Browse By Topic: Arts and Leisure

The Bookshelf: Review of "Upwelling" by Ann Chiappetta

A Breath, an Intonation Expresses a Desire to Act This thought, the desire to act, begins a journey we will take as we pick up the first book written by Ann Chiappetta who has been blind since 1993. Upwelling is a short book of poetry; it’s her first book. Because Ann works as a readjustment counseling therapist for the Department of Veterans Affairs, I was curious why she selected this title for her book. She replied, It means the welling up of thoughts, feelings, and emotions which are made into words and shared with the reader. The image begins as a thought, an impulse, which comes to life through her words. <img src="http://www.afb.org/image.asp?ImageID=8388" alt="Book cover of Upwelling by Ann Chiappetta


How I Honor Earth Day Every Day As a Person Who Is Blind

Editor's note: April 22 is Earth Day. Each year, Earth Day marks the anniversary of the birth of the modern environmental movement in 1970. Growing out of the first Earth Day, the Earth Day Network is the world’s largest recruiter to the environmental movement working with more than 50,000 partners in nearly 195 countries to build environmental democracy; 2020 marks the 50th anniversary of the first Earth Day. In honor of this milestone, Earth Day Network is launching a set of goals to shape the future of 21st century environmentalism. "Waste Not, Want Not" From the time I was a little girl, I was aware of the importance of


Out of Sight Gardening: Tips on Raised Bed Gardening for Individuals with Vision Loss

Out of Sight Gardening By Bill Holton, VisionAware Contributor As the snow melts and the days grow longer, it’s only natural for our thoughts to turn to springtime gardening. I do a lot of vegetable gardening, and last spring, I offered several tips for gardening with vision loss. Some of these included using bamboo stakes to mark row ends and kebab skewers to mark where you have planted seeds, so you’ll be able to


Many Different Hats: An Audio Short Story

Editor's note: In honor of National Reading Month, today's post features an audio recording of Maribel Steel's story, "Many Different Hats." Whether you enjoy reading large print, braille, or following along with audiobooks, the VisionAware peers encourage you to continue to enjoy reading. Click the link below to listen to Maribel's story. Listen to "Many Different Hats" Transcript (Soft music plays then fades out as the narrator begins to speak) Narrator:"Many Different Hats," written by Maribel Steel and read by Carol Middleton. Playing Time: 7:51 minutes.


A Poem on Retinitis Pigmentosa to Shine On Valentine's Day

When Dave Steele learned that he was losing his sight to Retinitis Pigmentosa (RP), he took to expressing his fears, thoughts, and experiences through writing poems, songs, and verses. Only two years on, Dave has produced many creative works in raising awareness of the challenges people face in a similar situation. His book, Stand by Me RP is a touching collection of poems reflecting on his journey. We couldn’t think of anything finer for Valentine’s Day than to highlight one of his love poems to his wife and thank Dave for giving VisionAware permission to feature a poem so close to his heart. "I have always believed that music and poetry can make an impact, touch the heart, and


Six Tips for Your Out-of-the-Box Museum Visit

Editor's note: Just in time for planning for Valentine's Day, we bring you this post by Lynda Lambert. Lynda suggests that you might consider a similar trip to a museum or art gallery as a fun Valentine's outing. Read and enjoy! Visiting the Andy Warhol Museum Recently, I invited my daughter and great-granddaughter to help me celebrate my birthday with a visit to the Andy Warhol Museum which is located about 40 miles from our home. Since my great-granddaughter was celebrating her birthday that month, it was perfect timing for us. This could be a great idea for a Valentine’s Day excursion with a friend or family member too. I wanted to take photographs in the museum, so I asked at the entrance desk for permission. My only restriction was to not use a flash


Review of "How Do You Do It Blind: Answers from People with Blindness and Visual Impairment"

This review is part of our bookshelf series Author Shares His Story of Blindness In 109 pages, Steven Obremski truly accomplishes his goal—to answer the question posed in the book's title “How Do You Do It Blind” for both the general public and people who are newly visually impaired. Answers are provided by hundreds of visually impaired people Steven has worked with in the blindness field, people he interviewed for this book, and his own life experiences. In chapter one,


Travel Around the World this Holiday Season: A Postcard from Melbourne

Editor's note: Are you thinking about traveling this holiday season? Utilize your orientation and mobility skills to experience the holidays around the world. VisionAware peer advisor, Maribel, shares the festivities in her city in this excerpt from The City on Top in the Land Down Under. This blog was originally posted on Maribel's travel blog, Touching Landscapes. A Postcard from Melbourne By Maribel Steel The continent of Australia may be


