How my Dog Has Effected My mental Health!

by Chelsey Zumpano

A close-up picture of a black and white husky with blue eyes. The picture is taken from the side and her nose is pointed to the right and her ears are up.(Picture of Hazel and picture credit goes to Chelsey Zumpano).

If you’d been following me on YouTube; you’d know that I got a puppy back in December and I’m training her to hopefully be my service dog. She does take up a lot or all my time somedays. She gives me something to do and that keeps my mind busy. She’s helped me to realize that I want to be a dog trainer.

She can be really hyper and have to find ways to keep her busy. I let her run around in the back yard, play fetch, tug of war, I take her on walks, give her bones, and puzzle toys. It took me awhile to figure those were the things that helped her. But before then she was kind of overwhelming and now she’s better. Giving Hazel a job has helped.

Some ways Hazel has helped me with my anxiety!

1 She will lay on my legs at night and that helps if I’m having a bad anxiety day.

2 She’s helped me to learn more about dogs.

3 She gives me more of a reason to go on a walk.

4 She’s helped me to not be so anxious about going to the vet.

If you want to see some more of my new coping skills; please go watch the video below.

If you have a dog tell me a funny story about him/her in the coments. If you would like to be interviewed by me or otherwise contribute to my Blog and YouTube; please send me an email to the following address. viblindresources@gmail.com

My Vision Impairment Does Not Make Me Lazy! #BrakingStereotypes #BrakingMissConceptions

by Chelsey Zumpano

This is a first in my series that will help stop stereotypes and misconceptions about having a vision impairment. This series will also be on my YouTube channel.

Today’s topic comes from my friend Amanda, (her blog and YouTube will be linked below”, and she requested to write about, “How having a vision impairment does not make us lazy!”

For me being lazy means procrastinating to do something and procrastinating so much you don’t do the thing, but that has nothing to do with my vision! It has more to do with my personality, then anything else. Farther more; there are many reasons why someone could be procrastinating about something!

1 Anxiety: for me this is the biggest facter on why I don’t do something.

2 Fear of what can be and what might not be.

3 Not having the financial means!

I also want to note that EVERYONE IS DIFFERENT AND DEALS WITH THINGS DIFFERENTLY! Please try not to compare yourself to other people and I know I’ve been guilty of doing it before, but that’s why I say try! Comparing yourself with other people will just make you feel like shit! So try to focus on you and what you can do and not on what you can’t! Don’t worry about what others are doing or how they are handling a situation! Just focus on you!

Having a vision impairment means I have to adapt how I do things!

1 Being very tactile when I train my dogs.

2 Using tide pods to do laundry.

3 Getting rides from family and friends.

4 Using my BrailleNote to type out this post.

5 Learning different techniques to do my makeup with out having to look in a mirror.

6 Having bright lights, so I can draw!

7 Using my cane when I’m walking around.

8 Watching movies with audio description or having others explain them to me.

9 Using a screan reader on my Ipad, Iphone, and computer.

10 Wearing my reading glasses when I draw.

I could go on, but I think that’s a good stopping point.

Amanda’s info.

YouTube:

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCt7ecLXRimvYFUZJ9WYYXXw

Blog:

https://amandagene.com

Please request things you would like to see in the series down in the comments!

If you’d like to be interviewed or otherwise contribute to this Blog or YouTube send an email to:

viblindresources@gmail.com

YouTube Can Be Overwhelming!

By Chelsey Zumpano

Image description: A black and white husky sleeping on her side and wearing a pink harness and gray leash.(picture creditgose to Chelsey Zumpano).

As you might know I started a new series on YouTube called “30 Days of Hazel,” about training my husky puppy. Well I don’t have the energy or time to edit a video each day! It’s hard to do that when you have a little puppy to take care of. Sometimes it’s over whelming to be on camera and sometimes Hazel doesn’t want to be on camera either.

I can write a blog post easier and edit it whereever. That’s why I was able to do Nanowrimo back in November. Part of why I’m feeling overwhelmed is because I’m recording and editing the videos all in one day, so I need to give myself a few days to catch up on recording. I originally was going to do 30 consecutive days, but I’m not sure if I can do that. I might just shoot for one day a week uploads and just record through out the week, (since I’m following a 30 day training book).

