Guest Post: Ashley Morgan

Confidence Is Beautiful, Confidence Is Ashley!

Photo of Ashley sporting a bob hairstyle posing for the camera with a big smile on her face. She is wearing a pretty blue & white patterned crew neck top
Ashley Morgan

Hi, my name is Ashley Morgan. I am a daughter, sister, aunt, and teacher and I am also blind. I was born 3 months premature and only weighed 2 pounds, 1 ounce. The doctors gave me too much oxygen, and it damaged my retinas, causing me to be diagnosed as legally blind.

Growing up, I had no vision in my right eye, and I had very little vision in my left eye. I could see things only if they were very big and close to my face.

My parents made sure that I had a normal childhood. I went to public school throughout my education, and I had all the normal childhood experiences. I went to birthday parties, sleepovers, rode my bike, and roller skated. Most of my friends were sighted, so I was very much a part of the sighted community. Throughout early elementary school, I used a closed circuit TV, allowing me to read and write in print.

At the age of 11, my parents enrolled me in a school district that had a visually impaired program. At that time I learned braille and how to use a long cane. Doors began to open for me upon learning these new important skills. When I entered middle school, I was a dual media learner, using both braille and print.

While in middle school I decided that I wanted to be a teacher of the visually impaired when I grew up. After graduating high school, I went on to college, attending Kent State University, where I majored in Educational Studies and attending graduate school at The Ohio State University, where I received my Master’s in teaching the visually impaired.

Going to college as a young woman who is blind was very difficult, but so rewarding as well.

I learned how to be a greater self-advocate for myself, and I explored my passion for teaching on a deeper level. Once I received my Masters, I began teaching the visually impaired in 2010. Then, during my first year of teaching, I lost the rest of my sight as a result of Closed Angle Glaucoma, becoming totally blind with no light perception.

I’ve held numerous teaching positions in the past 7 years. I feel blessed to educate children who are blind and visually impaired and to educate the sighted community about blindness. I don’t view my blindness as a disadvantage, but rather a gift.

My greatest gift that I can give to someone is knowledge. I love educating children who are blind and I love educating the sighted community about blindness.

It is so satisfying and rewarding to me when I can teach a child a new braille contraction and then watch that child use it in applications. I love working with children to help them use their assistive technology and watch them flourish in the classroom.

My newest venture is being a Younique presenter. Younique is a cosmetics company whose mission is to uplift, empower, and validate women. I believe that I bring a unique aspect to the Younique family since I am blind.

My blindness has allowed me to see beauty in a different way for I believe that our emotions and actions are what make us beautiful.

What really matters to me is not how that person looks but how they feel, their actions, and how they interact with those around them.

What really matters to me is not how that person looks but how they feel, their actions, and how they interact with those around them.

I believe what we wear whether its clothes, jewelry, or makeup can evoke emotions. And it’s those emotions that make us beautiful. I want to be able to help women experience make up with their senses: feeling, touching, smelling, and hearing and not focusing on sight.

I believe that my disability does not define me, but rather has molded me into the woman I am today. I have embraced my blindness. We all have a story to tell, and that gives us powerful connections to others and allows us to sometimes make positive change.

You can contact Ashley through her Younique site at www.youniqueproducts.com/WildHeartAshley

 

Bridging The Gap Through Action

“Tell the negativity committee that meets inside your head to sit down and shut up.”

Description is in the body of the post.
Abigale (Abby)

A friend of mine shared the much-needed above quote with me yesterday in response to my FB post about how much anxiety I was experiencing as I worked on integrating the new e-commerce component into Bold Blind Beauty. Even though I was unfamiliar with this particular platform, I felt it was a matter of transferring the knowledge I gained from setting up Abigale Style to incorporating it here at Bold Blind Beauty.

So imagine my satisfaction at not only being able to put out the following message but I also placed my first order—YAY!!

Effective immediately we are pleased to announce that Abigail Style, LLC will be officially doing business as Bold Blind Beauty. While we are still testing features on the store & no orders shall be fulfilled at this time, you can find us at www.boldblindbeauty.com/shop. Please be patient with us as we work to get things moving smoothly. Thank you!

None of this could happen without the help of my awesome Steering Committee: Holly Bonner, Carla Ernst, Robert Eutz, Sherry Ingram, Lisa Smith, and Amy Wilson. We’ve begun the process of setting up our Strategic Beauty Advisory Board and are very excited about upcoming collaborations. Thank you, gang!

Choose a job you love, and you will never have to work a day in your life.” ~Confuscious

Have a great Monday everyone!!

A Quick Update

Description is in the body of the post.Good News: The Internet is working.
Bad News: I’m not done yet. If it breaks, my dog Mollie did it. Don’t let her cuteness fool you, she’s a wily one.😂

Description: Older photo of Mollie, a small terrier/chihuahua mix. She has blond curly hair that is totally out of control at the moment.

It’s going to be another heads-down day or two and thankfully I’ve not lost my sense of humor. I just keep reminding myself “I ❤ technology” while simultaneously thinking “it’s out to get me.” 😲

Have a good one everyone. 😘

How To Remain Fashionable After Total Sight Loss

Blind And Wanting Fashion On My Terms

Question: I am a vision rehab therapist working with an individual who has recently lost all of her sight…

…She has always been very clothes and style conscious and would like to be able to stay that way. She is not a computer user and does not plan to become one, but does have an iPhone. Do you have suggestions for how someone who is blind can stay current on fashions – especially those new fashions seen in New York City, but not necessarily in the “boonies” where we live? ~Eileen B.

Thank you for your question, on behalf of your client Eileen. There’s no doubt there are some unique challenges faced by people who are, or become blind or visually impaired in just about every area of life. When it comes to how we present ourselves to the world it can be especially daunting in how information is or isn’t presented.

Based on what I can glean from your comment, it sounds like your client is new to sight loss and in the short-term wants solutions other than technology to stay in the know. Following are a few things she might consider:

  1. Shopping with close friends or relatives who are familiar with her style
  2. Consultants will develop an in-depth personal profile to suit the individual needs of their  client
    • Personal Shopper/Styling Service
    • Beauty Consultant
    • Image Consultant
  3. Shop or sales assistants can help her choose outfits based on her input. It might be a good idea to call ahead first to make sure the store will have staff on duty to help.
  4. QVC does a remarkable job in describing the products they sell. Following is a small sampling of their fashion segments
    • Morning Q Live – Style Edition
    • Amy’s Closet (Amy Stran)
    • Denim & Co.
    • Inspired Style® – Late Night Edition (Courtney Cason)

Hopefully, with time your client will reconsider using technology as an option to keep up with the world of fashion as this will enable her to become more independent. There are so many resources online from blogs, YouTube videos, tutorials, and subscription services, to social media groups who are leveraging these platforms to get their message out to many diverse groups of people. Technology opens up an entire world of opportunities previously unavailable to those who are blind or visually impaired.

I hope this information is helpful. Please let me know if you have more questions.

Have a great weekend!

~Abby