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Eileen Robinson | Blind Beauty Issue #28

Eileen Robinson's Image description is in the body of the post.

“Retinitis Pigmentosa is killing my eyes slowly but my heart and soul have never been more alive.” ~Eileen Robinson

In this selfie of Eileen she is wearing a black lace cami under an orange sherbert colored cardigan. As in her featured photo she is wearing dark-framed eyeglasses and her long dark hair frames her pretty face.
Eileen Robinson

Eileen Robinson was so excited when I asked her if she would be interested in being featured on Bold Blind Beauty! Her excitement was so contagious it made the rest of my day. Eileen, aka The Blind Gypsy (her Instagram handle), is so fierce I couldn’t wait to introduce her to you.

Ignorance may be bliss, however when you have a degenerative eye disorder it’s not. Retinitis Pigmentosa (RP) is killing my eyes slowly but my heart and soul have never been more alive.

I’m just a normal girl (who is animal crazy, loves makeup, and all things pretty) living in this lovely crazy place we call planet earth. I was an ignorant fool before my diagnosis. To put it bluntly, I was vain, always worried about what people thought of my appearance. Funny thing is with RP I won’t be able to see myself age one day, so who cares right? It’s what is on the inside that counts, never judge a book by its cover; all those clichés, which are true.

RP was a blessing in disguise. My mission is to help others who are frightened and don’t know how to handle their condition. Because let’s be honest, having a visual impairment is very scary. You do not know what to expect, as each day is different.

I was diagnosed with RP last year February 2017, I was in denial for a very long time and an emotional mess. However, I have accepted my fate in life now with the help of my awesome fiancé and great family and friends and couldn’t be happier.  I may trip and fall, but I will get up, fix my hair, hopefully, my makeup didn’t smudge and carry on. Laughter is the best medicine. Let’s make visual impairment beautiful.

Love The Blind Gypsy

Eileen Robinson’s Featured Image Description: 

Eileen’s photo is in a faux magazine cover titled Blind Beauty. She is on the cover wearing a gray top and her long dark hair swept over her left eye frames her face. Eileen has on dark-framed eyeglasses and is very pretty with minimal makeup. Blocks of text superimposed on Eileen’s photo are: “Bold | She Keeps Pressing Onward,” “Blind | She Has Deeper Insight,” “Beautiful | She Sees To The Heart Of Others”

You can catch up with Eileen on the following social media platforms:

The Blind Gypsy LogoInstagram: @the_blind_gypsy

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Daring to Own Your Story

Daring to Own Your Story 2017 Featured image description is in the body of the post.

“If I can climb that mountain what else can I do in my life?” ~Becky Andrews

Daring To Own Your Story is a challenging annual women’s retreat created by my friend Becky Andrews. Recently Becky shared her passion to take more blind women on this empowering adventure in her Holman Prize video submission. Take a listen to her 90-second video as she talks about her annual retreat.

Every year, the Holman Prize awards three blind or legally blind individuals from around the world up to $25000 to carry out a dream project.¹

Becky, seated and talking directly to the camera opens the video. She has dark shoulder length hair with bangs and is wearing a chambray shirt with a navy and yellow fruit print pull-over sweater. Interspersed throughout the video are images of Becky and her guide dog Georgie. Some of the other photos include women on an obstacle course, rock climbing, and hiking.

Daring To Own Your Story Featured Image Description:

This outdoor photo is a group shot of attendees at the 2017 Daring To Own Your Story Retreat. Eight women, (some with white canes) are standing, two are kneeling. Also included in the shot are two guide dogs.

¹(2016) Who is James Holman? • Holman Prize 2018. Retrieved from Holman Prize 2018 website: March 11, 2018.

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On Being Legally Blind

On Being Legally Blind image description is in the body of the post.

Are those who are ‘legally blind’ able to hold a job? And if so, what fields would you advise them to enter?  

On Being Legally Blind Q&A 

Recently I was interviewed by my friend and fellow blogger Wendy Robinson of Wendy’s Written WordsIt’s so nice to take trips down memory lane to see how far we’ve progressed. Following are a couple of snippets from the post. You can access the entire article here: On Being Legally Blind A Q&A

Are those who are ‘legally blind’ able to hold a job? And if so, what fields would you advise them to enter? 

This is a question I’m deeply passionate about. Yes, people who legally blind or partially-sighted can hold a job, so can people who are totally blind. The idea that people who are partially sighted or totally blind cannot hold a job is a myth. In answer to what fields? I don’t feel qualified to give advice in this area except to say, ‘find your passion and pursue it’. No one is an expert at everything! With the exception of being a driver or pilot, sight or lack of sight has nothing to do with being able to hold a job.

You have been so successful that you are generously helping others with advice on mixing and matching items in their wardrobe. Can you expand on that? 

We cannot simply look at a person and think we know their story. We are complex creatures and there is so much more to us than mere appearance. My desire to change perceptions is why I share what I know, with respect to style, from personal experience.

No doubt you need help to get to appointments, social functions, and gatherings, shopping et al. Do you have designated drivers? How do you feel in losing your independence and having to depend on others?   

As far as independence, I refocused my thinking to what I am able to do vs. what I could do prior to my sight loss. For me, this boils down to choice and I choose not to view myself as dependent. Everyone is skilled or deficient in some manner and I choose to promote my strengths.

On Being Legally Blind Q&A Image Description:

White Q&A text and white question marks sprinkled throughout are on a multi-shaded navy blue background.

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Libby Thaw | Blind Beauty Issue #27

Libby Thaw is pictured sitting at her sewing machine working with a black & white checkered patterned material. Full image description is in the body of the post.

“Everybody, including people with disabilities, makes assumptions. Problems arise when we are not open to learning our assumption was wrong.” ~Libby Thaw,

My friend and fellow advocate Libby Thaw said the above words several years ago. Today, her quote is still one of my all-time favorites because it speaks to the heart of our humanity—judgment. Libby, founder of the Checkered Eye Project works tirelessly to expand awareness of low vision.

As people we are not immune to making assumptions or mistakes, it’s part of our DNA as humans. Through careful, honest, and frequent self-assessment we can become better people. When we take the time to learn other people’s stories, this is the first step to increasing our understanding.

Libby Thaw Featured Image Description:

Libby is sitting at her sewing machine working with a black & white checkered patterned material. She is wearing a black top and tortoise-framed eyeglasses while her fingers guide the material under the needle. A small portion of her short-cropped salt & pepper sassy hairstyle is seen.