Teaching Braille

by Chelsey Zumpano

I have now taught two people braille: my sister’s friend, (which you can watch on this video: Teaching Unified English Braille), and my brother’s girlfriend, (Dana). She’s a very fast learner and with in one night she could recognize all the letters. I taught her by using my copy of ‘Unified English Braille for everyone’ and showed her the alphabet,I told her what dots were for what, then I had her tell me the dots as I typed them on my BrailleNote. First I had her type on my BrailleNote, but that was hard for her, so I switched to my Braille Writer, and she did much better. I can’t wait to teach her more!

I love that Dana just simply wanted to learn because she likes learning. I think more people need to learn braille because it’s a great skill to have. If anyone else I know wants to learn braille just ask or leave a comment below.

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

viblindresources@gmail.com

What I’m Reading Right Now!

by Chelsey Zumpano

I started reading ‘Dear Evan Hansen’ last night. First off I had no idea this was a book and the only reason I new it was a musical is because I’m obsessed with ‘Waving Through A Window’. (which is the only song I’ve heard from the musical). Now that I’ve read a little of the book and listened to the song again, (which I have on repeat as I’m writing this), It’s even more sad! So far the book is good.

The next book I’m reading is ‘The Sword of Summer’ and it’s slow going because I’m trying to do a play by play of my favorite moments over on Tumblr. This is my second time reading this series, the first time I’m reading it in braille. It’s really helped me to improve my braille reading skills. The great thing about rereading is that I get to fall in love with all the characters again!

Some other books I’ve read!

• ‘Lost’ by P C and Kristin Cast

• ‘What Light’ by Jay Asher

• ‘Magnus Chase and the Gods of Asgard: 9 from the Nine Worlds’ by Rick Riordan

• ‘From the Kane Chronicles: Brooklyn House Magician’s Manual’ by Rick Riordan

• ‘Leah on the Offbeat’ by Becky Albertalli (which I’ll have a review up on my youTube soon).

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

viblindresources@gmail.com

My Most Used Apps

by Chelsey Zumpano

(I’m sorry there are no links. For some reason it wasn’t letting me use them).

1 Audible because I am a major book worm and I can listen to audio books on my Alexa, Iphone, and Ipad.

2 Facebook is where I post most things for this Blog and YouTube because it’s the most accessible.

3 YouTube because not only do I upload videos, but I also watch a lot of videos.

4 The WordPress app is what this blog is hosted through.

5 Imovie is the most accessible app to edit videos.

6 BARD is an awesome book reading service through the Library of Congress and specifically for people who are blind or have learning disabilities. This is where I’m rereading ‘Magnus Chase and the Gods of Asgard’ by Rick Riordan in braille.

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

Inspiration!

by Chelsey Zumpano

I get my best ideas when I’m in the shower or trying to sleep. I’m not really sure why about the first one, but the second is because the night is peaceful.

I love it because no one else is awake and it feels like it can stretch on forever. It’s like night is a whole nother world: one including little pockets of frozen moments. It’s magical the way night feels like anything can happen and everything will be okay. Secrets spoken aloud will stay secret forever when spoken at night. Conversations are softer, sillier and seem to stay there under the warmth of blankets. Ideas feel like fireworks going off and you have to write them now!

Another place where I get my inspiration is from books. Reading some of my favorite author’s works helps me to draw from their style of writing. Writing something baste off a seen or quote is also helpful.

I also draw inspiration from every day life, from conversations around me, cute things my animals do, moments I’ve shared, and just observing those around me. Where do you get your inspiration? Tell me 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

A Day Of Not Looking At My screen!

by Chelsey Zumpano

As a Blogger and YouTuber: I spend a lot of time looking at a screen, but this isn’t good for my eyes, (or anyones really). I read that your supposed to spend twenty minutes looking at your screen and twenty minutes looking away from it, but I did one better and didn’t look at my screen at all for two days! It really helped my eyes feel good. What I did was turn on VoiceOver and then I turned on the screen curtain. I read with my BrailleNote and listened to VoiceOver talk. It’s something I want to do all the time now.

I want to work staying off my Ipad all together and doing more things that don’t involve looking at a screen. Here is a list of hobbies to get myself off the screen.

1 walking the dogs

2 playing with the dogs

3 sewing

4 painting and drawing

5 reading on my BrailleNote

6 listening to an audio book

7 writing on my BrailleNote

9 dancing

10 learning guitar

11 doing craft projects

12 going on a bike ride

At least three of these are still on my Ipad, but the others involve me doing something else. If you have anymore ideas for me or want to share some of your own hobbies, tell me 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

Blogging vs YouTube

by Chelsey Zumpano

I’m writing this while I drink hot chocolate and cudle with audrey. I’m going to tell yall some of the things I like about YouTube and Blogging.

