Starbucks Gets an A+ in Accessibility

Text reads starbucks gets an A+ in accessibility.
The A+ is in red and the other text is white on a black background
---- #accessibility  #restaurants #braille #largeprint

When businesses disregard accessibility, they can expect to lose out on revenue. 

One of the most frustrating aspects for me as someone with a disability is to encounter businesses that completely disregard accessibility. I wrote a post on how businesses can become more accessible, you can read it here.

As someone with a vision impairment, I am mainly looking for any print materials and web pages to be fully accessible. 

I recently went to eat at a restaurant and as I usually do I went to their website to check the menu so I would be able to choose my order beforehand as I am not able to read the print menus. Sadly, the website only had a photo of the menu. T did not include any description and therefore was not accessible. I had to ask someone to read the menu to me while at the restaurant.I personally would not return to this place.

It is important to highlight businesses that are making an effort to be accessible to everyone. I recently found out that Starbucks started to provide menus in braille and in large print. This is an excellent step towards accessibility. Learn more in the video below.

I hope that more restaurants will follow this example. Do you know of restaurants that care about accessibility? Highlight them below in the comments.

July is Disability Pride Month | Be Happy in your own Skin

Image shows white text on a cobalt blue background. Text reads
July is disability pride month 

Disability pride is sharing your life and gifts with society even when you are told you don't belong.

I do not usually consider pride to be a good thing to have, but in this case the word “pride” is necessary.

July is Disability Pride Month and it is time that people with disabilities be proud of who they are.

People with disabilities are constantly seen as less of a person just because they are different. Society sees a disability as something to be ashamed of.

I have a disability myself as I am visually impaired.

When I think of being proud of being disabled I do not mean have an arrogant or conceited attitude, because that solves nothing. When I think of pride, i think of coming to a place where you are happy in your own skin.

I think it means stepping out into the world confidently using your white cane.

I think it means going out into the world confidently in your wheelchair or crutches or hearing aids or any other assistive device.

Disability pride is sharing your life and gifts with society even when you are told you don’t belong.

So to everyone with a disability: do not let other people’s comments keep you down. We are here with a purpose and we have unique gifts to contribute to society.

Take pride in your unique life and shine!

I wrote this poem to encourage myself and others not to be ashamed of using a white cane.

I hope that this post will encourage any one that has a disability. Remember you are valuable and wonderfully created by God.

Psalm 139:14 KJV — I will praise thee; for I am fearfully and wonderfully made: marvellous are thy works; and that my soul knoweth right well.

The Visually Impaired Person Tag

Text reads some faqs and answers on life with low vision. Image below is a photo of me and text to the left reads the visually impaired person tag.

In this post I want to share my answers to the questions in the Visually impaired person tag. You can watch the video below or read on to view my answers. Here is a small glimpse of what life is like when you have low vision.

What medical condition caused you to be blind or visually impaired?

I have Retinopathy of Prematurity. The blood vessels in my eyes did not develop correctly and as a result my retinas had issues. The retina in my right eye completely detached leaving me completely blind in that eye. Doctors managed to save the retina in my left eye and I am thankful to God to have some limited vision in that eye.

  1.  In 3 words, describe your vision? 

Three words that describe my vision are variable, unfocussed and blurry. My ability to see changes depending on lighting. I am unable to see details and things seem out of focus to me. I get blurry vision when I am in very bright lighting especially white lights and very bright sunlight

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3. What is the hardest thing to do being blind or visually impaired?

The hardest thing is dealing with all of the misconceptions that still exist regarding the blind and visually impaired community. I hope to bring awareness and break down those misconceptions. I also find it frustrating when people address the person accompanying a blind or visually impaired person and disregard the other person because they are visually impaired or blind. 

4. What is the best part about being blind or visually impaired?

I would say that it is about being part of a supportive community where people can relate to each other and also living life a little differently. 

5. What question do you get asked most about or because of your vision? 

I get a lot of questions about my glasses because they are very thick.

6. Do you have a cane, a guide dog or neither?

I use a white cane when I am out on my own.

 7. What one piece of advice would you give to someone who is losing,| going to lose, or has lost their vision?

I would say learn as much as you can and asking for help is not a sign of weakness.

8. What is one piece of advice you would you give to a sighted person about interacting with a person who is blind or visually impaired?

Address the blind or visually impaired person directly when they are with a companion. 

9.Why did you join YouTube?

I want to share my experiences to hopefully be an encouragement to others. 

10. Name 3 people to do this tag.

I put this out there to anyone reading this who is blind or has low vision to share their story.  

The MTA Tap and Go System Enhances Accessibility for all Riders

Text on image reads the mta omny tap and go system enhances accessibility for all riders. The image below the text shows an entrance to a subway station in New York city.
The photo of an NYC subway station is by ShonEjai via Pixabay

The New York Metropolitan Transportation Authority is currently upgrading its payment system to a tap and go contactless system. This allows riders to pay their fare by simply tapping their card or mobile phone on a designated reader. It will also work with smart watches. Learn more about how the technology works here.

This is a great step towards improving accessibility. The MetroCard that is used now has to be swiped and inserted in a certain direction. I have low vision and on days where I was rushing to catch a train I could easily get confused on which way to insert the card.

This upgrade will speed up the process for everyone. Those with mobility issues would just have to swipe their smart watch.

Swiping a card does add extra time and now being able to simply tap and go will cut down the time it takes to enter the turnstyle or paying the fare in a bus.

Here is a demonstration of how the MTA OMNY system works.

The MetroCard will only be accepted until 2023. Then it will go the way of the token.

I have not been able to try this but I would definitely like to try it when I get an opportunity.

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Spotlight: Traveleyes – A Unique Travel Experience for People who are Blind or have Low Vision

Text reads a unique travel experience for those who are blind or have low vision. There is a photo of Parlament, the palace and big ben in england below the text.
Photo of the palace, Parlament and Big Ben in England is by derwiki via Pixabay

*This post is not sponsored by Traveleyes*

Do you enjoy traveling? Do you find your loss or lack of eyesight to be an obstacle to travel, or has it made travel less enjoyable? Well, today i want to spotlight a company that offers a unique travel experience to people who are blind or visually impaired. 

Traveleyes provides independent group travel for people who are blind or have low vision. The unique aspect is that each group is made up of a mix of sighted and blind and visually impaired individuals. The sighted participants help to provide sighted guide and to describe the sights. There is a 50% discount for sighted participants. This allows those who are blind or partially sighted to travel independently without having to rely on family. 

Traveleyes handles all of the details including the entire itinerary.  Click here to learn more about how it all works.

I have not used this service myself but I hope to be able to do so in the future. I would love to visit England one day and other places as well. Individuals, couples and small groups are welcome. I think it is important that this allows a person who is blind or has low vision to travel independently because they do not have to rely on family or friends to travel and they can go on their own schedule. I know my family would probably not want to fly all the way to England or other far off destinations. This service would give me an opportunity to travel on my own. It is also nice to know that the sighted individuals want to contribute and help guide and describe the sights as they agree to this when signing up for the trip. I would not feel like I was asking for too much or feel like a burden when asking for descriptions or for sighted guide. I think this would make the vacation much more enjoyable for me. It is a great benefit that sighted participants get a discount because they offer a very helpful service. 

Click here to learn more about the destinations you can explore with them.

I should add that you should check the site to find out when the tours will be taking place as the pandemic has changed travel rules.

So if you feel safe enough to travel again or when you do feel safe enough you should look into Traveleyes.  I hope to take part in one of their travel tours one day.