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Trust Is Key To Unlocking Confidence & Independence

Trust Is Key To Unlocking Confidence & Independence featured image description is in the body of the post.

Trust Is Key To Unlocking Confidence & Independence

My other goal is to teach the community that people with visual impairments are just anyone else. They just use additional tools to access the world. This access should be universal and a normal part of day-to-day life.

~Michele Danilowicz
1. Michele Danilowicz image description is in the body of the post
#1. Michele Danilowicz

I am a Michigan-based Teacher for the Visually Impaired (TVI) and a Certified Orientation and Mobility Specialist (COMS). My undergraduate degree is in teaching elementary and special education with a focus on visual impairments. In addition, I have a masters degree in Specific Learning Disabilities and Orientation and Mobility for Children. For 14 years I’ve taught students aged 3-26 years old.

My passion is teaching students to help them gain confidence and independence so they are successful adults. I work with students on accessing and using the technology and tools they need to live independently after they age-out of the system.

Oftentimes, students with visual impairments are led to believe they can’t be successful, independent adults. So the most important part of my job is building trust with them. This enables them to believe me when I tell them that they can do anything.

How Trust Delivers Results

I had an elementary student who lacked confidence and hesitated while crossing streets. His parents were fearful and did not want him crossing a street on his own either. He was a fourth grader and at this time was not independently doing what his peers were. Together we went out weekly rain, snow or shine to work, navigate the neighborhoods, and cross intersections. So he was able to walk to friends houses to play and hang out.

I never pushed him if he ever felt uncomfortable to cross. We would cross the street when he built up his confidence. He achieved all his goals that year and crossed at stop signs and even small, lighted intersections. Once he began, he advanced so quickly after he gained confidence and is now unstoppable.

Building trust with parents is crucial also. So after he mastered some of these skills, I invited his parents to a lesson. His parent’s witnessed how confidently their son now crosses intersections, independently and safely. Seeing him progress was so rewarding!

The Long-Lasting Effects Of Trust

Recently, a former student contacted me to tell me she was accepted to a dual masters program. This student and I worked together ten years earlier. I was beyond excited to hear that she is starting a master degree!

She has been living independently since starting her undergraduate degree. Now she is moving across the state by herself to start and complete her master’s program. This student also made a huge transition in her life and is transgender. I was so grateful to hear from her and learn that she trusted me enough to share with me, her transition. The trust and confidence that she has built is amazing!

Passion & Pursuit of Personal & Professional Goals

2. Two women presenting image description is in the body of the post.
2. Two women presenting

My other goal is to teach the community that people with visual impairments are just anyone else. They just use additional tools to access the world. This access should be universal and a normal part of day-to-day life. Part of my job is to teach awareness in local schools about the tools people use who are visually impaired. I also spread this awareness to the public about what helpful accommodations they can use. Along with how to help (or not help) people in the community.

Recently, I was teaching an accessibility workshop to third graders. One of the students stopped me before I walked into the classroom. She said she knew someone who was blind and felt sorry for them. My immediate response was there is no reason to feel sorry for someone who is visually impaired or blind. They are people just like you or me they just access the environment differently. I told her how I knew many successful people doing amazing things. They read by using braille and travel the community and even the world, independently with a cane. The cane helps them to “see” where they are going.

I began the presentation and thanked the students for coming to hear about how everyone can be independent and successful. Everyone just approaches it differently. This is one of the most important parts of my job, educating the public on how and when to help. To not pity visually impaired or blind people, but to appreciate how they navigate the world with the tools at their disposal. When the average person realizes how independent the VI community members are, it gives them a whole new level of respect. Respect is most important, not pity.

3. Table of materials image description is in the body of the post
3. Table of materials

Featured Image Description:

A woman talking while holding up a white cane looking off camera. There are backs of participant’s heads watching the woman present about white cane safety.

Collage Image Descriptions:

  1. Pedestrian Walk Sign: Woman (O&M instructor) is holding a folded white cane, smiling looking off camera, standing at a detectable warning next to a pedestrian walk sign.
  2. Bus Stop Shelter: Woman (O&M instructor) smiling at camera holding a folded white cane standing next to a bus stop shelter.
  3. A city bus. 
  4. Boarding Bus: The back of a woman (O&M instructor) walking onto a city bus. 

Additional Image Descriptions:

  1. Close up of Michele Danilowicz with long brown hair in her 30s smiling at the camera. 
  2. Two women presenting on cortical visual impairments. The power point presentation behind them says: “Tips for Providing Interventions cont.” One presenter is looking at the camera and smiling. The other presenter is looking at the audience holding up a red Elmo stuffed animal and a red and yellow stuffed monster. They are both standing behind a table full of red and yellow materials and toys. 
  3. Table with materials scattered across, a light up magnifier, dome magnifier, Braille writer, telescope, two vision simulation goggles, Braille book, large print book, large Braille cell drawn on paper with the numbers 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6 next to the dots and worksheets to learn Braille for print readers. 

