COVID 19 greeted the first quarter of 2020 hard. 2019 was hard with unemployment and I was trying to find my new identity and career with a visually impairment that I wished 2019 to end. I was wishing for time to pass quickly and could not wait for 2020 to start; a new fresh page, a new beginning. Be careful what you ask for.
2020 started with me transitioning to a different department with my employer that could give me the assistive tools that I need. (That is another story that I may do a separate blog entry on). Then in February, my beautiful boxer Ike, got very sick and passed away and I am still grieving his passing to the rainbow bridge. Then March.....we all know what happened. Coronavirus hit the world (literally). People getting sick, people dying. Nations and states to prevent the fast spread of COVID19; everything had to shut down with stay at home orders, social distancing, wearing masks, gloves and toilet paper scarcity, and distilleries/breweries making...
This is a show that I listen to religiously and never miss it. I did not even know it existed until my husband was flipping through our Sling TV account and I heard the description of the show. I was hooked before I even heard the first episode. A&E is trying to break down the barriers, stereotypes and bias around disability and employment. They have given a heart and a face for employers to understand that "difference is diversity".
This hits close to home because I have been unemployed for 10 months. That year marker coming closer and closer. I am no closer to finding any employment since the first day I joined the unemployed line. Unemployment nationwide is low but if you have a disability that number is deceiving. 70 percent of people with a visual impairment or blindness are unemployed (https://www.nfb.org/resources/blindness-statistics) and a large population with a disability; about 8 out of 10 are unemployed/not working. Most who are working are working part time (ht...
Since the beginning of the year I have been on the job search market. I can confess, this is not a fun place to be with a disability, I have applied to numerous places (I lost count it is more than 200 by now) and when I finally get a call back for an interview I am excited. Getting an interview for me is few and far in between so I want to make sure I put my best foot forward. My resume is very transparent. I have links to this website, my social media accounts and blog that shares my disability. During the online application process, I also disclose on the form when asked if I have a disability.
However, with ADA laws protection when I am on a phone interview with a HR hiring manager or recruiter I do not disclose my visual impairment. I figure that with all the above, there is no need to "beat a dead horse". For me, my visual impairment/blindness is my biology and has nothing to do with my career trajectory/goals. I just do not feel it is important. I am very equipped with technolog...
February is ending and winter is still here (of course I believed the ground hog that spring was coming early). Me and the dogs are aching to get outside without coats or becoming a prisoner in our own home because of the ice and cold weather. We all are trying to fight gaining weight during this season and exercising as much as we can indoors.
What is making my cabin fever worse is my current unemployment. I have not been social or interacted with people for TWO months and I am becoming Jack from the shining, living in my own Overlook hotel. AT least with work, you get to go out in the world, talk to people, engage your mind and come home feeling let it is a retreat from the day.
This cabin fever has resulted in the following: 1. having full blown conversations with my dogs, 2. eating all the contents in my fridge/cabinets, 3. laying on the floor in a snow angel format 4. listening to cars pass by the front room windows, 5. racing my dogs around the house, and making a indoor obstacle c...
Hello 2019. 2018 ended with a thud. I lost my job to my position being eliminated or correction: rolled into another position in California. That was my New Year Eve precursor. The new year started in uncertainty and sadness. I had to take the first two weeks to handle my health because I was fading fast. Maybe one day I will write about it, but for right now today is not that day.
This website is focused on my adventures as being visually impaired, legally blind with myself and my guide dog. I have so many plans to try to continue that mission and passion this year. I still have not ran in my first 5K with Roxy. It is a lot harder than I thought. I am a novice as will as my guide dog. Right now, the Ohio landscape is covered with ice and snow and my sighted guide partner is busy with work. Once the ice melts and my sighted guide schedule lightens up, I am looking forward to running with Roxy. Here are my adventure goals for this year. I have to be fiscally responsible because I am une...
