Equality In Employment Matters 

Hello Everyone, 

I hope you are all well. 

I have taken a little break from posting, this is because I have gotten a job. I have been working very hard over the last 4 years networking, blogging, doing YouTube videos, and just getting my name out there and volunteering. And it has finally paid off and I am officially employed. 

I feel like the missing piece to my puzzle has been filled. I am someone who needs to feel like I am doing something, I want to contribute to my famillies income. This has always been very important to me, now I realize there are people out there who do not have this same desire and that is fine I am not judging at all. But for me this is what I needed. 

I am working with the CNIB and it is amazing to work with an organization where accessibility is the norm. I don’t have to worry if it is possible to make things accessible or if I am going to have to constantly be fighting for equality because again it is the norm. 

Being treated as Ashley in the workplace is amazing, I am not the blind lady who works at such and such place. My vision is never an issue, in fact in this instance it is an asset. I can say I have never had a job where my vision was a asset, so it is refreshing to be in this position today. 

There is also this sense of guilt that comes along with this job for me, because I know that there are so many people out there who are still where I was only a few weeks ago. Fighting for the chance to have a equal chance at employment. So even though I have finally been successful in getting employment, my fight is not over. I will continue to fight for those that are still working to get employment and are not given the opportunity simply because of their disability. 

Disability does not mean lack of ability, and until I can get the world to see those living with a disability as the people they are I will not stop. 

Thank you to everyone who has supported this fight and to those that have supported me through this journey. 

Until Next Time ! 

Ashley and Rick 

A new beginning​ awaits

Hello Everyone,

It would have been my dad’s birthday today, I miss him more than words. He passed away 5 years ago from cancer. One year after he passed away I began to very quickly lose the rest of the vision that I had.

These events in my life have changed me as a person. It has showed me that life is short, when you lose a parent it is hard no matter what age you are. I don’t think it makes it easier when you are an adult. My dad was only 48 years old when he passed away and I felt robbed of the relationship that I had with him. We were very close, we worked side by side in our families bakery and we are a lot alike. I will always treasure the time that we had together especially those happy memories that I carry with me every day.

When I lost my vision I felt robbed of my life as it was, I was angry that I had just started to accept the loss of my dad and now I was thrown this curve ball. I never ever imagined I would have been strong enough to handle losing my vision.

It took me some time but I knew that with the strength that I got from my dad and his stubbornness that I would be ok. This turned out to be the best thing that could have happened to me. I have come so far from the person that I was 6 years ago. I am more confident than I ever would have imagined, and I am extremely happy with where my life has taken me. I also know that my dad is with me on this journey and giving me the strength to conquer anything that comes my way.

Loss seems like the end, but for me this end has been an amazing beginning. I can not wait to see where it goes next  !

Until Next Time,

Ashley and Rick

Parenting is Hard

Hello, Everyone!

I hope you are all doing well.

As parents today we are always being judged by each other, our parenting styles, what we chose for our children when it comes to extra-curricular activities or do not choose. Whether we spend enough time as a family, what we are feeding our kids, how much screen time they have or don’t have. How we discipline our children the list goes on for what we are constantly judging each other for.

I feel like social media makes it too easy for us to fall into the trap of judging others. We may see a small glimpse into the lives of someone on social media, however, we may not be getting the whole story. I mean who puts the ugly stuff on social media? I know I am not putting it out there when I am having a bad day and want to pull my hair out, or when if we had milk we would be having cereal for supper.

We are all trying to do our best as parents, and let’s face it being a parent is not easy or glamorous a lot of the time. We all love our children and want the best for them. I believe that if we encourage and support each other as parents we would all feel so much better when we are having those days where you lock the bathroom door for 5 minutes just to breathe and scream internally.

Having those conversations about how hard parenting is, would be so much more productive than judging someone for the way they are trying to parent their children. The truth is if we all looked back at our upbringing and asked our friends, we were all brought up differently and that is ok, we are all fine, for the most part. Judging people based on the way things were done in the past is silly, we do not live in the past. We have things like screens and social media and cell phones. I never had these things when I was a kid, so now as a parent, I am trying to do my best and raise my children the best way I know how. Will I always get it right, heck no! But I love my children and want to do the best by them and that is all that matters.

So I suppose in all of this I hope that we can start to have the conversations that support each other as parents instead of judging based on only a part of the puzzle instead of the whole picture.

Until Next Time!

Ashley and Rick

 

What Defines Independence?

What makes you independent?

Are you independent if you can do everything on your own and not need any help? Are you less independent if you need to ask for help? What if we looked at independence in another way, what if we were more independent if we were confident enough to know when to ask for help.

There is this presumption that people with disabilities are not as independent as able-bodied people because there are aspects of our lives and days that we need to ask for assistance.

I truly believe that I am more independent because I am confident enough to ask for help. I will give you an example. In order for me to cook meals for my family, I need to be able to go and get groceries. So let me walk you through how this works ad show you that me asking for help makes me more independent than if I was to not ask.

