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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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How Losing My Sight Transformed My Vision

Real Beauty Transcends Barriers

A little something I found in my archives but never posted. ~Steph

  • Abby is directly above the slogan “Relax! It’s Only A Cane.”Prior to losing my sight, I used to think blindness was an all-consuming, suffocating darkness.
  • Prior to losing my sight, I used to think blindness meant using a white cane.
  • Prior to losing my sight, I used to think blindness was the worst thing that could happen to a person.
  • Prior to losing my sight, I used to think blindness would prevent me from working or participating in community service.
  • Prior to losing my sight, I used to think blindness meant life as I knew it would cease to exist.
  • Prior to losing my sight, I used to think blindness meant I couldn’t enjoy entertainment like books, tv or movies.  
  • Prior to losing my sight, I used to think blindness would change how I interact with friends and family.
  • Prior to losing my sight, I used to think blindness meant living a solitary life.
  • Prior to losing my sight, I used to think blindness meant I wouldn’t be able to cook, clean or care for myself.
  • Prior to losing my sight, I used to think blindness would mean the end of laughter, beauty, and the things that bring me joy.

All the things I thought I knew about blindness were wrong.

Selfie of me wearing a black off the shoulder top/choker with a long silver necklace.Since the loss of my sight, I’ve learned so much about myself, others, and life in general. For several years I’ve maintained that I am the same person today as I was when I began my journey into blindness but this really isn’t true.

I have changed because to remain the same means I’ve not grown. Life is bigger than me and you, life is bigger than blindness. If I could extend my arms from one end of the galaxy to the other I still would not be able to contain life.

Life is beautiful. With each new day, we have an opportunity to live our life to the best of our ability. Beauty is all around us and we can experience it in a myriad of ways.

Blindness is not the barrier; there is always a way. The barriers each of us have to overcome are our biases; we all have them. Sometimes we have to go through some stuff in order to come face to face with our own biases.

If I had to choose one thing blindness has taught me it would be I have a greater appreciation for life. Life doesn’t change but it can change us if we let it.