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Baring Our Souls For A Vision Of Empowerment

Baring Our Souls For A Vision Of Empowerment

“The one thing you have that nobody else has is you. Your voice, your mind, your story, your vision. So write and draw and build and play and dance and live as only you can. The moment that you feel that just possibly you are walking down the street naked…that’s the moment you may be starting to get it right.”

~Neil Gaiman

My business partner, Chelsea Nguyen, is from Houston, TX and I live in Pittsburgh, PA. And together we are walking down the street naked.

You see, our accessible online magazine CAPTIVATING!, only 7 months in the making, has received an award from the Texas Rehabilitation Association. The award is for our work in representing people with disabilities in journalism. Isn’t this exciting? But wait, there’s more!

At the time we began our Go Fund Me Campaign we still hadn’t met in person. However, if you read yesterday’s post “Empowering Young People to Soar With Passion & Purpose” you know we met in person.

Chelsea and I envision a more inclusive world—it’s who we are. Changing the perception of disabilities and the people who are living and thriving with them is our calling. Connecting and enlightening people of all abilities is our mission.

If you’ve ever wanted to make an impact would you consider helping our efforts? We invite you to check out our story on Go Fund Me. Help us spread the word. Thank you!!

Baring Our Souls For A Vision Of Empowerment Featured Image Description:

The photo is from our June edition of the magazine. The article was written by Ron Graham of HAVIN. It’s about the Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) Cane and Able which consisted of a group of 12 people, seven of whom were totally or legally blind, and one of them was on a motorized scooter. Visit www.captivatingmagazine.com to check out the article.

Additional Images:

  • Chelsea & Steph – Photo was taken at DFW. We are posing with our luggage and I have my gold cane in my left hand.
  • Level Up Brochure – 2019 Envision program brochure with the theme: “Connect Engage Act.”
  • The Gang – Max, Steph, Chelsea & Jeremy at DFW. Max and I are both holding our white canes.
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Accessibility Meets Fashion In Clothing Identification Solutions

Accessibility Meets Fashion Featured image description is in the body of the post.

Accessibility Meets Fashion In Clothing Identification Solutions

Improving accessibility for blind and visually impaired (B&VI) people is a critical and ongoing process. Thanks to my role in Bold Blind Beauty, I have participated in many research projects on the topic of accessibility. The most recent ‘creating accessible makeup packaging for (B&VI) people’ was so exciting I could barely contain myself. Exchanging ideas and coming up with novel approaches to creating more accessible makeup is huge. What this means, in a nutshell, is we are moving in the right direction.

So a few days ago, I was thrilled when Faye, contacted me. Faye, a recent fashion and textile designer graduate, working on her Master’s dissertation asked if I could put feelers out in my network. She needs to collect anonymous data to move forward with the project.

What was interesting to me is Faye’s reason behind her research. I found out her passion for her work was borne as a result of her mom’s chronic illness. Her mom wanted to look beautiful even when she was at her worst.
What influenced Faye to make a difference was her mom’s clothes didn’t last long because of her disability.

Faye’s Message

Hi, my name is Faye and I’m a mature Masters student from the University of Portsmouth. I am writing a paper to identify areas that need improvement in the clothing identification of (B&VI) people. Creating digital labeling solutions will follow. I am looking for participants to complete my survey or just to comment. This will help me understand the processes and what people actually want to know about their clothes for easier identification. The data will be transferred into the labels.

Here is the link to the survey https://www.smartsurvey.co.uk/s/Z8TLZ/

Thanks for all your help!

Accessibility Meets Fashion In Clothing Identification Featured Image Description:

Image by Arek Socha from Pixabay. Striking black and white photo of a silver key in mid-air aimed at a keyhole.

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Worldwide Search For Models With Disabilities!

Worldwide Search For Models With Disabilities! same image as the featured image

Worldwide Search for Models Disabilities! YOU could be on the cover of CAPTIVATING!

Today, CAPTIVATING!, a project of Bold Blind Beauty, has launched a worldwide search for models with all types of disabilities. This global social media campaign is being managed by our newest Staff Writer, Rebecca Holland, of Beckie Writes. Continue reading to find out more, especially if you or someone you know has a disability and is interested in being featured on our March edition of CAPTIVATING!

Worldwide Search For Models With Disabilities! same image as the featured image
Our social media campaign is being managed by Rebecca Holland. Find out more on Instagram! 

Do you have a disability? CAPTIVATING! Magazine is looking for cover models for our March issue! Enter for your chance to be featured on our cover.