Listen with the Lights Out: 19 Podcasts About Blindness

Editor's note: This blog post by Susan Kennedy was originally posted on The Bello Collective, a newsletter and publication about audio storytelling and the podcast industry. Listen with the Lights Off: 19 Podcasts About Blindness Ever since I loaded my beloved orange iPod mini with Fresh Air episodes, I’ve enjoyed podcasts. Gaining a disability a few years ago didn’t end my love of the audible word, it enhanced it. Currently,


Television on the Internet

Editor's note: The information in this post has been updated in this article, Television on the Internet. For additional information on watching TV, check out Enjoying Television with Vision Loss. TV on the Net by Steve Kelley, CVRT Cut the cord! Television viewing has


Stay Active and Keep Your Sense of Adventure Alive at Hull Park

Editor's note: It's Active Aging Week. The theme this year is Explore the possibilities. Audrey Demmitt explores a new possibility and writes about it in a post that is a great testimonial to the ways we can all keep active and explore our sense of adventure. The word recreation really is a very beautiful word. It is defined in the dictionary as the process of giving new life to something, of refreshing something, or restoring something. This something, of course, is the whole person. Hans Geba My Adventure at Hull Park The old adage


Guess What I Did on My Summer Vacation

Sharing Your Summer Vacation It’s back to school time and do you remember when you were a kid and you shared what you did on your summer vacation? As you gathered with your classmates and friends, you would share about your summer adventures and compare who had the best time. Sometimes your school teacher would give a class assignment on the topic or have you share during show and tell time. Now fast forward to adulthood and sharing those summer vacation moments are still there. So before the summer comes to a close, the peer advisors want to share our vacation travels with you. A Bubble of Americana by Mary Hiland <img


Summer Vacation in Colorado Fulfills Bucket List

Traveling to Central City in Colorado Growing up, my family always took a summer vacation. Sometimes it wasn't to any place in particular. We might head off north, south, east, or west with a vague plan, but, with the intention of stopping for a few hours or even a few days when we came to an interesting place we'd never been before. Some of those trips are my most memorable. This summer was different—destination Central City, Colorado. If you aren't familiar with this little town, it's off I70, west of Denver, and 3000 feet higher. Central City is virtually uphill or down, three blocks wide and possibly five or six miles long. It has no industry except Casinos and a population of only 800 in the winter. So why travel almost 1000 miles to this little town? For two reasons:


Time to Make Crafts and Gifts for the Holidays – Part 1

With the holidays almost upon us, we are starting a series of gift ideas and projects. We are starting with crafts that you as a person with visual impairment can make. One of the nicest things to receive from a friend is a hand-made craft especially during the holidays. Join the VisionAware peers in getting crafty and surprise a friend or loved one by making your own hand-gifts this year. Part 1 has a focus on knitted gifts. Starting Small By Mary Hiland I’m just about the least crafty person I know, but for some reason, last summer, I took up knitting. I started with making a scarf or two, and then decided to try making dish cloths. A friend


Creating Rugs From Rags, My Retirement Hobby

Aging Successfully Author's Note: This is the last on our series this month on Healthy Aging. You may want to check out a great audio presentation about successful aging on the International Macular Degeneration Support Group website. Colleen O'Donnell and Mary Ellen Daniel, the presenters, point out that there are several components to aging well: maintaining physical activity, maintaining cognitive functioning, engaging in a variety of activities, and engaging with others socially. Many creative pursuits involve all of these. The presenters state that creative expression fosters personal, social and spiritual growth. It encourages self expression, risk taking, and continued learning. Creating


Trying Art Again After Vision Loss

Trying Art again A few months ago I decided to try a new venture by delving into the art world of ceramic clay. I had purchased a coupon that allowed me to take a 2-hour individual ceramic clay class on a discount. Since losing my vision15 years ago, I had not done anything artistic and decided it was time to try again. Before losing my sight I was on the path of a new career in the fashion industry. I was taking fashion design and merchandising classes at a local college after work. I was working with paints and drawing with charcoal and


Peer Advisors Offer Their Favorite Holiday Gift Ideas

'Tis the Season to Shop! The VisionAware peer advisors, Maureen Duffy, Social Media Specialist,VisionAware, and Neva Fairchild, National Independent Living Associate, AFB, have all contributed to this post. Also be sure to read our new holiday gift guide for people who are blind or visually impaired. Neva's Suggestions A music box An electric razor along with tips for shaving Craft kits such as leather or


Summer Travel Adventures with Vision Loss

Traveling is My Passion Traveling is my passion. There is nothing more exciting to me than stepping onto an airplane and flying off to a new and unexplored destination. I’ve had the love of travel ever since I was a very young child. At age five I traveled with my family across the United States to the coast of Washington state in a motor home that we rented. Twice again during my growing up years my family drove across the United States, visiting famous landmarks and spending time with my relatives who live in Arizona. I had seen much of the United States as a child, so as a college student I yearned to see more of the


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