Connecting With Michele:

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Blind Beauty 71 | Amy Wilson

Blind Beauty 71 Amy Wilson featured image description is in the body of the post.

Blind Beauty 71 | Amy Wilson

Your confidence can affect so many different aspects of your life. From getting that amazing job to finding the person of your dreams. Or worse, staying with someone who doesn’t deserve you because you think you can’t do better.

~Amy Wilson, Mary Kay Beauty Consultant

Who Cares How I Look?

Time after time people say to me, “who cares if I wear makeup or use skin care products?”  Well, I’m going to share something with you, a lot of people do.

It’s one thing to be confident in yourself, I get that, and it can go along way. However, there is something to be said for a person who is well put together. Whether it’s just well taken care of skin or a full-face of makeup. It matters.

Here Is Why…..

The First Reason:

Whether you like it or not people judge. Even those of us who are totally blind or have low vision judge people. Everyone judges, it’s an unfortunate fact of life.

You get judged by the person at the checkout at Wall-Mart, people who drive past you, co-workers, fellow students and many more. People want to look at things that are enjoyable. They want to smell pleasant things and they want to interact with people who make them feel good.

Now you are probably thinking how the heck does this have anything to do with makeup, lady? Here it is, when you take care of your skin and it’s healthy looking and feeling, that builds your confidence. Even if you don’t feel it right away it does. When you receive a compliment about your glowing skin, you will for sure feel it then.

When you add some makeup, even if it’s Basic Jane looks you will feel more confident.

The Second Reason:

You lack confidence in yourself or your ability to take care of your skin or apply makeup.

Your confidence can affect so many different aspects of your life. From getting that amazing job to finding the person of your dreams. Or worse, staying with someone who doesn’t deserve you because you think you can’t do better. I have been there myself. I can’t count how many relationships I stayed in because I thought so little of myself. Man, that was hard to write, but its the truth.

Don’t settle in your life when you’re unhappy. Do something different. And yes it will scare the crap out of you. But life happens outside your comfort zone. I was reminded of that fact just today. I did something that would move my Mary Kay business forward big time and it scared the hell out of me. That told me I needed to do it.

If you lack confidence putting on makeup―Take A Class!!!! There are several different videos and in-person classes you can watch or attend in-person. I do live videos and Zoom video classes about two or three times a week where you can learn and ask questions right away. Since I haven’t been able to use a mirror for years, I do ALL my makeup with NO mirror. So you can learn from someone who understands your struggle.

The Third Reason

You should care. Care about yourself, your appearance and how people view you.

Care about yourself above everything else cuz no one will take care of you but you. You set the standard of how you want to be treated. It took me many years to learn this lesson. I let people treat me how they wanted to and then I was surprised when I felt like crap. I just wanted people to be friends with me, after all, I was that poor blind girl so friends were limited. Note, I said was?

Once I began caring about myself and how others treated me, my life changed. At first, it was hard. Not all those people who took advantage of me were around but then something happened. I found people who treated me with respect. It takes adjustment but is it so worth it.

Once you begin practicing caring for yourself then you want to up your game on your appearance. Because ultimately you feel the need to look as great as you feel.

Now don’t go thinking I’m telling you to go from zero to a hundred on the makeup thing. That’s too much work, lol. What I am saying is to start small.

Girl wash your face, put on some foundation and either lipstick or cream eye shadow. This is all I did for years. You have to start somewhere.


Now going back to caring how people view you. I’m guessing like most people on the planet there’s something you want and you probably can’t do it alone? Yup, here’s the thing:

  • you can’t get that job,
  • land that hot guy,
  • start your own business
  • or just make some friends without people looking at you and your appearance.

The whole world is not blind. We don’t live in that kind of a world, but if it was it would be an interesting place. Anyway back on topic, lol.

Now for me, my appearance is a massive part of my job. No one wants to buy beauty products from someone who wears sweatpants, never wears makeup or has bad skin. Not that I don’t wear sweatpants when I’m at home—like all the time, lol. When I leave my house though I AM my business.

Not only am I my business but I am a representative for our blind community. That’s right you represent your fellow community. If you’re not blind I promise there is another community you represent. So represent it strong and with pride. Let’s show the world our #BlindPeoplePossiabilities.

I truly hope this article is helpful to you. One of my biggest missions in life is to build confidence and courage in others.

My Mary Kay is more than just products. It’s about allowing people to find themselves, grow and spread across the world like beautiful Wildflowers. If you’re interested in getting to know more about me, you can find me on Facebook under Amy Wilson. You can also join my Facebook group called Wilson’s Wildflowers to check out FREE classes and videos.

