How I See (RNIB #HowISee Campaign)

One of the common misconceptions about those of us with visual impairments is that we have no sight at all. It’s as if some people think eyesight is on or off, like flicking a light switch. I’ve had people assume this about me in the past, and have even had people telling others that I’m blind, because they don’t know how to explain it properly.

But the fact is that 93% of people who are registered partially sighted or blind can see something. Every single visually impaired person sees the world in their own unique way, some better than others. It’s a huge spectrum. So don’t assume that a visually impaired person cannot see at all, because 93% of the time you’ll be wrong.

The RNIB are spreading awareness of this simple fact using their #HowISee campaign. They have been asking people to make short videos about how they see, and this is my contribution. It’s had a big reaction on Twitter and Facebook already, so please do feel free to share it and help spread the message.

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Warriors & Wizards, Drones & Dinners, Crafts & Chocolate

This past week has been a very busy one, as I’ve been to an audio described exhibition, an audio described theatre show, a football field for a Youtube project, a new social group, a craft show and a chocolate show. So Iin this post I want to summarise it all and bring my activities up to date.

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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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Speaking at the Nystagmus Network Open Day

On Saturday, I attended the Nystagmus Network‘s Open Day in Birmingham, the first time I’ve ever been to an event of this nature. The only time I’ve previously met a group who share one of my eye conditions was after Sight Village last year, when I got together with a handful of people with aniridia in a coffee shop. And that was wonderful, but this weekend’s event was on a much bigger scale. This time, I was going to a big conference for people with nystagmus with hundreds of people in attendance. And I was very much looking forward to.

However, I was also nervous, because I had been invited to be one of the speakers – making this the first time I would ever give a talk in public about myself. I wrote in my last post about how this came about, and how I prepared for it. So now I want to tell you about the day itself and how it went. You can also see a vlog from the weekend on my Youtube channel.

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Fashioneyesta & The Five Murders

Although the Open House VocalEyes tours I did last weekend were great fun, the highlight of the weekend came on Sunday evening, when I got to meet the exquisite Emily Davison from Fashioneyesta for the second time. If you missed it, our first meeting was at Knole Park on the August Bank Holiday Monday (which Emily vlogged as well).

This time, the plan was to have something to eat and then go on a Jack The Ripper walking tour. And we had a lovely time.

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Guildford, Matisse & Guernsey

September is proving to be the busiest month of the year so far, and in a good way. So I’m having to do a few posts in quick succession to catch up with various bits and pieces. I’ve already posted about the music and drama day I did a couple of weeks ago, and now I want to tell you a bit about my visits to Guildford and The Royal Academy Of Arts, and my holiday to Guernsey.

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Box Set Review – Sgt Pepper (The Beatles)

Following on from my Def Leppard Hysteria boxset review, I now want to do a review of the 50th anniversary box set of the Beatles album Sgt Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band. This follows on from the unboxing video that I did of the set recently.

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