October 4th through the 7th I was surrounded and enriched by people at this summit of what a no barriers life means. No Barriers is a yearly summit for individuals that are differently abled, companies and the abled that are passionate and believe in the journey of being inclusive and diverse. It was a three day summit where I pushed myself out the box, met friends, had my barrier moment and came back home re-energized.
I listened to speakers discuss their journey and adventure of getting over barriers and teaching people along the way. My barrier moment was being around people like me from blindness, cognitive, autism and other physical disabilities doing amazing things. I painted, I danced, I went to a women's roundtable. I cried, I laughed, I am empathetic, I learned, I grew. I went to the No barrier summit to find hope and purpose. And I did.
So, 2019 is full of new adventures, and I am taking this torch of trying new things and going on new adventures. I am definitely going to 2019...
The fall season greeted us Ohioans beautifully. The week before, it was very hot with steady temps at 85 plus or higher; now I wake up with my windows open with temperatures in the low 60’s/high 50’s. My A/C unit needed a break and so did I. Fall is my favorite season. I love the cooler weather, longer nights, mums, sunflowers, singing crickets and so much more.
My dogs; Roxy and Ike are loving it too. The cooler weather is giving us the opportunity to take longer walks. Ike is a boxer and he cannot handle too hot or too cold weather; so right now the weather is just right. Roxy was also feeling the oppressive heat as well and I can tell by the sound of the stead wag of her tail, that she is content with the cooler temps like her brother.
Fall marks for me many things. It is my indicator that the year is coming to an end and the holiday season is around the corner. Our next three months are going to be filled with all kinds of amazing experiences. What my scheduler is looking like for th...
It has been a moment since my last post, but my husband and I rescued a new doggie. His name is Ike and he is 8 years and 3 months old. Our friend is going through a divorce and she had to rehome her dogs. If they could not be rehomed, they were both headed to the pound.
This broke my heart because Ike knew only her. She got him from a breeder as a puppy. The other dog was a small yorkie and was quickly claimed, but no one claimed Ike.
I talked to the hubby and we reached out and told her we will take him.
When you have a service animal or any other dog it is important to do several steps to ease the transition for both.
I researched a lot on how to do this and this is what I did:
Ike was very well taken cared off. So I requested his shot records and rabies tag to give the information to our vet.
I learned Ike’s temperament and socialization with other dogs. He always lived with a second pet and is very friendly.
I also took his bed, toys, food/water bowl, brush from his prev...
I am officially an Aira user. I was an explorer for this awesome technology back in 2017. What does an explorer mean? And what is Aira? Let me explain.
Aira is a pair of glasses that help the visually impaired and blind community. This technology contains a AT&T mifi, a pair of google glasses, which has a mic within the temple and a app on a smartphone. All these parts work together for a blind person to access a live person via the app. That Aira representative will be able to see through the camera on the glasses and you can hear them through the mic from the one temple piece.
Being an explorer, I was testing out this technology for free. That period has ended, and I WANT this. This technology is having sighted guide with you, PERIOD; which is awesome. I can call Aira up and they can help me cook, with chores, “read” documents, at work, when I am trying to get a UBER, LYFT or other transportation. Even when I am walking, they can advise me places of interest around me! It is everything...
It is June and I still have not ran my first 5k. I am so frustrated with myself. I have been training very hard on my own with my husband running sighted guide. But when it comes to running in public with strangers I have blind stage fright. Has this happened to anyone else? If I have a feeling if I did not have a vision impairment I would of already completed 5 5ks by now.
I just feel isolated as being the "only" one. Roxy is also able to walk/run 3 miles so we are ready I am just scared to be exposed.
I feel weird that I will be wearing a blind vest, have a tether and a guide dog in a harness that screams I am different.
I feel scared that people will judge me and may look down at me.
This is will be a very short month blog because I need to hear from you, on how to defeat this blind stage fright. How I can embrace my difference in a group of strangers.
Any advice and encouragement is greatly appreciated.