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Suzanne Clarke | Blind Beauty Issue 42

Blind Beauty Issue 42 featured image description is in the body of the post.

Suzanne Clarke | Blind Beauty Issue 42

“Tears, flowing, rolling down my cheeks,
My life described in verse.
I’ve been feeling this for weeks and weeks,
This blind poet can sure converse.
The poem that hits home to me,
Was truly written from the heart.
It’s okay to scared said he,
The permission to live could start.
He helps so many with blindness,
Reaching out with his poetry.” ~Suzanne Clarke

Sometimes in our darkest moments, we can find a sliver of hope in the light of another. For Suzanne Clarke who is losing her eyesight to Retinitis Pigmentosa (RP) another living with the same disease became her hope.

In the attached video Suzanne reads a stirring poem (beginning at 5:14) inspired by Blind Poet, Dave Steele. Dave, who also has RP, is the author of the Stand By Me RP book series.

When Suzanne sent me her video I couldn’t wait to share it with you! Like so many others who’ve lost sight later in life, we share so much in common. Our commonalities help uplift those new to sight loss by showing them there is hope and life without sight.

Suzanne, thank you so much for allowing Bold Blind Beauty the pleasure of sharing your story.

Blind Beauty Issue 42 Featured Image Description:

The image is a faux fashion magazine cover titled Blind Beauty. Suzanne is on the cover smiling brightly for the camera and sporting her sassy short silver hairstyle. She is wearing a red and black floral v-neck top.

Blocks of text superimposed on the photo are: “Bold | She Keeps Pressing Onward,” “Blind | She Has Deeper Insight,” “Beautiful | She Sees To The Heart Of Others”

Connecting With Suzanne Clarke On Social Media:

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Summer’s Glowing Glistening Skin

Summer's Glowing featured image description is in the body of the post.

Summer’s Glowing Glistening Skin

Summer’s Glowing Glistening Skin sounds almost poetic doesn’t it? A more truthful title might look something like this: Summer’s Slick Slimy Sweaty Skin. Sadly, I don’t think the proposed title would garner any attention.

Steph’s Summer Oily Skin Remedy

Glistening skin is foreign to me. I sweat! And when I say “sweat” I mean buckets. So today I’m going to share my summer skincare routine.

Bold Blind Beauty believes true beauty resides within. Sometimes the way we appear on the outside may not necessarily reflect what’s on the inside. For example, when it’s hot, hazy, and humid I find it difficult to feel beautiful. Toss in a hot flash and it’s a wrap.

It’s hard to feel beautiful when you really feel like a slimy, sticky slug. The past few days have been so sticky and hot the thought of putting on makeup made me nauseous. So what do I do to combat my summer oily skin? A simple 3-step skin care regimen which includes a tinted moisturizer. When the temperature gauge hits 90’s+ any attempt at applying foundation flies quickly out the window.

Recently, I swapped out a couple of my regular skin care products with an oil reducing cleanser and a tinted moisturizer. So when it feels hot enough to fry an egg on my face I cleanse, exfoliate, then use the moisturizer with SPF. After this, I throw some eyeliner, mascara, brows, and lips then I’m good to go.

So when it’s hot as a blast furnace my skincare routine allows my outside to more accurately reflect my inside. Translation: I don’t feel like a walking/talking puddle of mush.

Featured Image Description:

The image has Paula’s Choice products lined up on mint colored fleece. In the background is a brown standing decorative hammered metal leaf tray.

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Living Abundantly | Abby’s Reflections 32

Living Abundantly featured image description is in the body of the post.

Living Abundantly | Abby’s Reflections 32 

“Living abundantly is not only possible for blind persons, I feel it is almost a better way to live. I feel we perceive the world in a deeper, richer, and more profound and meaningful way as sightless persons.”

My life is full of daily adventures and discoveries of the world in a whole new and different way:

  • Using the blend of the rich fabric of sound,
  • The touch and feel of a human hand or hug,
  • Aromas of a café,
  • And the enjoyment of a wonderfully tasty meal.

