Have you ever wondered what it would be like to be blind? It’s likely that nearly all of us have thought of this at one point or another. Often in imagining blindness, our minds conjurer up terrifying images of confusion and despair, many times colored in with stereotypes painted by Hollywood.
So, let’s have real talk. People who are blind navigate the world every day, going to work, raising families, participating in activities as diverse as the human race itself. We might do things a bit different – walking with a guide dog or cane, using assistive technology to operate our computers or smart phones, taking note of detail to distinguish objects, places, or food, but our world is vibrant.
If you’ve ever wondered what it’s like as a blind person, how to interact with a blind person, how to provide excellent customer service to a blind or visually impaired person, or how to ensure that your website or app can be enjoyed by everyone, you’ve come to the right place.
You could say that I straddle the lines of perspective in the world of the blind and sighted alike. I grew up with “normal” sight. I majored in Graphic Design in college, graduating with my 4-year degree with honors. Post college, i opened my own coffee shop, where I managed everything from creating the menus, to inventory, marketing, and accounting. But mid-way into my 20s, everything began to change.
As I went blind, I had to relearn quite a bit, from navigating the computer using assistive technology, to navigating the world using my other four senses and the assistance of a cane, and eventually guide dog, to tricks and techniques doing everyday tasks like putting on makeup or deciphering clothing.
Living in these two worlds has given me an empathetic perspective towards both the blind / visually impaired and the fully sighted alike. When I ran my coffee shop, I didn’t know the first thing about service dogs – I was just trying to make a great customer experience – now, I know everything about service dogs, and can help you understand the rights of you and your customer alike. As a Graphic Design major, I didn’t know much about screen readers and assistive tech. Now, I can help you ensure your site is accessible to all. Finally, I’m no stranger to overcoming obstacles and keeping inspired. I’m on a mission to make the world accessible to everyone – will you join me?