Blog Posts by AFB Staff

Tips on Navigating Public Bathrooms with a Vision Impairment

By Peer Advisors Empish J. Thomas and Lynda Jones About a month ago VisionAware received an awkward but important question on the message boards. The person wanted to know about the best ways to access public bathrooms. Of course, going to the bathroom is something that we all must do but trying to figure out where everything is in a bathroom facility can be embarrassing, frustrating, and uncomfortable when you have a vision impairment. In an attempt to respond to the question, the VisionAware peers had a lively conversation about our own challenges when Mother Nature calls. We talked among ourselves about the lack of universal design and strategies we use


Suggestions for Preparing Your Taxes as a Person with Vision Loss

It's that dreaded time of year again, April 17, the date that our income taxes are due, looming large on the horizon. We have asked VisionAware's peer advisors to comment on their strategies for managing their income taxes. We have also updated our tax guide with additional links and resources, thanks to peer advisor Elizabeth Sammons. Managing Income Tax as a Small Business Owner By Beckie Horter <img src="http://www.afb.org/image.ashx?ImageID=8329" alt="A


Finding Love as a Person with Vision Loss

Finding Love By Kerry Kijewski I came home from a wedding shower one June day in 2008 and decided I was sick of hiding and being alone/lonely, that I was ready to take a step toward finding love. Love hadn’t found me. It wasn’t as simple as making eye contact with a guy from across a crowded bar and him asking me for my phone number. For me, there was no possibility of that whole eyes meeting from across the crowded room phenomenon, not without enough sight to make such a thing happen on my end. So I started to think


Mental Health and Visual Impairment: Peer Perspectives

Mental Health Awareness Month Editor's Note: According to the National Institute of Mental Health, approximately one in five adults in the U.S., 43.8 million or 18.5 percent, experience mental illness every year. Since 1949, May has been observed as Mental Health Awareness Month, specifically highlighting and educating the public about mental illnesses. The campaign also seeks to diminish negative stereotypes associated with these diseases drawing attention to the realities of living with these conditions and providing effective strategies for maintaining mental health and wellness. Further, June is designated as PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder) month. <img src="http://www.afb.org/image.asp?ImageID=8382" width="450px" alt="logo saying I'm into mental health


Maintaining Independent Living with a Visual Impairment

Editor's Note: Today's post is from guest blogger, Jackie Waters. Jackie is a mother of four boys and lives on a farm in Oregon. She is passionate about providing a healthy and happy home for her family and aims to provide advice for others on how to do the same through her own website. She has recently had an older relative come live with her and, together, they worked on needed changes in the home to make it safe and easy to access. We are sharing this for Older Americans Month to help caregivers and their loved ones who are encountering similar situations. A Stranger in Your Own Home If you’re dealing with some sort of visual impairmentwhether it be from injury,


Taking Hold of Happiness When Challenged by a Visual Disability

By Maribel Steel and Lynda Lambert International Day of Happiness All Year Round People around the world now celebrate International Day of Happiness on March 20th each year. We hope that by taking hold of life’s unexpected challenges in a more positive way, we can appreciate life from a higher vantage point. If we can think of gratitude as a graceful eagle that can launch into flight to soar above the mundane, then an incredible sense of happiness flies into serving our every needall


Dealing with Workplace Bullying When You Are Visually Impaired

Editor's note: It's National Disability Employment Month. Neva Fairchild, AFB's National Employment and Independent Living Specialist, and Empish Thomas, VisionAware Peer Advisor and Career Connect Mentor have teamed up on a post on bullying in the workplace. by Empish J. Thomas When I hear the word "bullying" I tend to envision a big size kid physically and verbally harassing a smaller size kid on the playground at school. Although this vision of bullying is not incorrect it is not the only kind of bullying that occurs. Bullying can also occur on the Internet via social media like Facebook. Additionally, I am coming to understand that bullying does not only happen to


How Congenital Vision Loss Affects Motherhood

Editor's Note: Not every woman grows up wanting to be a mother. For those living with a congenital eye disease, learning of a pregnancy can cause mixed emotions. The following story, based on an interview with a blind mother who has chosen to stay anonymous, depicts how genetic vision loss can dim the brightness of that maternity glow. How Congenital Vision Loss Affects Motherhood Our blind mom, who we’ll refer to as M, was born in 1966 with cataracts on both her lenses, rendering them completely opaque. Her parents were told the ocular condition was either genetic or from a flu her mother had contracted quite possibly being passed to the baby in utero. M had a few low vision relatives within her family tree. However, in the late 1960s


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