CAPTIVATING! is a magazine that is breaking down barriers and helping the world to see that all people―especially people with disabilities―are beautiful. We are looking for people of all ages from all over the world with all types of ability levels.

Not all disabilities look the same and we support people with all disabilities, including hidden disabilities. If you consider yourself to be a member of the disabled community, then we invite you to submit your image!

We want to see YOU on our cover! 

Our campaign is focused on Instagram because it has one of the highest engagement rates and is a great platform for aspiring influencers. We would love to see you participate in our Instagram campaign!

It’s easy to submit a picture! Just do the following easy steps: 

  1. LIKE this blog post on Instagram. You can find it here: https://www.instagram.com/p/BtwG0wjHpCT/
  2. FOLLOW @beckiewrites (campaign manager) and @captivatingmagazine on Instagram
  3. POST a picture to Instagram and TAG@captivatingmagazine and @beckiewrites 
    ―bonus points if you’re wearing red and black (our colors) in your picture!
  4. COMMENT on this post and let us know that you’ve submitted your photo! Bonus points if you tag two friends who might be interested in being on our cover as well!
  5. BONUS: Don’t forget to use our hashtag #WeRCaptivating anytime you’re talking about us on social media!

Not An Instagram User? Not A Problem!

If you don’t have Instagram but would still like to participate, you can e-mail your photo submissions to CAPTIVATING! at: editor@captivatingmagazine.com.

That’s it! I hope to see you featured on the front of our March issue! The cover model candidates winners will be selected and announced Friday, March 1, 2019.

More great news!

Even if you are not selected for our March cover, we may choose to feature you in one of our future issues. We will also be selecting photos to share throughout our campaign on our Facebook and Instagram feeds! Even if you’re not selected for the cover, you may still get a shoutout!

Worldwide Search For Models With Disabilities! Featured Image Description:

White text on a red background reads, “CaptivatingMagazine.com | Models with Disabilities Wanted.” Beckie smiles while wearing a red coat and leaning against a bookshelf. She has long dark hair and glasses.

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Improving Humanity By Respecting Differences

Improving Humanity By Respecting Differences Featured Image is described in the body of the post.

Improving Humanity By Respecting Differences

Improving Humanity By Respecting Differences Featured image description is in the body of the post.
Me In My Favorite Color Combo

Today I saw one of the silliest Tweets I’ve seen in a while. The Tweeter has a blind relative which in turn makes them an authority on blindness. Their knowledge of blindness was so impressive I was shocked to learn I can’t do all the things I’m doing. Well fry me in butter and call me a catfish!

Please forgive my sarcasm. I actually felt a little bad for the Tweeter because the Twitterverse tore them apart. Me? It wasn’t worth my time responding

There’s actually some truth to the whole wisdom and age thing. I know this to be true because things that would have previously set me on fire just aren’t worthy of my attention. It’s not to say that this person’s opinion didn’t matter it may have had it been expressed as such. However making wild assertions that blind people aren’t capable of this, that, and the other, well, what was the point?

One of the benefits of belonging to a marginalized group is it gives you a broader perspective. I happen to belong to a few:

  • African American
  • Female
  • Over 55
  • Blind
  • Short

Even though I belong to these groups I’ve never thought of myself as marginal. This doesn’t mean that I’ve always been treated equally to others, who aren’t among these groups, but I digress.

One Of A Kind

What I have a hard time understanding is how we can’t see that each of our experiences is unique. Let’s say you and I share the same medical condition yet one of us couldn’t function like the other what does that mean? I give you a hint: nothing.

The word ‘unique‘ is defined as “existing as the only one or as the sole example.” So if each of us as individuals is one of a kind why do we continue to compare ourselves against one another? Why can’t we just embrace ourselves as who we are and be done with it?

Please correct me if I’m wrong here but I thought as a species, humans are the same on a biological level. However, the beauty of being human lies in our complexities. If siblings from the same background turn out to be polar opposites what does this mean for the rest of us? 

None of us knows everything. I think if we could slow down, listen a little more, and respect one another we’d be a little better off. One thing I’ve learned in recent years is to approach life and people with an open mind. I remind myself that no two people in the same situation are going to react the same way. And you know what? That’s okay. 

I believe now more than ever that to improve humanity we must change the way we perceive one another. 

Improving Humanity Featured Image Description:

Two transparent bluish human skeletons on a black background with anatomical features (brains, intestines, etc.) 

Additional Image:

A throwback tri-collage of me standing in front of my counter with my white cane. I’m wearing a black & white striped v-neck sweater with a black pencil skirt (with gold accents). I’ve paired the outfit with black suede knee-high boots, silver statement earrings and a pixie cut wig.