Spotlight: The Scripor Alphabet | A Tactile Code for Colors

Photo description
Text reads a tactile color code
There is a graphic showing the colors of the rainbow below the text. Text is white and the background is black
Rainbow graphic is by stux from Pixabay via the Canva library

Colors can seem like such a mystery to those who are blind and they can be tricky to identify for those who have low vision. There is a solution that may be helpful. I recently found out about The Scripor Alphabet. This is a tactile code for colors as braille is a tactile code for letters.

This post is not sponsored by this company.

This is braille for colors. This video gives more details.

I am on a journey to learning braille myself and I would like to learn this code for colors as well. This is also a great tool for those who are colorblind to have a way to access colors.

I hope that this is helpful for many out there. What do you think of this tactile color code? Do you already use it or do you want to learn it? Leave your thoughts in the comments below.

Accommodations for Students who are Blind or Have Low Vision

Photo description
Text reads accommodations for students who are blind or have low vision
Text is white on a black background

Now that the school year is about to begin I want to take this opportunity to discuss the topic of accommodations for students with disabilities. The best advice I can give from personal experience is to take advantage of the assistance that is available to you as a student with a disability.

I have been visually impaired since birth. I went to a pre-school specifically for blind and visually impaired children. When I started the first grade I went to a mainstream class (meaning regular education). During my early grades I had a teacher of the visually impaired (TVi) who tried to teach me braille. I say I tried because I refused to learn because I thought I did not need it.Now that I look back, I really wish I had taken the opportunity to learn it when I was young. 

I would advise parents or students to contact their school to set up the services they will need. In grades K-12 this is done through an individual Education plan (iEP). Those in college should contact the department for students with disabilities. 

Here are some accommodations that I had throughout my school years.

Large print materials

I did not grow up in the era of ipads and tablets and chromebooks. We did everything on paper. I was able to access my schoolwork by having all worksheets provided to me in large print. 

These days laptops and tablets can reduce the amount of paprint material and offer more flexibility in adjusting the size and color contrast. 

I often refused large print materials because the papers were very large and I did not want to stand out. I would have loved to have been able to use an ipad or laptop. 

There are also CcTV’s that magnify print materials.

Here is an example of one.

Sitting in the front of the class

I always had a seat at the front of the class. The truth is that this did not really help me as I was still unable to see the board.

There is assistive technology such as cameras that can be used to zoom into the board now that can solve this issue. There are also note takers who will sit with you in class and help you tby taking notes for you.

Here is a piece of assistive technology that could help to access the chalkboard.

How to handle tests

I usually got my test material in large print and I also was given extra time to complete the exam. There were times I would complete the test in a separate room and I did have a reader once or twice for a state wide test. 

Some extra thoughts

I think that technology has come a very long way and now students can blend in a lot easier as ipads and laptops are commonly used now. There are also braille displays and notetakers available allowing for more independence for blind and visually impaired students. 

These are my suggestions for accommodations but you only know what will be the best accommodations for your unique situation.

One more point I want to make is that you must advocate for what you need and do not be afraid to ask for the accommodations you need. I made my school life a lot harder than it had to be by refusing assistance. Technology has made tasks much easier and more enjoyable. So, go on and take on this new school year and get that A!

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.  

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.

(Q) Q & A with a Visually Impaired Person (#AToZChallenge 2021)

The 2021 blogging from a to Z letter q graphic is on the top center. Text below reads q & a with a visually impaired person
The 2021 Blogging from A to Z April Challenge letter Q 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. I also hope to break misconceptions that still exist about those that are blind or have low vision. In this post I want to give this a personal touch and answer some questions on living with low vision from my point of view. These are my own experiences and should not be generalized.

What is your eye condition?

My eye condition is Retinopathy of Prematurity I was born 3 months early weighing 1 pound and 6 ounces and blood vessels in my retina did not develop correctly.

How does your eye condition impact your eyesight?

I am completely blind in my right eye. I have limited usable vision in my left eye.

Do glasses help you?

I do use glasses with a high prescription. My glasses magnify what I am looking at and they help me identify things around me. However, glasses do not restore my sight to 20/20. I can not see small details because my eye does not focus well on items. I have trouble seeing in bright sunlight and in dim lighting.

Do you use a cane or guide dog?

I use a white cane when I am out on my own. The cane helps me alert others i have trouble seeing them and it alerts me of upcoming curbs, steps and any obstacles in my path I may not see.

What can you see?

*large print
*objects
*faces (but only if I am a few inches away)

I can see:

I can not see;

*eye color
*social cues such as certain looks or facial expressions
*the stars at night
*snowflakes falling

There is more but this is a glimpse into my eyesight.

I will keep this post short. If you have questions leave them below.