Guide Dog Access Denials

I don’t have a guide dog, because I can see well enough not to need one. But I have many friends who do use them, and I would certainly consider applying for one if my sight ever deteriorated to a level where it might be useful. They are the most beautiful and amazing animals, and I have a lot of respect and admiration for them, and for those who train and use them. They aren’t just pets, they’re a real lifeline to their owners, enabling so much freedom and independence.

And yet, sadly, there are still people out there who don’t understand or respect guide dogs or the blind people who need them – something which has, yet again, become clear in the past few days.

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Growing In Confidence

A summary of this post was featured in Scope’s blog for Anti-Bullying Week.

Today I wanted to look back at how my confidence has developed over the years, after a difficult start. At home it’s never been a problem – my parents are both visually impaired, so they and my relatives have always been understanding and supportive from the outset. But away from the family, it hasn’t always been as easy. I’ve also made a video about my school days which relates closely to this post.

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No Offence

One of the things that some non-disabled people find surprising about me is that I’m not easily offended, and that I’m more than happy to make jokes at my own expense. I touched on that point fleetingly in my previous post, but I wanted to go into it a little more.

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The Language of Visual Impairment

Today, through a link on Facebook, I saw an old blog post called Mind Your Language on the Action for Blind People website. It’s an interesting analysis of the type of language used to describe people’s disabilities.

I personally describe myself as ‘visually impaired’ or ‘partially sighted’, as it succinctly describes what I am (and I am registered as ‘partially sighted’ with my local council).

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Giving A Best Man Speech

In this post I want to write about being Best Man at my best friend’s wedding last year. I’ve also uploaded a video version, featuring photos of me in my grey suit on the day.

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An Awkward Bus Trip

Recently a friend and I went to see the new Star Wars film (The Force Awakens). The Star Wars films involve a lot of travelling across the galaxies, but we had a difficult journey ourselves trying to get to see it.

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Living with Nystagmus

Following on from my previous post about Aniridia, I want to use this post to talk about another condition I have – Nystagmus (specifically Congenital Nystagmus, meaning I’ve had it since birth, as I have with Aniridia).

As mentioned in my Aniridia post, I’ve had my visual impairments all my life, so I’m used to them and have adapted to them. They certainly haven’t stopped me living a happy and successful life – and others deal with it very well too, including TV’s Richard Osman. So these posts aren’t intended to be negative. I just want to describe the main effects they have on me.

I’ve also made a video about living with the condition, which may help to explain things further.

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