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

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

Purple Tuesday UK: Accessible Shopping

by Chelsey Zumpano

Chelsey wearing a purple sweater, purple leggings, purple cat-eye glasses, and gray boots. She has her orange, blue, and yellow cane in her right hand.

Purple Tuesday is on November 13th in the UK and is an accessible shopping day for those of us with disabilities. I think this is a great starting point and should be an on going thing! Now I’m not in the UK, but I’m in the US and I’m going to give some of my tips to make shopping accessible for us blind.

1 Treat us like everyone else and ask us if we need help when we walk in the store.

2 Say I’m looking for a sweater and you say, “It’s over there.” Yeah don’t do that! Take me to the sweaters by doing sighted guide, “my hand on your arm just above your elbow.” I can also follow you or you can tell me where the sweaters are by saying, “The sweaters are to racks to your left.”

3 If I ask what colors you have, then you describe them to me. Don’t just say, “it’s purple.” Say, “It’s dark purple with red tones.”

4 Then when I’m paying let me know where the card reader is. I can put my pin in myself, and let me know if it asks me for cash back. If the keypad doesn’t have the little dot on the five, I’ll do credit instead. Then you will direct me where to sign.

5 Please let me know what bag you put the receipt in. When handing me the bags make sure you hand me both handles.

6 When shopping online please have ALT text on your pictures and this allows you to add image desscriptions. Make sure image descriptions are extremely detailed, from the style of the outfit, to the color, if it has any graphics, lace, if the jeans have holes, or if the shirt falls off one sholder.

7 Make sure all the links are readable with a screen reader and able to be clicked on when using a screen reader.

If you have any tips leave them in the comments and if you went shopping today let me know what you got.

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

viblindresources@gmail.com

An Idea To Help Us Blind and Others With Disabilities During Disasters! #LetsStartTheConversation

by Chelsey Zumpano

With all the fires going on here in California: there needs to be something to help us with disabilities! A lot of us with disabilities can’t drive and there for when something like these fires are going on we can get traped! We need a service that can come check on us during an emergency and make sure we have some way to get out, then if not they can provide a ride to a safe place.

This service can be provided if your on social security, (SSI and SSD), if you were recently released from the hospital after surgery or some other health problem that means it would make it hard to leave in a hurry, people that have a Dial-A-Ride card, people who are in a wheel chair, people who have a seeing-eye-cane, people who have a service dog or emotional support animal, and more.

You might be wondering, “but how is this going to work?” It would be a volunteer service and the volunteers would check on the clients during a voluntary evacuation and if the client wanted to leave then they’d take them to somewhere safe, (which could be the volunteers’ home). We’d spread the word about this service at all different organizations.

In the mean time here is a list of things you can pack in an emergency!

1 water

2 nonperishaple food

3 gummy candy/something sweet for low blood sugar

4 first aid kit

5 a pair of PJs

flashlight and batteries, (even if your blind because you can use it to get others attention).

7 extra food/water for your service dog

My prayers and thoughts go out to everyone who has been effected by the fires. I hope this is helpful and if anyone does want to help me with this project send an email to:

viblindresources@gmail.com

Should I use a handicap placard?

By Chelsey Zumpano

To use or not to use that is the question!

I personally use one and I’m not in a wheel chair. And that’s the thing you do not have to use a wheeel chair, you just have to have a disability.

There are many benefits of using a handycap placard such as…

1 knowing exactly where the car is

2 being able to avoid walking through a busy parking lot

3 if there’s an emergency and I need to get out of the store, but can’t find the person I’m with, I can find the car

4 If i’m having a panic attack and need to get out quickly the car is near by

Here some qualifications for California.

• Your mobility is severely disabled because of a disease or disorder

• rictedddddddddddd by lung disease, specifically with a forced expiratory volume (FEV) for 1 second, when measured by spirometry, is less than 1 liter or your arterial oxygen tension is less than 60mm/hg at rest

• You’re missing or loss the use of one or both hands

• You have a significant impairment, are missing or loss the use of one or both legs

• You have vision issues, such as low vision orblindness s

This info comes from disability-benefits-help.org

How do you apply?

You go to your Department of motor vehicles,(DMV), and get an application or you can print one offf line. Your doctor does have to verify your disability.

A handycap placard might not be right for you if you use public transportation every where, but you might like it if you get rides with other people. If you want one, the choice is completely up to you.

Let me know your thoughts in the comments and if you want to contribute to this blog or YouTube channel send an email to: viblindresources@gmail.com