How Accessible is Bark Box’s Website?

by Chelsey Zumpano

The other day I was just browsing Facebook and an add popped up for super Chewer Bark Box, so I checked out. They were having a sale because of #NationalDogDay and my first box would be 5 dollars. I jumped at the chance because this box would be perfect for Hazel.

I was able to claim my coupon, then I was able to choose Hazel’s sex, type her name, choose her breed, and her weight category. Next I was able to pick my subscription and i chose six months. I was able to check out with PayPal, which made checking out a lot easier because it just used all my PayPal info.

I even got to chat with a worker and he helped me personalize the box. I told him that Hazel loves to chew, play fetch and tug, but that I’d need some bright colored balls. I also told him about her separation anxiety and that I’m training her to hopefully be my service dog. The only thing about the chat that wasn’t accessible was that I couldn’t read what I typed until after I sent it.

I will let you know what Hazel thinks of her box when it gets here.

if you would like to contribute to this blog or YouTube, please send me an email: viblindresources@gmail.com

Nominated For the Blogger Recognition Award!

by Chelsey Zumpano

Image description: part of a blue flower surrounded by pink and also in pink reads, ”blogger recognition award!”

I’ve been nominated for the Blogger Recognition Award by my friend Amanda Gene, (amandagene.com), and you should definitely check out her blog and YouTube! She writes about her vision impairment and mental health. I met her through blogging and we are now good friends, so you know blogging can bring you lots of great things.

I’ve always loved to write; either short stories or fanfiction. My blog was created to help others in my community, but now Its evolved into one of my various coping mechanisms for my anxiety. So I get to help others by sharing my stories about my vision impairment and anxiety, while helping myself.

my advice for new bloggers!

1 Write because you like it and or because it’s helping you feel better. Putting yourself out there on the internet can make you feel vulnerable; that’s why you should have a goal to accomplish. Mine is to help people.

2 Be yourself and write things you’d want to read!

I tagged the following bloggers!

1 Glin

http://welleyenever.com

2 Bold Blind Beauty

https://l.facebook.com/l.php?u=https%3A%2F%2Fboldblindbeauty.com%2F&h=AT2L4drpgIH3eXi8o1YeOcFAavYWAjT51B9PS_ogM7olZ0iX0ay4BiDIFu3F2kbCrFWiEmnK0ckK0c-SjJ1Ce4boejghY3N7VkSbDCFmLZo5YD4Pz-MQW8rQskXHO5GbWgzRdw

3 Life of a Blind Girl:

https://lifeofablindgirl.com/

4 Luke Sam Sowden:

http://www.lukesamsowden.com

5 My Blurred World:

https://myblurredworld.com/

6 Sam

https://conqueringcpblog.wordpress.com

7 Girl Gone Blind

https://girlgoneblind.com/

8 unseen beauty

https://unseen-beauty.com/

9 my life my story

https://mylifemystory862.wordpress.com/

10 The invisible vision project

http://theinvisiblevisionproject.com

Rules

1 talk about the person who tagged you.

2 Give a little bit of some information about your blog and why you started it.

3 give two pieces of advice to incoming bloggers.

4 tag 10 bloggers.

if you would like to contribute to this blog or YouTube, please send me an email: viblindresources@gmail.com

My Adventure In Kitten Sitting! #BrakingStereotypes #BrakingMissConceptions

by Chelsey Zumpano

As you might have seen in my most recent vlog, (which will be linked at the bottom), I pet sat a little kitten. Her name is Amaya, (i realize now I never called her by name in the vlog), and she was so tiny that she fit in both of my hands. She was so soft and extremely vocal. As Amaya slept I watched videos from “Kitten Lady” and she taught me lots.

1 Kittens should be fed laying on their bellies’ because if you feed them like a human they could aspirate, (get the formula in their lungs).

2 You have to stimulate the kitten to go potty by using a tissue.

3 When they are first born, (and for a few weeks or so after), kittens can’t regulate their own body temperature so you should provide a heat source.

4 Kittens open their eyes around 9 or so days old.

5 Kittens can not retracked their claws right away.

You have no idea how much I’ve wanted to foster a baby kitten her size and be able to bottle feed and with Amaya; I was able to do that. She was like having a little baby. Watching her reminded me of when I use to pet sit. It was one of the most amazing things and I’d love to foster or at least babysit again.

The Vlog!

If you’d like to be interviewed or otherwise contribute to this Blog and YouTube please send me an email to: viblindresources@gmail.com

World CP Day

by Chelsey Zumpano

(I found this interview in my drafts from last year and it must have gotten lost or something, but here it is now).

This post is in honor of world CP, (Cerebral Palsy), Day that was on October 6th, so I’m interviewing my friend and fellow Blogger and YouTuber Sam.

1 Do you have other disabilities besides CP?

Yes I have other medical conditions other than cerebral palsy. The one that stands out the most however is autism spectrum disorder and for me I fall under extremely high functioning but makes it so that I am very hyperactive. I have nystagmus ( repetitive uncontrollable eye movement) in my left eye which makes tracking very difficult. And it also means I have no depth perception in my eyes at all. Most people when they hear that I have no depth perception think that I am blind. This is not exactly true. My right eye compensates for what I cannot see, (corners, ledges, Etc). I also have kyphosis scoliosis which makes it so my back is curved not one way but both ways.

