Blindbeader, age 31, is an office assistant and blogger from Northern Canada. She writes the blog Life Unscripted. She enjoys jewelry design, board and card games, running, cooking, goalball, and drinking too much coffee—which obviously pairs better with some hobbies than others.
Blindbeader was born with low vision and learned to read braille. She has no vision in her left eye, and her right eye can see “light, dark, and really really big things in my way. But everything looks two-dimensional, like a pancake.” She travels with a guide dog and loves the fluidity of their movement together. She agreed to join in the conversation about blindness and blogging.
What is the most consistent challenge or frustration you experience with your low vision? How do you handle it?
People’s perceptions of what my life is like. I get comments about how great it is that my husband takes care of me (which inspired a blog post), or how proud they are that I hold down a job (which is a pretty big deal given the unemployment rate of the visually impaired). But it’s often the little things people think of as being so hard… like doing laundry or cooking, or dressing myself… people’s ideas that a blind person couldn’t possibly do these things is probably the most demeaning.
But things that I, personally, struggle with, I would probably say it’s the not feeling like I really fit in anywhere. The blind community at large generally has certain social mores, hobbies, or interests that I don’t share, and I don’t really fit in with pop culture either, so much of what dominates contemporary sighted culture eludes me, too
What resources have helped you to handle your low vision best, either in everyday matters or in moments of crisis?
Friends! Oh, my friends! If it weren’t for friends, I doubt I’d be happy as a blind person at all. I have a couple of friends I reach out to when things are rough, and even when they’re not. They’re the friends who will laugh with me, cry with me, and tell me to snap out of it when I get obsessive and down on myself
What do you look for in a good blog, whether it’s writing your own posts or reading someone else’s?
I look for well-rounded writing. Everyone comes to the table with their own experiences, biases, and ideas. If a blogger can persuade me to their point of view, or at the very least make me re-evaluate mine and/or consider theirs in a different light, then they’ve done their job. I have NO use for blogs that are just mundane daily happenings (“I ate cereal for breakfast, I went to the store and they were out of milk”) or are so vitriolic and angry that they want to brow-beat the reader.
Is your blog your main writing outlet or do you write or publish elsewhere?
It’s my main one. I do write music, but it’s like reading my diary, so I keep it fairly close.
What would you say is the most harmful or annoying belief that people have about vision loss? How do you cope with this belief?
That we are not able to speak, think, or do for ourselves. I tend to be a little more abrasive than most, especially when someone asks anyone with me what “she” would like. I either answer for myself, which hopefully redirects the conversation back to me, or if that doesn’t work, I say something like “You CAN talk to me…”
What’s your favorite way to celebrate autumn?
Running. Autumn is one of my favorite times of year here, with cooler nights and warmer days, leaves crunching underfoot. I LOVE running through the leaves, and this year I’ve started taking my guide dog as my guide runner, which she adores!
What is one dream you hope to accomplish in the next 10 years?
To have children. I know that perceptions of blind parents really need to change, and I hope that I can be a small apart of that change when I become a parent one day.
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Throughout October, I’ll be conducting more interviews about blogging, education, employment, and access. I’ll be asking the questions blind people always get asked—and the questions they’ve always wanted to answer. Stay in the loop!