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July Men In Motion | Andrew Donald

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VIDEO PRESENTATION

Editor’s Note:

Bold Blind Beauty is an empowering online community that connects blind and sighted people while eradicating misconceptions about blindness and sight loss. We’ve found that when we are open to the idea of limitless possibilities our preconceived notions dissipate. The people we feature aren’t extraordinary because they are living with sight loss, however, they’ve worked hard to adapt to a new way of living. Today, from Down Under you’ll meet via video, our July Man In Motion, Andrew Donald, known as “Nocturnal Archer.” We’ve also provided a transcript of the video below. Enjoy!

Andrew Donald The Nocturnal Archer

Introduction

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Andrew Donald #2

Good day. I’m Andrew Donald. I’m from Melbourne and I’ve been a professional musician and music teacher since I left school, and I’m currently studying my master’s of education at Victoria University. I’m 36 years old and I’m legally blind. I’ve been involved in martial arts and music since I was about five years old, and more recently I’ve taken up traditional archery. That’s what I’d like to talk to you today about, my journey into archery as a vision-impaired person, and really more broadly about how accessible archery is to really anyone.

Sight Loss & Archery

My vision impairment is called rod monochromatism. This means that I see only with my rod cells and have no cone cell function. This makes me extremely sensitive to light. I have quite low visual acuity and I’m totally colorblind. I do however see quite well in the dark and this has formed a major way that I’ve adapted archery to work for me. Archery is an incredibly diverse art form. There are many different styles from all around the world, and there are so many different ways to enjoy archery. It is primarily extremely fun. It is extremely challenging and very personally rewarding.

You can make a lot of cool stuff in archery. I make my own arrows. I fletch them and paint them. You can make your own bowstrings. You can even make your own bows, which is something that I’ve really been looking forward to getting into. But overall, archery is an extremely technical discipline and it requires a lot of practice, and that’s part of the appeal for me. It’s very similar to music in that way. I’ve found that archery has been a natural extension of my experience with martial arts, but it’s also surprisingly been an extension of my experience as a musician as well.

Instinctive Archery Shooting Style

Like I said, there are many different styles of archery. I practice traditional archery with traditional bows. So this is an example of a traditional longbow. It’s an example of a traditional hunting recurve bow. As you can see, there are no accessories on these bows. There are no bow sights or other attachments. As opposed to a bow like this, which is a vintage example of a bow you might see in the Olympic games. You can see, we have a few more attachments here, including a bow sight used to aim the bow.

The style of shooting that I practice is called instinctive shooting. This is a style that doesn’t use a bow sight or any other visual mechanism to aim the arrow. Rather, you look at what you want to hit and then you use your physical technique and your form to align your body properly so that you can send an arrow to that target. It’s very much like kicking a soccer ball. You can’t aim a soccer ball. You simply have to look where you want it to go and then put your body in the right position to send that ball where you wanted it to go.

It’s also strangely like singing and playing a musical instrument. If you can play the piano without looking at the keys, you’re instinctively aware of where each key is. In singing, even more so. You can’t see a note or a key you have to play in order to produce the note you want so you have to trust your instincts and your many hours of practice, that when you go to sing that note, it’s going to come out the way you want it.

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Andrew Donald #3

Navigation & Senses Working In Concert

Another way I’ve found instinctive archery is very linked to experiences as a vision-impaired person is navigating a familiar space as a vision-impaired person. If you navigate a familiar space without using your vision as a primary sense, then you are instinctively aware of your surroundings and where you are relative to those surroundings, and that’s really at the essence of instinctive archery.

Essentially, you’re using your sense of touch, your kinesthetic awareness to align your body relative to the target. I still need to see my target in order to hit it, but I don’t need to see it that clearly. In fact, I can shoot more accurately than I can see, if that makes sense. This is because archery is extremely technical and your form and technique play such a major part in making your arrow go where you want. That sight is really secondary to that, in my opinion, and especially shooting traditional archery from a bow hunting perspective, the distances that we’re shooting really is not that long. In bowhunting, you would never attempt a shot beyond 20 meters, in traditional bowhunting.

When we practice, it’s always fun to push the distance out to 30, 40, 50 meters, but it’s still very satisfying trying to shoot five, 10 meters, and this is still quite a challenge. So that’s another way that traditional archery and instinctive shooting have worked well for me as a vision-impaired person.

Competitive Archery Tournaments & Low Vision

There’s just so many ways to participate in the art of archery. There’s a strong competitive side to archery, with many different styles of tournaments, and there are often categories for blind and vision-impaired people in these tournaments. Blind and vision-impaired people compete in archery tournaments through the use of a tactile sight, which is a sight that rests on the hand and on the feet and helps the archer align themselves properly to the target, through their sense of touch and with the help of a spotter. This is just another way that blind and vision-impaired people can compete in archery.