Connecting With Amy:

Blind Beauty 71 | Amy Wilson Featured Image Description:

Featured image is a faux fashion magazine cover titled Blind Beauty. Amy’s image on the cover is black & white.
She is smiling in this photo as a first-time attendee at the 2018 Mary Kay Seminar. Her sunglasses are on top of her head and she has a strand of pearls around her neck. Blocks of text superimposed on Amy’s photo say: “Bold–She Keeps Pressing Onward, Blind–She Has Deeper Insight, Beautiful–She Sees To The Heart Of Others.” “Real Beauty Transcends Barriers.” “Makeup Trends for 2019–How To Maintain A Flawless Look”

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Directing Your Show: Where Fashion & Disability Meet

Directing Your Show: Where Fashion & Disability Meet

“How we are perceived is determined by how we present ourselves. We direct our own show.” 

~George Rector, Popping Wheelies

Introduction: Today I’m thrilled to present to you a friend and fellow warrior, George Rector of Popping Wheelies. Like many of you I’ve befriended, I met George through blogging and found we have some shared interests. One of these interests is our passion for inclusion in the world of fashion for those of us living with disabilities. ~Steph

Disability, Fashion, Style & Confidence

Image 1 photo description is in the body of the post
Image 1

The elephants in my room are paraplegia and the ever-present wheelchair. The disability in my life is Multiple Sclerosis. The important things in my life are my family and friends.

When I first had to use a wheelchair, a nurse told me that she was confident I’d quickly learn how to make it enhance my life. As a Peer Counselor/Peer Support Volunteer, I have talked about embracing whatever piece of technology works for us. “If it makes your life better, don’t be afraid to use it.”

How we are perceived is determined by how we present ourselves. We direct our own show. What are we going to show to the public? Of course, they are going to look at our white canes, our wheelchairs, our crutches, but then they are going to look at us.

This is where disability meets fashion. Where disability meets style. Fashion makes the first impression; style makes the lasting one. It is style that determines how we perceive ourselves, and it determines how we are received in public. They are vital to the person who has a disability.

Your Life, Your Production

Directing Your Show Featured Image description is in the body of the post
Image 2

I am interested in both men’s and women’s fashion. And style. Lots of designers are men. My personal style is simple, basic design with classic colors. If we pick a style that fits our personality and then stick to it, things get easier to manage. What works with your skin and hair color? What works with your daily activities? I am learning to stick with combinations of blue, green, and white. They fit my personality and with my light skin, blue eyes, and blond hair.

My advice is to think about our interests, think about ourselves, and stick with it. I’m getting better at it. I gave away half of the things in my closet and still have twice what I need.

And if you are wondering where I fit into the Bold Blind Beauty Community, I am a “retired” eye doc due to MS. Vision is my training and experience, but I am also a patient. Vision and MS are closely related. I am extremely light sensitive and have a tint for every need. I select a tint based on what I am doing and not by what I am wearing. While my distance vision is good, I have difficulty reading. For that, I have specific reading glasses, enlarge the print on my Kindle, and change its illumination.

Fashion, style, confidence. You can direct your show about how you feel and how others feel about you. And remember that the best fashion accessory is a genuine smile.

Directing Your Show Featured Image Description:

George is sitting on a wooden bench with his left leg propped atop his wheelchair which is next to the bench. He is wearing a green tee paired with khaki shorts and flip-flops. A camera is around his neck and he’s sporting sunglasses. In the background are lush green tropical plants.

Additional Images:

  • Image 1: George is sitting on a wooden bench at Flagler Beach. He is smiling for the camera wearing a yellow tee, dark sunglasses, and minimal jewelry. In the background, waves are washing up against the beach and a pier is jutting out into the ocean.
  • Image 2: In this photo, George is looking stylish in a short-sleeved black dress shirt and black pants. He is sitting on the arm of a sofa and his gold necklace and bracelet are nice accents.

Connecting with George:

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Confidence & Self-Respect | Abby’s Reflections 17

Confidence quoted text and image description are in the body of the post.

Confidence & Self-Respect | Abby’s Reflections 17

“Like most things in our lives, confidence ebbs and flows. Some days you may feel more confident than others. However, even on the days when you lack confidence, unless you’re saving lives, it’s not fatal.”

For me, confidence is an ongoing battle of accepting my quirks, flaws, and insecurities. During the moments when I don’t feel confident I remind myself of my value and this helps me to refocus. When I feel confident, I feel beautiful.

How does one become confident? Begin with self-respect. When you respect yourself, you are empowered to choose who and what you allow into your life. Your confidence will continue to grow when you have a mutual and healthy respect for yourself and others,

Take some time if you need to, pick yourself up, dust yourself off and then when you feel the moment is right, carry on. Be kind to yourself; be kind to others, and remember confidence requires constant maintenance. ~Abby

Abby’s Reflections Description: 

A white, teal, and gray template utilizing the ‘Abby’s Corner’ image of Abby sitting cross-legged in her PJs (gray bottoms & white top with a gray collar) with a teal Abby logo laptop on her lap. Sporting her signature explosive hairstyle, she is wearing a headset with microphone and her white cane is propped up next to her.