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Alicia Connor | Benefitting Others By Shared Experience

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Alicia Connor | Benefitting Others By Shared Experience

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Editor’s Note

At Bold Blind Beauty we love sharing stories of our amazingly resilient community members. We especially love it when we can celebrate one of our own. Alicia Connor began writing for Bold Blind Beauty in 2021 and she has consistently provided top-notch content for everyone who follow us.

As a registered dietitian nutritionist, and chef Alicia is extremely compassionate and she uses a non-judgmental approach with all of her clients. She’s also a goal getter interested in benefitting others through her shared life experience. Earlier this year, she pitched the idea of a speaker series, InSIGHT Through Inclusion, in the hopes of creating employment opportunities for people with disabilities. It’s a huge goal however our team believes in the value of people with disabilities and this belief fuels our passion to continue onward.

As with all of our main features, below Alicia’s YouTube video is the transcription for those who prefer to read. Enjoy! ~Steph

Beyond Sight Magazine Cover

Alicia Connor is a pretty white woman with dark wavy short hair. She is sitting at her kitchen counter, smiling at the camera. She’s wearing a maroon cowl-neck long-sleeved top with black pants. On the counter is a bowl of salad and a glass of water. Text on the cover reads “Beyond Sight November 2022 | Women On The Move | Alicia Connor.”

YouTube Video

Meeting Alicia

Hello. Hello, this is Alicia Connor. I’m a registered dietitian, nutritionist, and chef. My first career was as a chef, and as my vision began to decline, I went back to school, become a registered dietician nutritionist.

So the vision condition that I have is called optic nerve atrophy, and it’s a genetic condition, and my mom has the same condition. But we both became legally blind around the same time. I was 27 and she was in her fifties, and my grandfather also had the same thing.

Red Flags

So, the way my vision loss presented itself was I learned how to drive and there might have been some red flags, so to speak along the way. I think it’s helpful to know about this specific observation. So I played on a couple softball teams, I think maybe four seasons in high school. And I was an outfielder, so I had a strong arm and I could throw from center field all the way to the catcher. And so one of the teams I played on the coach was like, Hey, why don’t you try being a catcher?

I was not good at catching I may have caught one ball. On one hand, I felt like I needed more coaching specifically to help me, but that’s because I didn’t know. So it’s possible that my vision loss started earlier in high school or late elementary school. Anyway, so I just wanted to plant that seed in terms of the observations because adults who are responsible for children, there’s something about the eye/hand coordination is wonderful for like, sports are wonderful for kids or adults.

And I think that if somebody’s not great at a position, there’s more than like, why are they struggling? And so I just think it’s helpful if maybe my mom was communicated to about Hey, I think there’s something going on, then maybe my vision could have been checked out earlier.

Alicia’s Stance on Diversity & Inclusion

So I want to describe myself. I’m wearing a striped blue wool sweater, and a navy blue scarf with white stars. And I have a cycling cap, which is a small petite cap. So I’m wearing a hat instead of showing off my hair. I am white or Caucasian. I’m an advocate for diversity and inclusion in general of people and not just about diversity in terms of disability.

I’m about inclusion of all people, and I really think it’s important. I myself am not huge into labels. I understand like the purpose behind them, but I don’t consider myself a white person or Caucasian person. I think of myself as Alicia that’s how I show up as. I’m positive, I’m relied on for being positive. People, my friends, my clients think of me as the positive person in their life and I have to do the work personally to show up in this way. I’m not saying every day is easy piece of cake, but it’s about work.

InSIGHT Through Inclusion

So I’ve been a content writer or blog writer for Bold Blind Beauty, which I’m in very excited about since January, 2021. Working with Steph and Nasreen is really cool and I’m spearheading this speaker series called InSIGHT Through Inclusion. And so we are advocates for hiring anybody with a disability. We wanna talk to audiences as well as organizations who want to hear our inspirational stories of sight loss and howeach and every person has a different story.

And when it started some people are born with, and then some people experienced vision loss later on. Like I was a teenager and then I gave up my driver’s license when I was 20 years old, knowing that eventually I would have to give up my driver’s licence.

Health & Wellness

So in my blogs I typically write about nutrition, meal planning mindset for health and togetherness together time.I really think that the kitchen and the table, (this is my dining room table behind me) the table is a place for connectiveness and togetherness and communication. Cuz it’s the one place that everybody’s facing each other and it’s the perfect place to have a conversation about what’s going on.

