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 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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(Y) YouTubers who are Blind or have Low Vision (#AToZChallenge 2021)

The 2021 blogging from a to Z April Challenge letter y graphic is on top center. Text below reads youtubers who are blind or have low vision
The 2021 Blogging from A to Z April Challenge letter Y graphic is available here.

My theme for the 2021 Blogging from A to Z April Challenge is to give an overview of what it is like to be visually impaired and to address the misconceptions regarding those in the blind and visually impaired community.

In this post I want to point you to real life examples of blind and visually impaired people living life and showing that blindness is not an obstacle to enjoying life. The best way to do this is through YouTube videos so you can see them in action. Here is a list of some blind and visually impaired YouTubers.

(X) X-Men? | Do Blind and Visually Impaired People have Superpowers? (#AToZChallenge 2021)

The 2021 blogging from a to Z April Challenge letter X graphic is ontop center. Text below reads x-men? Do blind and visually impaired people have superpowers?
The 2021 Blogging from A to Z April Challenge letter X graphic is available here.

My theme for the 2021 Blogging from A to Z April Challenge is to give an overview of what it is like to be visually impaired and to address the misconceptions regarding those in the blind and visually impaired community.

Some people believe that people who are blind or visually impaired have super hearing or super scent or touch as if it were a superpower. This is not actually the case. It is possible that a lack of eyesight forces a person to focus more on what is around them so they are more aware of the smaller details that others with sight may not rely on.

I have low vision myself and I find I take in my surroundings by listening to everything rather than relying on my vision but I do not have any superpowers.

I just want to add one more thing: blind and visually impaired people are not superheroes just for taking a walk on their own or holding a job or for doing any other common task in life. We are just like any sighted person out there and want to be treated as so.

Well if I did have a superpower I would like to have the power to fly.

(V) Vision Loss is not a Death Sentence (#AToZChallenge 2021)

The 2021 blogging from a to Z april challenge letter v graphic is on top center. Text below reads vision loss is not a death sentence
The 2021 Blogging from A to Z April Challenge letter V graphic is availablehere.

My theme for the 2021 Blogging from A to Z April Challenge is to give an overview of what it is like to be visually impaired and to break down misconceptions regarding the blind and low vision community.

I have heard it said that some people would choose death rather than losing their vision. I have heard some people think that vision loss is worse than death. I hope that the posts I have shared in this series have proved that vision loss is not a death sentence.

People who are blind or have low vision can and do lead full and productive lives. Yes, they may accomplish tasks differently than a person who is sighted but the task still gets done.

Blindness or low vision adds an extra layer of adventure into life but it does not stop life, instead it makes life more interesting.

Where there is a will there is a way. If you know someone who is blind or has low vision encourage them to follow their dreams and to live their lives because they have so much to contribute.

I know that this mindset can only be changed by sharing examples of what is possible. Click here to find out what is possible.