Last month I was very kindly featured on the blog VI Blind Resources, after Chelsey interviewed me about being raised by visually impaired parents. It’s not something I’ve really written about here on my blog, so do go and give it a read to find out a bit more about me.
In exchange for that, I’m delighted to feature an interview with Chelsey here on my blog. She regularly posts on her blog and YouTube channel and across social media, and she even makes the effort to provide written descriptions for images and audio descriptions in her videos. So do go and check her out, and I hope you enjoy this little interview with her. Thank you to Chelsey for featuring me and answering my questions!
Welcome Chelsey! 🙂 Tell us a bit about yourself.
Hi Glen, thank you for having me. I’m 23, single, a fan artist, blogger, soon to be children’s author, YouTuber, and animal lover.
What inspired you to start blogging?
I wanted to provide resources for our community and help people not feel alone.
What topics do you post about in your blog or videos?
I post about my disability, coping with anxiety, cooking and baking, makeup, hair, tutorials, book reviews, vlogs, DIY, assistive technology, and eventually about my own books.
What is your favourite or most popular post that you’ve made so far?
My favorite and most popular YouTube video is Why I Admire Alex Fierro. She/he is one of my favorite book characters.
My favorite blog post is Interview with Author and Guide Dog Trainer Julie Johnson.
What one piece of advice would you give to people who want to try blogging?
Some advice to those who want to try blogging is to find a topic or two or three that you’re passionate about and start writing.
The same goes for YouTube. I spontaneously decided to start a YouTube channel and later my blog, but I knew what direction I wanted to take it because I had a Facebook page.
I also want to add don’t start YouTubing or blogging just to become famous, because it doesn’t work like that! You don’t just automatically get followers overnight, it takes time.
What are your hobbies and interests?
I’m a major bookworm, fanfiction writer and fanfiction artist. I used to horseback ride. I skateboard, swim, and hang out with my animals and family.
Do you have any favourite music, TV shows, films or books?
My favorite type of music is country.
My favorite shows are The Bold Type, The Fosters, Switched at Birth, and Law and Order SVU.
I love the Marvel movies that I’ve watched so far, The Great Gatsby 2013 and I like the book too, and To All the Boys I Loved Before.
If I named all my favorite books we’d be here forever, lol! My top favorites are Magnus Chase and the Gods of Asgard series by Rick Riordan, Percy Jackson and the Olympians by Rick Riordan, Heroes of Olympus by Rick Riordan, Twilight by Stephenie Meyer, The Hunger Games trilogy by Suzanne Collins, All The Bright Places by Jennifer Niven, Symptoms of Being Human by Jeff Garvin. All these books are on Audible.
What is your favourite place that you’ve visited, and where would you most like to visit?
My favorite place I’ve visited has to be the ocean and I would love to visit Scotland.
Which celebrity would you most like to meet and why?
I would love to meet the author Rick Riordan because he is my all time favorite author! I’d love to be able to talk to him about all his books and to ask questions about them.
What is your biggest achievement so far?
At the moment two of my biggest achievements are my blog and YouTube.
Where do you see yourself in 5 years?
In 5 years I hope to be a published author, in a relationship, having a guide dog, and having a job as a dog trainer.
What is your disability and what effect does it have on your daily life?
I’m visionally impaired and have been since birth because I was born premature. My eye condition is called Retinopathy of Prematurity (ROP). I have a partially detached retina in my left eye and a fully detached retina in my right. I have low vision in my left and zero vision in my right eye.
Some ways this affects my daily life are that I wear sunglasses that help my eye adjust from going inside to outside and vice versa. I even wear sunglasses on overcast days because of the glare. I use a cane to help me get around. I can read large print for short amounts of time, but read mostly in braille. I have to get shopping assistance when I go to stores by myself.
What assistive aids and technology (if any) do you use?
I have my BrailleNote Orbit Reader 20, along with the screen reader VoiceOver on my iPad and iPhone, I use reading glasses when I draw, and I use the screen reader NVDA on my laptop.
What are the biggest misconceptions or common questions that people have about your disability?
The biggest misconception about bing visionally impaired is that people think we have to look a certain way! I’ve never had anyone personally say this to me, but I want others to know you don’t have to look a certain way to be visionally impaired, and to dress however you want to!
One question I get a lot is if my glasses have prescription and the answer is no, I just wear them to protect my eyes.
What one piece of advice would you give to others about interacting with visually impaired or disabled people?
My advice for people interacting with us is to treat us like everyone else, and to please describe something that’s visual when we ask about it, or if you know for sure we can’t see it to just go ahead and describe it unprompted.
Social Media Links
You can (and should!) follow Chelsey on:
Thank you again to Chelsey for the exchange of interviews. And, as ever, if anybody else wants to do something like this with me, let me know!