I make my list at home, print it out and head to the store. When I reach the store with my guide dog I then find a counter and ask if there is someone that is able to help me get the items on my list. I will hand them the list and follow them around the store picking up my items. I then pay for the items and head home. After getting home I am able to make meals for my family.

If I did not ask for help I would have to wait for my husband to be able to take me to the store and help me pick out the items that I need. So, me knowing that I need help at the store makes me more independent and able to be like any other parent out there, going to the store and getting groceries to make supper.

Learning to ask for help when you need it does not make you weaker it makes you stronger. It also makes you the most independent version of you! So please never be ashamed or feel less than because you need help with something.

Until Next Time!

Ashley and Rick

Self Discovery

Hello Everyone,

I hope you are all well !

With it being the New Year and everyone talking about what their resolutions are going to be for the next year. I do not feel the need to jump on that band wagon, in fact the opposite. I do not do resolutions for the New Year simply because I am horrible and keeping them and know this.

However I do want to take the next little while and really focus on me and what I want and what makes me happy. I started this blog to help educate people about blindness and to have people see me for more than my disability. I am in awe of the support I have received from complete strangers, and the messages saying how I have helped them. I am so happy to have had the opportunities that I have had over the last year because of the hard work that I have put in, it really did pay off.

So to do this I will be doing posts on the things that I love and the things that happen in my life. I am much more than a person living with blindness. I want to share those things with everyone to show them that blindness does not define our lives. There are so many things that I do in my daily life that have nothing to do with blindness.

There are also many things about me that I have not shared like the fact that I was a teen mom. I had my daughter at the age of 18 and had to grow up very quickly. After I had my daughter I got married at 20 and then had two more children. I have been very focused on being a mother, and wife. I was determined to not be a statistic when it came to being a teen mom and now that I am 32 I feel like it is time to focus on me, really take the time and spend it doing things that bring me absolute joy!

So I hope you are all happy to come along on the journey of discovery over the next little while. I have lots of post ideas and am glad to have you along for the ride of my life!

Until Next Time !

Ashley and Rick

2016 A Time To Reflect

It is hard to believe that 2016 has come and gone! So let me start this off by saying Happy New Year !! Also a huge Thank You! This year has been amazing. I am so grateful to have had the opportunities that have come my way and for all the support that I have received from so many amazing people! All of you that have supported my blog and motivational speaking all hold a special place in my heart!

I am wishing you all a Happy New Year and all the best in 2017! Let’s make it even better than 2016. Living out our dreams and doing the things that we want to do. Not letting others determine how we live our lives and not letting misperceptions and stereotypes get in our way.

I am not one for New Year’s resolutions but I am someone who is constantly striving to be better. I want to always be the best version of me that I can be. I believe that if we live the life that we want and enjoy every minute of it, we will never have regrets.

Thank you all again for all your support and love over the last year and I look forward to sharing the upcoming year with you all!

Happy New Year!

Until Next Time!

Ashley and Rick

 

Blind Caramel Corn

Baking is something that I have grown up loving to do. My parents owned a bakery for 26 years as I was growing up, so I grew up in a bakery really. I spent many hours there beside my dad and my mom baking and decorating and packaging. I loved to bake I helped my dad with everything from bread, buns, cakes, cookies, pies and donuts it was definitely something that I hold dear to my heart today.

My dad sadly passed from cancer 5 years ago, to this day when I bake it brings back such amazing memories of spending hours and hours with my dad baking up a storm. This is something that I really want to have with my kids as well. My children love to bake with me and we have so much fun doing it.

Being blind some people think that baking is not something that I would be able to do, but I learned to bake with low vision which meant I learned to do it with my hands and not my eyes. So even though I am totally blind today I am still able to enjoy it just as much as before.

Around the holidays I have many recipes that my children and I love to make. We love baking cookies, squares and especially love making many batches of caramel corn. So what a great way to share my love of baking with you then to share our quick and easy caramel corn recipe. It is always a hit around the holidays or any other time you whip up a batch.

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Carmel Corn Recipe
1 cup margarine
1 cup brown sugar (packed)
1 cup white sugar
1/2 cup corn syrup (I use about 3/4 cup)
Pinch of cream of tartar
1 tsp baking soda
20 cups popcorn

-Pre Heat oven to 200c
-In a saucepan combine margarine, brown sugar, white sugar, corn syrup, and cream of tartar. Make sure the saucepan has some room as this will foam up and almost double.
-Bring to a boil while constantly stirring, once boiling let boil for 2 minutes.
-Remove from heat and stir in baking soda it will foam up a little.
-Pour over popcorn in a large roaster and stir until all the popcorn is coated.
-Bake for 1 hour stirring every 15 minutes. Put onto cookie sheets once you remove it from the oven to cool. Enjoy !

I hope you enjoy making this easy recipe and enjoy making memories that will last a lifetime!

Until Next Time!
Ashley and Rick