YouTube is easier when I just want to say something real quick and I don’t have to worry about writing for the moment. It’s easier to show you certain things in a video, like how I edit videos or how I take out and clean my fake eye, (by the way, let me know if you’d be interested in seeing a video on that)? I’m a lot more spontaneous with videos because I over think my writing. Making videos have help me to be more confident with talking.

When I’m blogging it takes longer because I’m constantly spell checking and worrying about how things sound. I can write anywhere! In a crowd of loud people, in the car, when I’m jamming out to music, and in a dark room. I feel like sometimes I can be freer with my writing, but at the same time I have to have a plan of what I’m writing. I can stay in my PJs all day and curl up with my animals. I don’t have to worry about what I’m wearing or what my hair looks like. My eyes get to take a brake.

Editing for both is a pain! I get so annoyed hearing my own voice sometimes that I have to stop for awhile. When I’m editing a blog it’s a little easier because I can ask my Alexa how to spell things. Writing these past 15 days, (Yay, I’m doing great), has taught me better spelling and that writing is easier to do when I’m feeling overwhelmed and don’t feel like being on camera.

Let me know what you think of YouTube and Blogging 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

My Experience Learning Braille

by Chelsey Zumpano

I was in kindergarten when I was first introduced to braille. They had me play with different textures that were really sofft, to ruff like sandpaper, and even played with play-doh to help with which helped with my dexterity. But my first braille teacher didn’t explain that braille was there to help me, so I didn’t like going to do it and I didn’t like how it felt at first.

I started really learning braille in third grade and this time with a better teacher. I remember using these wooden alphabet blocks that had the braille letter on one side and the print letter on the other. The braille was also made out of wood.

At first certain letters were confusing like n and z because N is dots 1 3 4 5 and z is dots 1 3 5 6, so just a few dots off from one another. D, (dots 1 4 5), and f, (dots 1 2 4), are mirror images of each other. Some more letters that are mirror images are r, (1 2 3 5), w (2 4 5 6), e (1 5), i (4 2), h (1 2 5), and j (2 4 5). But eventually I got it.

Then I moved on to punctuation and sentences. After that I moved on to grade 2 braille and learned contractions. In braille contractions are short hand, but we still use the regular print contractions like can’t, don’t and shouldn’t. Our contractions are things letter l, (by itself), standing for like, r standing for rather, d standing for do and g standing for go. Then there are others like wh standing for which, dots 2 3 d 5 6 standing for with, dots 1 2 3 5 6 standing for of, and many more.

There is also letter sign, (dots 5 6), when you use a letter by itself and a number sign, (3 4 5 6), because letters a-j are numbers.

This doesn’t include learning Unified English Braille, (UEB), which is a new braille code. I learned UEB on my own as an adult.

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

viblindresources@gmail.com

A Makeup Brand Created specifically for us Blind People!

By Chelsey Zumpano

I found this awesome company called Visionary Cosmetics, which is a makeup company specifically with us blind and visually impaired people in mind and so naturally I interviewed the creator Michael Aguilar.

1.   Why and when did you create visionary cosmetics?

I created Visionary Cosmetics after watching my mother struggle with everything from application to shade selection. I’ve had the idea for Visionary Cosmetics for a while, but after I saw what Fenty Beauty did for people of color, I knew it was time for the visually impaired community to be represented in the Beauty Industry. 

2.  What type of makeup products will you be selling for your line? 

Most products in this line can be applied using only the fingertips. We offer a foundation that includes a primer, moisturizer, serum, a B.B. cream, and a light coverage foundation, to minimize  counter space. We also offer foundations that are full coverage with medicinal properties like certain vitamins . A line of foundations for people living with albinism has also been created with medicinal properties such as sunscreen and vitamins. Each foundation line offers multiple shades. Every product is hypoallergenic and noncomedogenic. We also provide a wide range of concealers. We currently offer 3 eyeshadow palettes with easy to blend colors. We offer 11 shades in liquid and creme lipstick. Setting Powders are available in 3 shades to perfect any look. A personal favorite is the liquid highlighter, a simple product that adds a gorgeous glow to the face. The highlighter comes in natural, bronze, and gold. When the day is done, take off your makeup with our vitamin infused makeup remover. It easily removes makeup, leaving your skin feeling silky smooth. 

3. How will the products be labeled in braille?

Every piece of makeup and the packaging is labeled in Grade 2 Braille. The makeup container features the shade in braille, while the box indicates the item. 

4. will your products only be available online or will they be available in stores like Ulta? 

As of now, the products will only be available on the official Visionary Cosmetics website. 

5.  When will your products be released to the public?

The official launch date is November 1, 2018.  Pre-Orders begin October first. 

Website: visionarycosmetics.com

Email: michaelaguilar@visionarycosmetics.com

If you want to be interviewed or contribute a post on this blog or make a video for our YouTube channel send an email to: viblindresources@gmail.com