While you wait for me to upload: please go watch and vote by liking my video,Let’s shadow! #HolmanPrize2019,” so I can help increase employment opportunities for our community!

If you’d like to be interviewed or otherwise contribute to this Blog or YouTube send an email to:

viblindresources@gmail.com

Let’s Talk About Independence!

by Chelsey Zumpano

Hey there, I’m back! I was sick last week and so I had no energy, ( or voice and I sounded like a smocker) to post anything! Now on to today’s post!

People thingk to be independent you have to be living on your own by 18 and then some people in the blind community think you have to be traveling completely on your own and taking public transportation. Well you know what? Being independent is different for everyone.

For me I don’t feel comfortable enough to take the bus by myself because there are to many creeps in this world. Instead I can take Dial-A-Ride, (a bus service for people who have a disability), and they pick me up at the door. I can also get rides from family. Part of being an adult, (for me), and being independent is to know what I am or am not comfortable with.

Ways I’m Independent!

1 I take care of my puppy, (Hazel).

2 I do my own laundry.

3 I edit and upload my YouTube videos.

4 I write and edit my Blog posts.

5 I’ve learned coping skills for my anxiety.

6 I know how to make meatloaf and mash potatoes.

7 I can bake cookies and brownies.

Ways I Can Become More Independent!

1 Taking Hazel for a walk by myself.

2 Taking Dial-a-Ride to the pet store.

3 Making, (my cat), Audrey an appointment to get spade.

Let me know some ways you are independent in the comments below.

Also if you haven’t already, please go vote by liking my YouTube video to help increase employability for us who are blind.

https://youtu.be/33856OamJhU

If you’d like to be interviewed or otherwise contribute to this Blog or YouTube send an email to:

viblindresources@gmail.com

Learning What It’s Like to be a Mom!

by Chelsey Zumpano

If you watched my most recent vlog, (https://youtu.be/uuxluBohc5M), you’d know I got a new puppy. Her name is Hazel and She’s a husky/pit mix. She’s a sweetheart, she wants to play with all the cats and my other two dogs. She’s great with little kids and babies. The only thing is she cries when I leave the room and when I put her in the cage.

Having a puppy is a lot like having a baby. I have to get up with her in the midle of the night, potty train her, wake up when she does, feed her on schedule, and right now I have to watch her 24/7. I don’t have any free time to myself unless she’s sleeping or chewing on her bone. I love training and playing with her. She’s great and has taught me to be responsible.

I haven’t had a baby animal in my room sense Katniss and Audrey were kittens and they lived in my room for the first few months. Having a puppy is a lot different because cats are more independent and could be left alone for short amounts of time. I can’t leave Hazel alone at all. At the moment I have someone watch her when I go places or take her with me.

But It’s all worth it! She gives me something to do every day and she brings more joy to my life.

Hazel has taught me a lot about what it’s like being a mom; it’s hard work, but I know I can do it!

If you would like to be interviewed or otherwise contribute to this blog or YouTube send an email to:

viblindresources@gmail.com

Why I Don’t Use the Word Sighted or Disabled #ControversialThoughts

by Chelsey Zumpano

A lot of my fellow VI/blind people use the word “sighted” when talking about people who don’t have a vision impairment. But I’ve never really used this word before. First off I want to say that I do not care if you use it! You do whatever feels right for you.

One of the reasons I don’t use “sighted” is because I still have sight, (limited sight in one eye, but still sight), and there for it doesn’t feel right for me to use that word. The second reason is that people use the word negatively and that sticks in my brain. They also use it as if it’s the only thing about them that matters! People do this the same with our blindness and that’s never okay! Treat others how you want to be treated and try to help others understand us.

I’m okay with using the word “disability.” To quote myself, “I have a disability, but my disability does not have me!” I prefer to put the person before the disability and you might say, but you’ve put “blind girl” in the titles of your YouTube videos? That’s because I want people to see that and not feel alone. Yes, i’d rather write “girl who is blind,” but sometimes that doesn’t flow right. We shouldn’t just refer to people just by one part of them because we are all people with feelings and lives beyond that one thing! I want people to know that you are more then just one part of yourself. you are many parts that adds up into one person.