2 Do you consider yourself to have a visual impairment?impairment? Yes I do consider myself visually impaired because almost everywhere we go has something that makes it difficult for me to see what I’m doing or where I’m going. And a lot of times I have to rely on what things sound like just here in our home to know what they are. My parents joke and call me sonar because I can hear anything and everything inside the house. I am supposed to be wearing glasses. But they would only serve to enlarge things for reading or writing. They do not correct the depth perception problem which is my biggest and visual difficulty.

3 How Does CP effect your dayly life?

CP does affect my everyday life and it will indefinitely. This is something I will live with for the rest of my life. And here are some of the ways that it affects me personally. I am wheelchair-bound and have never been able to walk. However once a week I do attend and intensive course of physical therapy. The purpose of this is to better my balance and eventually make it so that my ability to accomplish simple everyday tasks such as pulling myself up to a sit or stand position is made easier so that I can transfer on my own someday. I need help with almost everything in my daily life. Anything from toileting to making a meal I need help with. My family does their absolute best to encourage me to be independent regardless of the fact I need help with just about everything in my life. On a regular basis my mom and I both take care of my animals and do the gardening together. Just doing that is usually enough to exhaust me even after 2 hours of being in my wheelchair. CP is very difficult because even just two hours sitting up is like somebody able-bodied doing a whole day’s workout. Despite the fact of the difficulty of this condition, I still do find time and space Within a day or week to do one to two outside the house activities. My favorites include Church, shopping, and actually believe it or not, physical therapy.

4 Do you use any assistive technology?

Yes I use several assistive devices to get through a day. The biggest of which is my power chair…. By the way just FYI for anybody out there never use the term Electric chair to describe a power chair. It is not only disrespectful it will put negative connotation in somebody’s head that does not understand what you’re talking about. If you want to use those words use the words electric wheelchair. Never just electric chair alone. Other than my power chair I actually do use my cell phone for a lot of my needs throughout the day. For example just to turn my light on and off we have a specific light bulb in my ceiling fan from the homebrite company. The light bulb connects to a mesh which connects 2 an application on my phone… This allows me to independently from my bed turn the light on and off when I need it. Also my everyday life has simple things in it for example our frigerator has the fridge side door is broke into two sections. It is one that has a smaller door with the Press of a button in the top and then you close that to open the Charger door which opens the entire refrigerator. Our freezer has an ice machine attached to it which also has a water machine attached to it and helps me get water when I need it. Instead of running to a sink faucet several hours a day. My television in my room is a smart television for many different reasons. It has the capability to actually tell me what I’m clicking on without having to see it. But as for other medical equipment I use a hospital bed at the moment. This is helpful with positioning myself when I don’t want to ask for help period that comes in handy especially late at night when everybody’s asleep. I have a laptop here at home that helps me right longer letter is when I cannot get my wrists to operate. The computer also has tell it type it features as well as the other Target features I have mentioned on my phone and television.

5 How do your dogs help you?

My dogs are my world. My oldest Lylah and youngest is a boxer named Dixie. Lylah is an ESA and Dixie is the family dog. They are 15 weeks apart. Both help me with my anxiety disorders. Without them I wouldn’t be able to make it through the day.

6 What advice do you have for others who want to start YouTube or a blog?

The advice I would give to anyone trying to start a social media such as a blog or a YouTube channel is to just be yourself. Be as honest. Don’t pressure yourself to put something out there every day. Well I’m not as active as I would like on these platforms as made for myself, that does not take away from the fact that they remain active. Many people still love to read or watch my content. And so many are inspired by it. And as anyone will see on my blog page my goal and all of this was to encourage and style and uplift anybody who read or watched any content I put out there.

Blog:

https://conqueringcpblog.wordpress.com

YouTube: https://m.youtube.com/channel/UCTZZ5sZP-RD8qvsz0cb0n3g?reload=9

My Favorite LGBTQ Books

by Chelsey Zumpano

Since pride month is going to be over tomorrow; I figured I’d give you some of my favorite LGBTQ books.

1 Magnus Chase and the Gods of Asgard by Rick Riordan

I had to put this one first on the list because although it’s not an LGBTQ centered book; it does have Alex Fierro. She/he is my all time favorite character ever! She’s gender fluid and transgender; she mostly uses she/her pronouns, (until stated otherwise). When Alex first meets Magnus and the others; she just comes out and it’s not a big deal.

“I’ll admit that I was staring. Suddenly my whole perspective had flipped inside out, like when you look at an inkblot picture and see just the black part. Then your brain inverts the image and you realize the white part makes an entirely different picture, even though nothing has changed. That was Alex Fierro, except in pink and green. A second ago, he had been very obviously a boy to me. Now she was very obviously a girl.”

