatable and real. I never want anyone to think that it is sunshine and rainbows in my life. Because that is the farthest from the truth.

What I can tell you is how I am able to get through those hard days, the days that I just want things to be easier. I have days when I wish I could see and things would be easier. But then i take some time for me and I am reminded that my blindness makes me who I am good and bad.

My favourite things to do to bring me back to being in the moment and take the time to relax and just be are:

A hot bubble bath, I love having a good bubble bath. It is the time that I can just sit and relax and it is just for me and no one else. I even lock the bathroom door and turn on the fan to the highest setting so that I can’t hear what is going on outside the door and the kids can not come in and ask me if it is their turn on the xbox or tell me that someone touched them or who knows what other crisis will happen in that 30 minutes.

A good book, I love to read, this is a way that I can escape and take myself somewhere else. I am able to really just clear my head and enjoy the story unfolding. Depending on how I am feeling will depend on what I am reading, if I am trying to unwind and relax and just remove myself from my thoughts I will read something like fantasy, or contemporary. I also love to read non fiction but when I want to escape and take some time for myself I don’t like to read non fiction. That is saved for when I am in the mood to learn something new to conquer my goals.

A walk, a good walk can help to clear my head. I like to take my cane and take Danson just on leash. He loves getting out to just enjoy a non working walk. I try to go and walk on a path so that I don’t have to worry about traffic and other things.

A candle, I will lots of times light a candle and sit and just be in the quiet (this one has to wait until the house is empty). It can be nice to just be in the quiet and take the time to just slow down and be in the moment.

Taking the time to do things that make you feel better and help you to recharge can help you get through the rough times. Just talking about what you are experiencing and talk through the fears and frustrations with someone who can understand can be very helpful as well. I have a couple of friends who are walking through the journey of vision loss as well so they truly get it and there is nothing more comforting then to know you are not alone.