The thing is I never refer to myself as being disabled: I usually say, “I’m visionally impaired or I have a vision impairment and that I have anxiety.” (And yes, I consider my anxiety a disability). I don’t like using the word “disable” because for me it sounds negative and like I can’t do anything. I never see my vision as an obstacle to get over and I just have to do some things differently, but you know what? Everyone does things differently! Everyone learns differently, has different shoe sizes, has different favorite movies, likes different foods, and that has nothing to do with a disability.

I use to use the word “differently abled” and I might start using it again. This word sounds more positive and includes everyone. It sounds better to me, then “disabled or even disability.

Let me know your thoughts in the comments.

If you would like to be interviewed or otherwise contribute to this blog or YouTube send an email to:

viblindresources@gmail.com

What Is Normal?

by Chelsey Zumpano

I hate the word normal! It implies you have to be a certain way or there’s something wrong with you! I use average because it’s a spectrum. If I’m going to say somethings “normal,” I’ll usually say it’s “my normal” because that thing or situation is my experience. Another reason I don’t say “normal” is because it generalizes a situation or group of people.

Much like lables “being normal” puts pressure on us. My advice to anyone who’s struggling right now is to be yourself and be kind to others, try to understand what others are going through. Being kind to others is hard for some people to do and that’s not okay! The same going for understanding what people are going through! My personal opinion is that as long as no one is hurting anyone, then just let them live their life and give them some respect.

If you would like to be interviewed or otherwise contribute to this blog or YouTube send an email to:

viblindresources@gmail.com

5 Things You Didn’t Know About Me

by Chelsey Zumpano

1 I’ve thought about being a lawyer for disability rights.

2 I use to hate musicals and now I listen to the Hamilton soundtrack.

3 We had a bunny for a little while and they are fast little animals.

4 I had a black cat named Oreo; he was very fluffy and he was a hunter.

5 I wanted to owner train a guide dog, but decided against it because of financial reasons and the fact I wasn’t confident enough in my O and M skills.

If you would like to be interviewed or otherwise contribute to this blog or YouTube send an email to:

viblindresources@gmail.com

Happy Thanks Giving and What I’m Thankful For Part 3

by Chelsey Zumpano

I’m writing this while the delicious smell of turkey fills my house. Here’s another list of what I’m thankful for.

1 I’m surrounded by a loving family. My family is all healthy and happy.

2 My animals may drive us all crazy sometimes, but I love them anyway.

4 That I have a ruth over my head and food to eat.

5 I’m thankful for this Blog and YouTube and that I’m able to educate and help people with every new post.

6 I’m thankful for every new follower, like, subscriber, comment, and share.

7 I’m thankful for my vision and the fact that being legally blind means I get to help others in our community.

8 My cane helps me get around and for people to recognize me as blind.

9 My coping skills for my anxiety is something I’m extremely grateful for.

10 The fact I will be applying for a guide dog very soon.

Tell me what your thankful for in the comments.

If you would like to be interviewed or otherwise contribute to this blog or YouTube send an email to:

viblindresources@gmail.com

Preparing For Thanks Giving and Some Blind Shopping Tips

by Chelsey Zumpano

Thanks Giving is tomorrow and so I have a few things to prepare. I have to figure out what dessert I’m making. I used my Amazon Alexa to tell me a crackle cookie recipe. I also found a simple chocolate pie recipe. All I have to do is get a graham cracker crust, (already made) and some chocolate pudding that I have to whisk together. I don’t even have to bake it. Then I’m going to help make mash potatos.

Some tips for when your feeling overwhelmed with people.

1 Wait in a quiet room until everyone else gets there.

2 Eat in a room with less people.

3 Enjoy yourself and have things to help calm yourself down.

here are some tips for you brave souls going out on Black Friday.

1 Take pictures of the things you are looking for and save them in your notes with what the thing is written above it.

2 Take a friend with you, it works best if they are tall so they can reach over heads to grab things.

3 Don’t be afraid to use your cane to make people move out of your way!

4 Bring a backpack to put all your items in.

5 Have your wallet already out as your in line to pay.

6 You can also ask Alexa for shopping deals and just have them delivered to you.

7 You can also look on Cyber Monday, which is on the Monday after Thanks Giving. This is only online and so you can shop from home.

Let me know what your plans are for Thanks Giving in the comments.

If you would like to be interviewed or otherwise contribute to this blog or YouTube send an email to:

viblindresources@gmail.com