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 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

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

We Need Representation!

by Chelsey Zumpano

A girl walking in the ocean with her white cane out in front of her. She is wearing a red baseball hat, her brown hair in a ponytail, purple sun glasses, Christmas tree earrings, a purple sweater, and blue jeans.

(painting credit goes to Chelsey Zumpano).

Representation is extremely important because it allows you to see yourself in that character, to identify with their experiences, to have a character just like you, and to not feel alone. I know of a lot of LGBTQ representation from Korra and Assami who are bisexual and girlfriends from The Legend of Korra,’ Nico  di Angelo coming out as gay in Rick Riordan’s ‘Heros of Olympus,’ and my favorite character Alex Fierro being Gender Fluid and Transgender in ‘Magnus Chase and the Gods of Asgard’ by Rick Riordan. Then I can name to characters on the Autism Spectrum Sam from ‘Atypical’ and Shaun Murphy from ‘The Good Doctor'” But there is very little representation of characters who are blind.

Imagine all those lives the characters touched and helped come out, accept themself, or give them hope that they can do more then they think! Now imagine you were born blind, or you just lost your sight or discovered that you were going to lose it over time. You need something to show it’s okay and to help accept yourself. No matter what your trying to accept about yourself you need a little help getting there.

I can only think of three characters that are blind!

• Matt Murdock ‘Daredevil’

Now I haven’t watched much of ‘Daredevil’ and so far the representation is okay. Matt lost his sight from radioactive chemicals, (which according to google), gave him super heightened senses. The fact that his senses are heightened is lots better, then just Hollywood making it out like us blind are all super humans. But the one thing I don’t like is that there’s this seen where matt’s two friends are on a date and they are touching each other’s face, “to see how Matt sees” and no that’s not a thing we do! Please don’t add that in movies’ books or TV shows! If we want to know what you look like describe yourself to us. The reason why I think people think we do this is because Helen Keller, (who was both deaf and blind), so she had to touch people’s lips to feel what they were saying. (Don’t quote me on that because I saw it on facebook, so correct me if I’m wrong about her touching people’s lips).

• Toph BeiFong from ‘Avatar the last Airbender’

Toph was born blind and her parents treated her like she was helpless, but she proved them wrong by learning earthbending from the Badgermoles and she then uses this ability to do echolocation by feeling the vibrations in the earth. She secretly participates in Earthbending tournaments where she has several wins. She then goes to teach Aang Earthbending, (against her parentts wishes). She becomes the first metalbender and starts an academy for it. In ‘The Legend of Korra’ she was the former police chief and raised two daughters.

• Ethan Nakamura from ‘Percy Jackson and the Olympians’ by Rick Riordan

Ethan was a Demigod son of the Greek Goddess Nemesis. Nemesis is the Goddess of balance, retribution, and revenge. Epan’s mother promised him that he’d one day balance the world’s power in exchange for his left eye. He proves just because you have a visual impairment that doesn’t mean you can’t fight with a sword and we can be on either side of a war.

That is only three characters, from three different medias and genres. There needs to be way more! Here are some tips for having a blind character.

• Having your character move your cane from side, to side out in front of them in an ark gives lots more tactile feed back because your keeping constant contact with the ground.

• Less then 10 percent of blind people do not have any light perception at all.

• I personaly wear regular glasses, (with out any prescription), to protect my eyes and sun glasses because my eyes have truble adjusting when I go in and out, so keep in mind that others could have light sensitivity as well. I also wear reading glasses when drawing to help with blurryness.

• Guide dogs do not see traffic lights and so the handler has to tell the dog when to go by listening to the trafic, but the dog can stop if there’s a car right in front of them.

• When using a phone I have the brightness and text at 100 percent. I also use VoiceOver, (which is a screen reader for IOS).

• If your character is in main stream school they will have an IEP, (Individual Education Plan), and this is for kids and teens with disabilities to get extra help and accommodations You can read about mine in ‘My true story growing up visionally impaired.’

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

viblindresources@gmail.com

In the comments let me know of some good movies, books, or TV shows with a blind character.

How to make social media posts accessible to blind and visually impaired

By Chelsey Zumpano

Social medias like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Snapchat are all very popular, but posts aren’t very accessible to us blind and visually impaired. I’m going to give you some tips on how to make your post more accessible to us.

1. Image and audio descriptions

This in my opinion is one of the most important things you can do for us because when you add image and audio description we are able to know what’s going on in the picture or a video that you shared. Without an image or audio descriptions we are lost and have no idea what you shared and sometimes all we hear is pretty music in the background.

You can either be very vague or very detailed.

Drawing

(Drawing credit goes to Chelsey Zumpano).

Vague description: A boy sits in a tree, while a girl sits on the swing hanging from the tree.

Detailed description: A boy with blond hair and wearing a black T-shirt sits in a tree facing away from us. A girl with short purple hair, wearing a pink T-shirt, and teal leggings sits on the swing hanging from the tree’s branches. The tree is big at the bottom and curves to the right getting smaller as it goes, the branches are bear of any leaves. The sky is dark blue making the green grass seem too bright.

Both let us know what is going on in the picture, but one Leaves it up to interpretation and imagination and the other lets us know how the artist or photographer intended for the piece to look.

2. hashtags

This is a very popular way to get people to find what your sharing, but when you’re using a screen reader we often have no idea what the hashtag is. You might wonder why that is it’s because when using hashtag such as #peanutbuttercookies or #retinopathyofprematurity it all ends up sounding like one jumbled word to us. What you can do to make it more accessible is to capitalize each word than it looks like this…

#PeanutButterCookies #RetinopathyOfPrematurity

When you’re using abbreviations or an acronym, you would capitalize each letter or when I use #VIBlind, I capitalize the V for visually, the I for impaired, and the B for blind.

3. Links

We all want to share the latest article or video, but in order to make this accessible to us you must post the link either by itself or if you’re going to post text above it go down two lines and then post the link. (I know for sure you have to do this on Facebook or else voiceover won’t recognize it as a link, but I do this on any social media site to be safe).

Remember to enter in our giveaway video:

https://youtu.be/3-iBmvw4wro

If you have any questions, comment down below and if you would like to contribute to our website or YouTube channel please email:

Viblindresources@gmail.com