— Magnus Chase, The hammer of Thor by Rick Riordan

The thing I love about Alex is that even though she’s a shape shifter his gender doesn’t change like that. Alex’s gender identity isn’t the only part of her character, she likes hiking, books, and he’s the love intrest for Magnus. The thing I love about Magnus’ crush on Alex is the fact he likes her when she’s a girl and when he’s a boy. Magnus never says what his sexuality is and he simply likes Alex. It isn’t until Alex kisses him at the end that he thinks, “Alex is a boy right now and I’m okay with that…,” or something along those lines.

This is one of those book series I can find myself living in and coming back to again and again.

2 Carry On

It’s one of those books where boy likes boy who thinks he’s ploting to kill him. Yeah, enemies to lovers aren’t my favorite type of story to read because the realationship isn’t the healthiest out there. But Baz and Simon’s relationship isn’t that bad. A lot of people say “Carry On” is the gay Harry Potter because it’s got magic and war and a big prophecy. I like the magic system and will probley make a blog or video more about it. For right now the thing I really love about this book is that even though Baz is supposed to hate his roommate and his family has tried to have him kill Simon; he still has a crush on him from when they first meet at 11. Even though Simon believes that Baz is out to get him he still helps him find his mother’s killer. At the beginning of the book Baz gets kidnaped and the only thing that helps him through it was thinking of Simon; like that’s how far gone in love with this boy he is. Simon’s love for Baz comes into prospective slower. But the one thing I love about this book is that at the end Simon’s therapist says that it’s okay if he doesn’t figure out his sexuality and that he doesn’t have to.

“I let myself slip away… Just to stay sane. Just to get through it. And when I felt myself slipping too far, I held on to the one thing I’m always sure of – Blue eyes. Bronze curls. The fact that Simon Snow is the most powerful magician alive. That nothing can hurt him, not even me. That Simon Snow is alive. And I’m hopelessly in love with him.” 
 Rainbow Rowell, Carry On

3 Annie On My Mind

I love the fact that the two girls are best friends who slowly fall in love. It does talk about coming out and others reactions to their relationship, but it’s mainly about them falling in love. I just find this book beautiful and messy.

“There’s a Greek legend—no, it’s in something Plato wrote—about how true lovers are really two halves of the same person. It says that people wander around searching for their other half, and when they find him or her, they are finally whole and perfect. The thing that gets me is that the story says that originally all people were really pairs of people, joined back to back, and that some of the pairs were man and man, some woman and woman, and others man and woman. What happened was that all of these double people went to war with the gods, and the gods, to punish them, split them all in two. That’s why some lovers are heterosexual and some are homosexual, female and female, or male and male.” 
 Nancy Garden, Annie on My Mind

4 Symptoms of Being Human

This is about a teen who is gender fluid, (I’m not sure of what pronouns Riley uses, for now I’m going to use they/them), and they are dealing with trying to except themself. I do want to add a trigger wornning for sexual assault. It’s probably one of the first books I read where a character has anxiety and Riley just is very relatible, (even though I’m comfortable in the body I was born with), they just speak to me as a character.

“As for wondering if it’s okay to be who you are–that’s not a symptom of mental illness. That’s a symptom of being a person.” 
 Jeff Garvin, Symptoms of Being Human

5 The Trials of Apollo

I love Apollo because he really grows as a character. I have major feelings about this book series and specifically “The Burning Maze”, it just mest me up! (I’ll probably do a whole video on all the books at once. Apollo is Bisexual and makes no secret about it. Then there’s his son Will and his boyfriend Nico, (they are so adorible and it’s great to see Nico happy). Then there’s Emmy and Joe, (probably spelt their name’s wrong), but they are Lesbians and they have a kid together.

“Nothing is more tragic than loving someone to the depths of your soul and knowing they cannot and will not ever love you back.” 
 Rick Riordan, The Hidden Oracle

Here are some videos of mine about some LGBTQ characters.

1 Percy Jackson and the Olympians/heroes of Olympus review

2 WHY I ADMIRE ALEX FIERRO!

3 https://youtu.be/JZI2ql1PBWY

4 Book review of the ship of the dead By Rick Riordan

5 Love Simon versus Simon versus the Homo sapiens agenda

6 Book review of I’ll Give You The Sun by Jandy Nelson

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

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

Review Of Postmates!

by Chelsey Zumpano

Food delivery apps are all the rage right now. They are especially great for us who can’t drive! It gives me more independence and the ability to order food when I’m by myself!

The app I used is called “Postmates,” and I used it for the first time by myself today! I used VoiceOver on my Iphone to make the order and I was able to click and read all the opptions. I ordered me a sandwich from Subway and everything was correct. The only problem that I’ve found is the app won’t let you do anything if you didn’t leave a tip and the opption won’t go away unless you click on a tip.

It’s great feeling to be able to do something by yourself that you would otherwise need someone to do for you.

I’m sorry it’s been way to long sense I’ve updated the blog, Hazel has kept me busy. I also want to let you know about a new series here and on my YouTube channel. The series is about stopping stereotypes for us who are blind, so send me some in the comments and I’ll do a video or blog about it.

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