Room 101 – My Visually Impaired Frustrations

An edited version of this post appears on the RNIB Connect website.

For this post, I thought I’d do something a bit like the TV show Room 101 (where celebrities nominate their pet hates to be locked away forever). It’s named after the torture chamber in George Orwell’s novel 1984, which is said to contain “the worst thing in the world”. We also had a Room 101 at my college which was rather memorable, because it was the examinations office! So that felt both appropriate and ominous!

So I wanted to do a post along those lines, using it as an excuse to list some things that frustrate or irritate me because I have a visual impairment. I’ve also made a Youtube video to accompany it. It’s not at all intended to be offensive or to upset anyone, and I’m not a negative or moaning person. I’m actually very positive, as I’ve hopefully conveyed throughout this blog. But it’s nice to get some things off your chest now and again, and to try and spread a bit of awareness in the process.

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Meeting Elvis at the Museum & Marathon

Being visually impaired, one of the things I’m naturally keen to do is get to know other people with sight loss in London now that I’ve moved here. And I’ve already met a few such people individually, and have plans to meet others, so I’ve made a good start. But in this past week I took another important step by meeting up with a local social group for people with sight loss for the first time.

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Virgin Territory

I’ve been in London for just over a month now, and so far things are going well. As anticipated and hoped, it’s been a much needed and refreshing change of routine, and the last few weeks have been pretty busy as you can imagine. As I result, I’ve got a few posts I want to do on various aspects of the past month, so this is the first one.

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Audio Description On Youtube #AudioDescribeYT

In this post and video I want to describe what audio description is, how it is useful for the blind and visually impaired, and why it’s high time we should be able to add it to Youtube videos. This is in support of the #AudioDescribeYT campaign, launched by James Rath.

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Audio Description & DVD Navigation

I’ve just received, and have happily started watching, Doctor Who Series 9 on Blu-ray, for which I’ve written a review post. But coming from a visually impaired person’s perspective, I’m very pleased to see they’re continuing with audio navigation and audio description on the discs. Sherlock gets the same treatment as well.

I personally find it very useful for pointing out smaller details that I’ve missed, and for reading text on the screen that I would otherwise have to pause and squint at to read, among other things. But it’s frustrating that such audio assistance isn’t much more widespread. So I thought I’d quickly explain what it is and why it’s useful.

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Journal – November 2005

March 2021 Introduction:

Here’s another month of entries from my old journal. This time I had a lot of fun visiting my best mate to celebrate his 21st birthday, so that was the main thing to report on. I was also assessed for support I might be able to get for work because of my visual impairment, there were lots of DVDs coming out in the run up to Christmas that I was keen to get, and we had Children In Need and other delights on TV. So there’s a variety of things here as usual, and I hope you enjoy!

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Journal – November 2002

August 2020 Introduction:

Here are some more extracts from my old Bolt journal. You know what to expect by now – university work, socialising, CDs, DVDs, gaming, TV, etc. This wasn’t a very eventful month, but I did share a couple of interesting top 100 lists, and my favourite moments from Children In Need, among other little bits and pieces. So I hope you enjoy!

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