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From MD to Pokemon, Abby Is On The Move

Check Out These Fab Pics of #AbbyOnTheMove

Maryland Grocery Store with magnifierOur Abigail has been a busy lady indeed! The following photos were taken in Maryland, Nevada, California, Ontario and my personal favorite with Pokémon!

Susan Kennedy uses the smartphone app Visor in order to read a can label with magnification and contrast control at the grocery store. She’s wearing an Abigail Style comfy white tank which reads “Blind Chicks with Attitude” paired with a pink cotton sweater, gray shorts, and silver flats.

Grocery Store Magnifier (1)

Images: 1) Use more than eyes at the grocery store, try sniffing a cantaloupe to see if it’s sweet/ripe or not. 2) Susan greets cashier with a smile as she navigates with her white cane and pulls a full grocery cart behind her thru the checkout lane.

 

Abigail was a welcome tag-along on my wedding and honeymoon to Las Vegas, Williams, Az, the Grand Canyon, and Sedona, AZ! ~Bree Orner

 

A Little White Wedding ChapelWilliams, AZ

Grand CanyonSedona, AZ

My friend Bree Orner posed with “My Friend is Bold Blind & Beautiful” Abigail Style coffee mug in front of “A Little White Wedding Chapel” in Las Vegas Nevada, in front of a train in Williams, AZ., at the magnificent Grand Canyon (in the background) and in front of a mountain in Sedona, AZ.

 

Laguna Beach, CA w%2FJoy

Joy Thomas is standing on the beach holding a “My Friend Is Bold Blind & Beautiful Abigail Style coffee mug.

 

 Visually impaired women want to develop our own style, just like any other woman. ~Kerry Kijewski

 

Facebook Ontario Kerry

Thanks go out to Alaina Vollmershausen of Glow Hair Studio / the Closet, Woodstock, ON, Canada, for helping Kerry spread awareness about how visually impaired women want to develop their own style, just like any other woman. Alaina is standing behind Kerry holding the “My Friend Is Bold Blind & Beautiful ” mug.

Kerry & Neice

Kerry Kijewski is sitting with her little niece who is holding the “My Friend is Bold Blind & Beautiful” Abigail Style coffee mug.

 

Pokemon

I thought this one was cute. The son of one of my friends captured two different images of Pokemon characters who appear to sit on top of the “My Friend is Bold Blind & Beautiful” Abigail Style mug.

Abigail Style products are available at www.abigailstyle.com. 10% of all profits are donated to the Employment Services Division of Blind and Vision Rehabilitation Services of Pittsburgh (BVRS).

If you haven’t already be sure to connect with me on Facebook for additional updates!! Have a great day! ~Steph

 

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A Speech & A Revelation

Toastmasters would be appalled!

Recently I was invited to speak at a fundraising event hosted by Blind & Vision Rehabilitation Services of Pittsburgh (BVRS). Admittedly it’s been a while since I’ve last done any public speaking but I was pumped at the prospect of a presentation that would rival any of the Ted Talks (maybe a tad delusional I know, but let me have my moment).

Planner that I am, prior to the event I furiously wrote, edited, scrapped and repeated so many versions of my speech I lost count. This was my big moment, the outcome of which would hurl me into the stratosphere of greatness!

The venue was a charming 1920s renovated single-screen movie theater. Guest gift bags, multiple raffles with great prizes, buffet of delectable appetizers, drinks and a movie, made for a fabulous Girls’ Night Out.

On entering the lobby guests were mixing, mingling, and having a good time. I met so many lovely ladies, some of whom were very familiar with BVRS and others who wanted to learn more about the organization.

Eventually it was time to enter the darkened theater (thank goodness I brought my tablet which contained my notes or it could have been a very bad day). After Erika Arbogast, President of BVRS thanked everyone for coming and gave a few brief words on the event, she introduced me.

I didn’t think I was nervous but it’s the only explanation I can come up with for what happened next. One of the first things I learned on public speaking was to not begin with an apology, can you see where this is going? Yup, I explained something to the effect of how having a tablet as opposed to note cards was preferable, yadayadayada.

Then to my horror I lost my place on my tablet and drew a complete blank. As I heard myself uttering uh, uh, um, uh, I was simultaneously counting the ahs (a task learned in Toastmasters). For an agonizing minute that stretched on for what seemed like hours I totally lost my memory.

Plans to slay the audience were pushed aside as I had to regain my composure to carry on with my message. While I didn’t say all that I wanted to, giving up on the tablet and talking from my heart ended up being okay.

Many of us go through life trying to find out our life’s mission and here I was living my purpose and didn’t fully understand it until the other day. I’ve been an advocate (now Abilities Crusader) for many years but it wasn’t until May 3 of this year that everything clicked into place.

Twenty eight years ago my middle son, Devon, was born. Till this day I don’t know how my grandmother knew, but she said something was wrong with him. To read more on Devon check out A Shot in the Dark.

By the time Devon reached first grade his issues escalated requiring hospitalization from which the diagnosis of ADHD along with other acronyms was given. When he was placed in special education this was when my advocacy began—this was my purpose and this was the topic of my speech.

When I lost my eyesight challenges like putting on makeup, taking medication, getting in and out of the shower, preparing for work, shopping, watching television, walking the dog, being unable to distinguish bushes from animals or trees from people—everything was difficult. If I thought all of this was hard, coming to terms with not recognizing the faces of people I knew and loved nearly broke me.

Many times I wanted to give up but I am so thankful for organizations like BVRS whose Access Technology Program brought me back from the brink. It was through this program that a trainer came to my job and he showed me how to use technology to continue working. He introduced many solutions to make living with sight loss easier.

Little did I know that managing Devon’s issues through 12 years of school was the gift of my purpose to help him, others, and myself. By BVRS fulfilling their purpose of helping people with sight loss and other disabilities reclaim their lives, they’ve allowed me and many others to continue living our purpose.

BVRS focuses on abilities and they realize the importance of seeing people as individuals each of whom is born with a specific mission. The services they provide aid people in re-attaining a meaningful life. I will always be grateful for what BVRS has done for me.