It is an opportunity to show the world we are a beacon of hope as we communicate with everyone around us. We are a diverse bunch of “whole people” who do most everything our sighted friends can, and often more. We’re people who’ve gained new skills in using our other senses to experience the wonderful world we live in.

Living Abundantly Featured Image Description:

A white, teal and gray boldblindbeauty.com template uses the ‘Abby’s Corner’ image. Abby, sporting her signature explosive hairstyle is sitting cross-legged in her PJs (gray bottoms & white top with a gray collar). She is using her teal Abby logoed laptop with a headset/microphone and her white cane is propped up next to her.

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Customer Service Is For Everyone

Customer Service featured image description is in the body of the post.

Customer Service Is For Everyone

“Assumptions are the termites of relationships.” ~Henry Winkler 

Instant Gratification Can Come At A Great Cost

Eight connected gears are in the background of the word "Service" in red letters.

If you visited Bold Blind Beauty over the past two days you probably found the site was down. So what happened and how was the issue resolved?

Since accessibility is of the utmost importance, I am working with someone to make BBB fully accessible. The process involved moving the site to a self-hosting platform. In preparation, my accessibility guy spoke with the host company as did I with a list of extensive questions. Everything was copacetic until it wasn’t.

The process began by live chat around 5:00 or so Wednesday evening. After speaking with a wonderful sales representative from the hosting platform, I felt confident about my decision. Once signed up with the new service the sales rep turned me over to a technical professional.

Typically, I don’t explain my sight impairment but in this situation, I wanted the hosting company to understand my needs. After fours years of hard work, I wasn’t in the mood to lose all of Bold Blind Beauty’s content. Each person I spoke to assured me everything was going to be “smooth and easy.” This should have been a red flag.

By Thursday, while I appeared cool and calm on social media, in reality, I was losing my mind. I was “live chatting” with the hosting company throughout the day while taking screenshots of our conversations. Since I couldn’t access my content all sorts of nightmare scenarios were floating through my head. Even though I had a backup of the site my nerves were on edge because of the downtime.

On Friday morning I awoke with new determination; I was going to go back to WordPress. The first thing I did was contact the hosting company and requested transcripts of all my chats. Then I contacted WordPress, explained what happened and was able to put a temporary solution in place. Once I had the transcripts, I canceled the transfer of the domain to the hosting company and requested a refund.

Customer Service In A Fast Paced Digital World 

We are living in a world full of 1-800 numbers, big box stores, and at least a bazillion online service organizations. Gone are the days of rabbit ears, phone booths, taxicabs, and ice boxes. In exchange for instant gratification, customer service can go by the wayside.

Today, if we make a call we may find ourselves in the ninth circle of voicemail hell. Don’t even get me started on interacting with internet service providers, cable, cell phone, and utility companies. Then we have scripted, off-shore call centers where cultural challenges can be barriers to a satisfactory experience.

Life is challenging for everyone. For people with disabilities (PWDs) working hard to find ways to adapt can be especially frustrating. While we still have a long way to go, we have made some strides:

  • Social changes in society have led to greater enlightenment. Remember the days when PWDs were institutionalized for their entire lives?
  • Legal protections are in place for protected groups. Acts of discrimination are against the law.
  • Rapid change in technology has allowed PWDs to connect with the world around us like never before.
  • PWDs work very hard to assimilate because this is the world in which we live.

Breaking down barriers is hard, never-ending, and necessary work. So when we deal with customer service representatives who can’t respond to our needs it compounds our challenges. Makes one wonder where the care is in customer care.

Even with the barriers and other challenges presented to us, there is an opportunity for positive change. Here at Bold Blind Beauty, we are empowering blind women to transcend barriers and live productive and fulfilling lives.

My SITE may have gone down but my SIGHT is focused on moving forward.