There are indoor tournaments and outdoor tournaments. There are 3D tournaments that mimic bow hunting, and there’s of course bow hunting, which is an incredible way to get in touch with nature, and being in a natural environment with my bow and arrow is one of my all-time favorite pastimes. Perhaps the most common reason people get into archery is that it’s incredibly fun. It’s super addictive and it’s a great way to meet new people. It can be a very social activity, but it can also be a tremendous solitary, meditative pursuit as well, and I love that side of archery.

Archery is also incredibly safe. By far, the most dangerous part of archery is the removing of the arrow from the target as opposed to shooting the bow. Yeah, archery is a very safe sport and as a vision-impaired person practicing archery, this is of course very important to me. If you haven’t thought about taking up archery as a blind or vision impaired person, I’d seriously consider it because it’s far more accessible than you might think. There are so many different ways to involve yourself in archery and it can be an incredibly rewarding thing to practice.

Global Archery Community

So I’d love to see more blind and vision-impaired people practicing archery. If you are interested in archery and my story more, you can find me on Instagram under Nocturnal Archer. Instagram has been a tremendous platform to connect with other traditional archers from all around the world and I’d have to recommend it. It’s been a very positive community. If you’re interested, there are lots of experienced archers out there to help you get into the art of archery. So, yes, thank you so much for listening and I hope this might have inspired you to look into archery. Take care.

Image Descriptions:

  • Featured image is the Beyond Sight Magazine cover. Andrew, dressed in a red flannel shirt, knit cap, and shades, is aiming his bow and arrow and it appears as if he’s in 3-D. The masthead is teal with “Beyond Sight Magazine” in black text. The dot on the ‘i’ in ‘sight’ is the eye used for our 2020 Year of Vision Campaign (described HERE). There are 4 lines of black text that say “Andrew Donald The Nocturnal Archer.” In the bottom left corner is a teal circle with an illustration of a blind man in motion with his white cane and “Men In Motion” is in yellow text under the circle.
  • Photo #2- A dramatic long exposure photo of Andrew dressed in black against a black background and highlights around his bow and arrow.
  • Photo #3 – A long exposure photo of Andrew using an arrow with a light up nock.
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Melody Goodspeed The Connoisseur Of Audio Description

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AUDIO INTERVIEW

“It’s not our eyes that make us see, it’s our minds and our hearts, that’s what we see with.”

~Melody Goodspeed

An Interview With TheADNA.org

Bold Blind Beauty is thrilled to share a podcast interview featuring Melody Goodspeed compliments of The Audio Description Narrators Of America (TheADNA). Melody, a.k.a. the voice of Abby is a passionate advocate and a very good friend. Take a listen as Hollywood voiceover artist, Roy Samuelson talks with Melody about how much audio description means to her.

Know Your Narrator Series BONUS: Melody Goodspeed

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CoVid-19 TOTD #5: Summer Holiday Tips

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HEALTH & WELLNESS

Editor’s Note:

At Bold Blind Beauty, the goal is always for you to enjoy a full life, but be well and stay safe while doing it. During #COVID-19 we want to assist you with that, so here is our COVID-19 #TOTD (Tip Of The Day).

CoVid-19 TOTD #5: Summer Holiday Tips

By Cheryl Minnette

Many Americans are gearing up for their Fourth of July weekend, which is right around the corner. This is a time when people get together with family and friends to have a great time. Usually, they would come together for picnics or barbecues, then end the day watching a wonderful display of fireworks. With 2020 being hit with a second wave of COVID-19 across the country, how do you plan on spending your holiday weekend?

For those of you that will be out and about, going here and there, or whether you are the host, here are some tips you may want to incorporate into your holiday.

  • Arrange for your activities to be outdoors, instead of a full day indoors
  • Shorten the length of time you spend with others indoors
  • Keep the number of attendees low

Doing the above in addition to adhering to the protocols of wearing a face mask, washing your hands frequently, and practicing 6-feet of social distancing, would help to keep the number of COVID-19 cases low. This year, you may opt to avoid crowds at places like parades, festivals, and fireworks, simply because it is difficult to maintain 6 feet of social distancing.

Give us your thoughts by commenting below as to whether this TOTD was helpful, what you would like to know as it relates to safety tips, and what you were able to relate to. Your insights and expressions are appreciated.

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Photo of a stunning sunset reflecting off a body of water. Dark foliage is in the foreground with a mountain range in the distance. Text overlay reads “Be Proud And Free | Happy Independence Day! | Have A Safe And Happy 4th Of July With Your Loved Ones.”

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Seeing Beauty Through A New Spktrm

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AUDIO INTERVIEW

Abby’s Intro:

Hey, everybody. It’s Abby. I hope everyone’s doing great. I don’t know what the weather is like in your all’s area, but boy is it hot in my area today, but it’s even hotter because I get to hang out with Jasmine Glass, the creator and founder of innovative makeup, Spktrm Beauty. Jasmine, it is so fun hanging out with you today.

Jasmine:

I’m so glad to be here. Thanks for having me, Abby.

Abby:

We were chatting before this. You know my obsession with lipstick and I was talking to Steph, our creator of BBB and me, and she’s telling me all about your lipstick and, oh my gosh, can you please share with everybody?

