Blog Posts by Empish J. Thomas

Maintaining Your Ocular Lenses Helps Ensure Longevity and Enjoyment

Editor's note: As we end Women's Eye Health and Safety Month, Empish Thomas talks about the cosmetic reasons for her choice to wear ocular lenses and the vital importance of properly caring for them. Decision to Wear Ocular Lenses In 2012, I made a radical decision, to stop wearing dark sunglasses and start wearing ocular lenses. It was a huge step for me because I had been wearing sunglasses for such a long time. But I felt it was the right decision. I wanted to do it because of cosmetic reasons. I wanted my face to have a more natural look and I wanted to feel better about my appearance. My decision had nothing really to do with any medical problems I was having with my

Guest Blogger Empish Thomas: Voting As a Blind Person with Privacy and Independence

You Can Cast Your Ballot Independently and Privately As we go through the May primaries, people with visual impairments have an opportunity to cast their ballots independently and privately. In the past persons who are blind or visually impaired have had to rely on those that are sighted to read registration information and voting ballots. But with the creation of the accessible voting machine a person can do that on their own. Help America Vote Act In 2002 the Help America Vote Act (HAVA) was passed to allow all Americans to

Tips and Resources to Protect Yourself From Identity Theft--Third Installment

Now that you have read my two battles with identity theft I want to share with you how to protect yourself and resources you can use if it does happen. The most important thing that you can do as a person with vision loss is educate and empower yourself to avoid being a victim of this type of crime. A few months back I attended a teleconference hosted by the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) that was specific for people with visual impairments. During the presentation valuable information was shared and resources given which I am going to now pass on to you. How Does Identity Theft Happen A very important thing to understand about identity

My Two Battles with Identity Theft and What I Learned: Second Installment

Editor's Note: This blog post has been updated. Read "My Two Battles with Identity Theft and What I Learned". Identity Theft Happened Again After dealing with identity theft the first time, I thought I had put things in place to protect myself, but it happened again. This time by a friend, not a stranger. It was around 13 years ago. I had lost all my vision by this time and was out with a girlfriend and her son. We wanted to go get pizza; we stopped at my bank's ATM machine, so I could get cash for the meal. We went through the drive-thur where I handed her my ATM card and verbally gave her my

My Two Battles with Identity Theft and What I Learned: First Installment

Editor's Note: This blog post has been updated. Read "My Two Battles with Identity Theft and What I Learned". My First Experience with Identity Theft I never realized how vulnerable a person could be until my ID was stolen. Most of my life I felt very safe and never really worried about my personal information being tampered with. But in 1996, all of that changed. I had just started losing my vision but could still see colors and read large print. I was working as a sale

Tips on How I Prepare for an Emergency

The author with wall-mounted fire extinguisher Are You Prepared for an Emergency? The month of September is observed as National Emergency Preparedness Month. As a person with vision loss are you prepared for an emergency? Do you know what things to do to handle an emergency? Several years ago I had to say no to both of those questions. I would tell myself to put things in place but I allowed procrastination to get in the way. It was not until Hurricane Katrina hit in the fall of 2005 that I sobered up and really began to get more serious about preparing myself for an emergency.

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