Who needs help? And you know, what were the good things? What were the challenges? Where do you need help and how’s it going? Let’s, let’s laugh, let’s cry, let’s communicate.

I have a meal planning program and I work with clients one on one, and I’m working on making my the content for my meal planning program accessible for folks with vision impairment. So both the low vision or legally blind folks, which I’m low vision or legally blind. My vision is in the ballpark of 20/200. And then also folks that use a voice reader so a screen reader, that’s what I meant to say.. . So yeah, so the content, I wanna make it accessible to anybody.

And So if you’re interested and you wanna gimme feedback about the content of my meal planning program, I’d love to connect with you. I wanted to make sure to state that. So I am really excited to be part of Bold Blind Beauty, and I look forward to booking some talks for InSIGHT Through Inclusion and to demystify blindness through storytelling. Everybody’s sight loss story is their own individual story and we all experience different challenges within the day.

Screen Magnification

I did wanna show you my computer screen. Let’s see if I could do this without making anybody sick. Sorry about the light, but it is what it is. So that’s my screen magnifier.

I use a large monitor and then the Microsoft Windows Screen Magnifier to see anything. So I think I use five times magnification to seven times magnification depending on what I’m doing and my fatigue. When I went to school, I used large print for exams and the large print was 36 point font.

So if you, type something up and then you print it out, then you’ll see how large that might be. So the larger the font, then it would take me less time. So the smaller the font, then the more time it takes me to read something. I just wanted to throw that out there because all these little details on like, I’ve experienced, all these challenges and I would love it for anyone out there in the world to benefit from my challenges. That’s all about sharing our experiences so that other people will struggle less. I’m game with that idea.

Well, I look forward to connecting with, with anybody. Like If you wanna collaborate on a project or anything. Or you just wanna talk about if you’re interested in, you know, the path of becoming a dietitian or anything at all, you’re jazzed about talking to me. I would love to connect with you and to be continued. Don’t be shy this is Alicia Connor. I have a YouTube channel called Quick and Delish by Alicia Connor, and there’s probably gonna be some sort of connection within, like, on this page or something for you know, social media as well as my YouTube channel, so Awesome.

Cheers for now. Bye.

Connecting With Alicia

Like what you’ve read and want to chat about it? Join us in the Bold Blind Beauty Facebook group.

Alicia’s Bio

Alicia Connor a pretty brunette with dark wavy short hair wearing a denim jacket as she leans on a kitchen counter with assorted veggies in front of her.
Alicia Connor

Alicia Connor is a registered dietitian nutritionist and chef who is passionate about encouraging lifestyle shifts with a focus on meal planning and simplifying healthy eating. Alicia built a career as a chef, including working at a top San Francisco restaurant. As a young adult facing hereditary vision loss, she took control and pivoted to another career as a dietitian to grow roots deeper than ‘just cooking.’ She has seen the impact of meal planning and nutrition in her clients over the years, often through their increased energy, empowered weight loss journeys, and freedom to pursue more of their passions due to increased confidence.

Moving away from the mindset of dieting, Alicia helps clients build a toolkit of strategies to reduce stress and increase peace of mind. She supports her clients through one-on-one sessions and a virtual meal planning program to build helpful habits and create actionable plans to meet their goals.

‘Quick & Delish by Alicia Connor’ is a video cooking series on YouTube where Alicia presents easy recipes with minimal steps for flavorful, balanced meals. 

Image Descriptions

  • The cropped header photo is identical to the image used on the Beyond Sight Magazine cover and YouTube thumbnail. Alicia Connor is a pretty white woman with dark wavy shor hair. She is sitting at her kitchen counter, smiling at the camera. She’s wearing a maroon cowl-neck long-sleeved top with black pants. On the counter is a bowl of salad and a glass of water. Text on the cover reads “Beyond Sight November 2022 | Women On The Move | Alicia Connor.”
  • Video description: Alicia is wearing a striped blue wool sweater and a navy blue scarf with white stars. She has on a cycling cap, which is a small petite cap.
  • Bio photo: Alicia is wearing a denim jacket as she leans on a kitchen counter with assorted veggies in front of her.

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