Building My New Social Network With A Visual Impairment

Last weekend, I was asked to talk at the Nystagmus Network’s Open Day about how I had been building a new social network for myself in London. It was my first time giving a public speech about myself, but it went really well. I spoke for about 15 minutes, then we had a group discussion for the next 15 minutes. It got a very positive response, and I got chatting to many people as a result of it, so I was very happy with it. I’ve written blog posts about how I prepared for it and my experience at the Open Day, as well as publishing a vlog of my trip on Youtube.

So this post is a written version of that speech, and I’ve posted a video version that I filmed on the same evening. Both are longer than the actual speech I gave at the Open Day, as without constraints on time or length I’ve been able to explain things in a bit more detail. So the actual speech was a slightly more concise version of this, although 15 minutes was still quite a bit of time to fill!

Obviously my situation is unique to me, and everyone’s circumstances will be different in their own way. I’m just giving examples of the things I’ve done. The overall aim is to show that it’s important and worthwhile to try things that interest you and grasp opportunities when they arise, as you never know what will result from them. You may have to push yourself out of your comfort zone a bit, and I know that can be easier said than done. It was a challenge for me, and it still can be sometimes. But the more you try things, the more confident you’ll get, and you’ll soon start to reap the rewards of your efforts. Otherwise, you’ll always be asking yourself ‘what if’, which is never helpful.

So I hope you enjoy reading this. Thank you to Sue Ricketts and the Nystagmus Network for asking me to share my story at the Open Day, and to all those who responded to it so well.

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Guest Post – The Best Festivals For Accessibility

This is the first guest post I’ve ever had on this blog. And it doesn’t have to be the last – if any of my blogging friends would like to collaborate on something, especially those that I already follow and enjoy, then I’m open to ideas.

This post is from the Ability Superstore Blog, where they regularly post useful advice and links for disabled people on a variety of topics – in this case talking about accessibility at music festivals. I love music and going out and about, so this is a perfect topic for me.

This is being posted at the same time as a guest post by me on their site. It’s all about how I’ve grown in confidence over the years, so please go and check it out!

Thank you so much to Natalie for inviting me to do that, and for giving me permission to reproduce her post below in return. I hope you enjoy it! 🙂

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