Jasmine:

Absolutely. We’re about to launch our second product, which is an inclusive range of nude, true nude lipsticks. There’s been a lot of progress made with foundation shade ranges expanding over the past few years, but still very few brands that are offering a true nude match for people with varied skin tones. That’s one aspect of the product and we also have been working with Bold Blind Beauty as consultants because we have decided to incorporate braille into all of our packaging moving forward to be of service to the visually impaired community as well. We’re very excited about this launch for those reasons.

Abby:

I have never myself been able to find a good match for a nude lipstick. It always makes me look kind of pale or it’s not, so I love this. I want to talk about that for one second and then of course we’re going to get into the braille because, oh my gosh, I’m shaking with excitement. I want to talk with a nude lipstick, I just feel like it can really bring out my own natural beauty. Are you all about that?

Jasmine:

I love a good nude and I feel like it’s a good daytime look, a little more subtle and I just think it’s important that we make available all products that all different communities are looking for. That’s really the goal here is to draw attention to the fact that there is still a limited amount of these shades available. I’ve had conversations with our beauty consultant, Julissa, who is a black woman, and she’s talked to me about the fact that black women are still using eyebrow and eyeliner pencils on their lips at this point or having to blend colors together or just using other products that aren’t lipstick to create that look. This is a step in the right direction and we hope other brands will follow suit.

Abby:

You’re a leader, a real leader, and it’s awesome. I like a good day too. It’s awesome and I just feels delicate. I just feel like I’m featuring my own beauty that I have within. Tell us all about the braille. What inspired that?

Jasmine:

Gosh, it’s been such an inspiring journey all around. My whole team has been educating ourselves through several different resources, including working with Bold Blind Beauty along this process. I was not even aware when we started this journey how many people there are in the world that are either totally blind or visually impaired. I believe it’s around 400,000*. We started thinking about the experience of a visually impaired person going into a major beauty department store, having not a single brand that is offering braille on their products and it’s really an area of the many areas of the beauty industry is lacking still at this point, despite a lot of progress that has been made. It’s something that we wanted to address because I think it will make a lot of people think in new ways, put themselves in the shoes of somebody who has a different human experience than they do and really just to continue to expand our mission to be inclusive of people from all walks of life and to be able to provide what they need to have a positive experience with beauty.

Abby:

Can you tell us where you’re going to put the braille on the packaging and what it states?

Jasmine:

Sure. We have our brand name in braille on the lipstick tube itself, and we also have the shade distinctions. We are associating them with skin tones to make it easier for people who have never seen color to understand. Our shades go from deepest to fairest and in each category, there’s a one, two, three, so you can get an idea of the shade range within that category of deep or tan. We’re also going to add some additional information on our website in the coming weeks. We plan to create a YouTube video to explain the functionality further, so we really encourage people to go check that out too. Then on the box we’re going to have a QR code so that you can just scan that and easily get to our website to find that additional information.

Abby:

Can you tell us about your product? I read that it’s animal and cruelty free, which is such a plus for me because I am all about natural and bringing wonderful beauty to life nature. Can you talk to us about that?

Jasmine:

Our products are currently cruelty-free and actually we’re really excited that we are now going to be expanding into being fully clean as well by Credo Beauty and Sephora’s clean standards. I believe there is a list of 50 chemicals that you have to keep out of your product and I recently added somebody to my team, Julia, whose family’s been in beauty manufacturing for 50 years. She’s just a powerhouse of knowledge in this area, so with these additional resources on the Spktrm team now, we’re able to make strides in these areas. We really want to be mindful of every aspect of the brand and to be approaching it from an ethical perspective. This’ll be exciting progress for us as well.

Abby:

I cannot wait to give this a try. I really cannot. I just love what you’re doing and your passion behind it. This is just thrilling to me. If people wanted to find out more about your product and when it’s going to be introduced and where to purchase it and all that fun stuff, where could they go?

Jasmine:

I would encourage people to go to our Instagram first because that is the place that we’ll be announcing our launch. We’re working on some website updates right now related to compliance for visually impaired individuals, so that’s still in process, but if you follow us on Instagram at spktrm.beauty, you’ll be the first to know when our lipstick and rebrand launch happens.

Abby:

I’m already following you, but I’m just going to go spread the word even more. I cannot wait about this. I am jumping for joy. I am so excited about it. It’s going to be so much fun. Is there anything else you’d like to share with us?

Jasmine:

That’s it for now, but we’ll be making a lot of updates on our Instagram, so definitely keep your eyes peeled there.

Abby:

Oh, I totally will, and I cannot wait for this. You guys, this is Jasmine Glass of Spktrm Beauty. I’m [inaudible 00:07:25] keeping it real, keeping it natural, keeping it lovely one cane tap at a time. This is Abby with Bold Blind Beauty and thanks so much for tuning in with me and my friend. Oh, this is so fun. I have a good one guys.

Globally the number of people of all ages visually impaired is estimated to be 285 million, of whom 39 million are blind. ~Word Health Organization

Connecting With Spktrm Beauty:

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