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

A Clean Room: A Clear Mind

by Chelsey Zumpano

I just got through cleaning my room and it feels nice to have everything in it’s place and a place for everything. Having a clean room makes me feel less stressed. Knowing where all my art supplies is means I can make more art. It also means that my desk is less cluttered.

I feel like I can focus better on projects and now I have cool stuff displayed on my cabinet, which will look cool in videos. I just have to get a new curtain and it’ll look even greater.

Cleaning my room will help me sleep better, work on more videos, do art projects like I said, find my clothes better because my closet was getting unorganized, and just hanging out in my room. It’s like when my room was messy and unorganized: my brain was messy and unorganized too. My brain would jump from one thing to the next and now I’ll be able to focus.

Let me know what helps you focus in the comments.

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

Find What Works For Your Anxiety!

by Chelsey Zumpano

I have anxiety and here is a list of coping skills that help me and might help you.

1 Fidget Toys give me something else to focus on.

2 YouTube has given me an outlet for some of my feelings and has helped me to become more confident.

3 Writing and that’s whether I’m writing on this blog, fanfiction, original books, or in my journal.

4 My animals help me to feel calm and safe.

5 Talking to friends and family.

6 Yoga and I do this with the ‘Eyes Free Fitness’ app that is completely accessible!

7 Taking deep breaths when I start to feel panicky.

8 Knowing your triggers and coming up with coping skills to help with them.

9 Having friends who get it!

10 having a book to fall into!

IF you want to learn more about some of my coping skills watch my mental Health playlist.

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

viblindresources@gmail.com

Let me know what coping skills help you!

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

It’s All About The Little Things

by Chelsey Zumpano

These days kids, teens, and adults, (myself included), care what random people on the internet think. When you have a Blog and YouTube channel, you want people to follow, like and subscribe to you, so you can get the word out about your posts. You get discouraged when others have more followers then you. A thing we should all remember is that it’s not a competition and to be thankful for the followers we do have!

Have you ever thought of it this way: we have all these different platforms and followers on each! Each follower is a person that likes your content. They may not always comment on your posts, but they are there in the background cheering you on!

I didn’t create this Blog or YouTube to be come popular on the internet or be liked, but what I did want to do is help people and show that they are never alone! Everyone wants to be noticed, to feel valid, to feel like people care, and that’s okay! I feel that way to! But the thing is you shouldn’t put pressure on yourself to get a bunch of likes or followers. My advice is to just keep doing what your doing and to not worry about how many followers you have. Remember the people who truly know you are your biggest fans!

And speaking of biggest fans: I asked my little cousin who his favorite superhero was and he said me. It was super adorable and the highlight of my day!

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

viblindresources@gmail.com

Books Bring Joy!

by Chelsey Zumpano

Everyone knows I’m a major bookworm, but did you know that November is Family literacy Month! In addition to reading us stories my mom told us stories like ‘Hansel and Gretel,’ but with us as the characters. I was so into stories that I use to talk to myself about what I did that day to help myself fall asleep.

Some books that stick out to me from when we were little are this one about to little cats who were expecting a little sibling and my mom read this to me and my twin brother before my sister was born. There were more like ‘If You Give A Mouse A Cookie,’ ‘If You Give A Pig A Pancake,’ ‘The Old Woman Who swallowed A Fly,’ ‘the Little Woman Who Lived In A Shoe,’ ‘Ramona Quinby,’ ‘Junie B Jones,’ and much more! One of the first ever Audio books I’ve read was ‘Sarah Plain and Tall’ and from there I was hooked on Audible! I grew to fall in love with reading and eventually I read ‘Harry Potter’ in braille. In seventh grade my mom read me ‘Twilight’ and I fell in love with Stephenie Meyer’s world. ‘Twilight’ helped me through my eye surgery I had that year by giving me a chance to get out of my head and into Bella’s for awhile.

After that I read ‘The House of Night series’ ‘percy Jackson and The Olympians,’ leading me to fall in love with the rest of Rick Riordan’s books.

Books have shaped me so much that I’ve written some of my own that you will hopefully see soon. So read to your kids and you’ll never know how it could shape their life.

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

5 Things I’m Thankful For

by Chelsey Zumpano

I know it’s my 5th day in, but here are afew things I’m thankful for.

1 my BrailleNote Orbit Reader 20 because with out this writing blog posts would be hard. I’m able to read and write on my Ipad and Iphone via bluetooth with out straining my eyes. I can get better at spelling and grammar. I can edit my posts better and actually do spell check.

2 My Amazon Echo is great to ask how to spell words or to define them. Also listen to all my music on her and I’ve created some writing playlists.

3 With my Ipad and Iphone I read and write using VoiceOver. I can film and edit videos.

4

My braille writer is awesome because I make labels, transcribe my book, and right out story ideas. I also can teach people how to write braille.

5 With my cane I’m more confident and I can walk faster. She helps me to be indeppendent and to help people notice me.

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

viblindresources@gmail.com

VIBlind Good List

Chelsey Zumpano: greetings everyone I have decided to write a VIBlind Version of “The Good List

because yes there are many good things about being visually impaired.

1. Braille- I can read in the dark

2. Being able to do my make up without having to look in the mirror therefore I can do my make up anywhere I want!

3. Not judging people for how they look, but for their personality and how they treat others!

4. Guide dog- someday I will be able to walk confidently with a guide dog by my side, it will be amazing to have a constant companion who keeps me safe!

5. Helping people- if I wasn’t visually impaired I would not have created this website and I wouldn’t be able to help people like I hope I am.

Now here’s my friend Amanda Gene’s good list!

Hi Everyone, Chelsey, asked me to join in with her “The Good List” project. Here are my top five good reasons of being visually impaired.

1. Educate- I believe strongly in educating the general public on being visually impaired and to help burst many of the misconceptions there are surrounding our disability.

2. Determination- I believe that having a disability really gives you a lot of motivation and determination to meet your goals despite what other people may think.

3. Being Supportive- I believe that because you have a disability this makes you more supportive to the people around you no matter if they have a disability or not.

4. Technology- Let’s face it, some of our technology is pretty cool to use.

5. Guide Dogs- I don’t have a guide dog, but I have friends who have one. I think its amazing to have an animal that helps you stay safe every day.

 

Where you can follow me:

Facebook

LinkedIn

Twitter

Blog

Pinterest

Email

Instagram

YouTube

If you would like to add to this list or to contribute a blog post of your own email us:

viblindresources@gmail.com