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Embracing Independence With The White Cane

Embracing Independence featured image description is in the body of the post.

Embracing Independence With The White Cane

“Failure to understand why I use a white cane on your part does not constitute an explanation on my part.”

~Stephanae McCoy

Originally published on April 28, 2017 and lightly updated.

1. Gold Ambutech Slim Line cane image description is in the body of the post.
1. Gold Ambutech Slim Line Cane

If you fear using a white cane because of what other people think, fear no more. Do this for you and no one else! Accepting your white cane offers you the irrefutable gift of independence.

While the stigma of the white cane still persists, there are increasing numbers of people opening up about blindness/sight loss. Having conversations about the topic of blindness helps to not only increase awareness but also empowers those affected by it.

Managing Bold Blind Beauty has enabled me to connect with so many others who are thriving with their blindness/sight loss. Sharing stories of our featured guests continues to stoke the flames of my passion for advocacy. Breaking down barriers, focusing on abilities, and pushing for inclusion by connecting sighted and non-sighted people is key.

If you’ve been following me for some time now you know that blindness is unique for each individual. There is no one way to ‘look’ blind and thankfully technology is helping to open doors previously inaccessible to us.

2. Posing with my black Slim Line Ambutech Cane image description is in the body of the post.
2. Posing with my black Slim Line Ambutech Cane

I’m now 58 years old, still don’t ‘look’ like I’m blind and there is no need to prove this to anyone. Today, I boldly use my white or colored cane depending on my mood. There was a time when foolish pride and worrying about what other’s thought kept me from doing what’s best for me —no more. Nowadays when I fall it’s no longer a joke, it actually hurts. So to keep from stumbling, I use my white cane and I’m ALL IN!

There is no shame in having a disability or using a white cane or other mobility device. So SHINE ON!! Get out there and LIVE life💖 You got this!

#NoFear #NoShame #NoExplanation #YouGotThis

Embracing Independence With The White Cane

A tri-collage of me posing with my white cane in front of my counter. I’m wearing a black cold shoulder top, blue jeans and light colored mules.

Additional Images:

  1. A photo of my Ambutech Slim Line gold cane and one of my mustard pointy slingback flats.
  2. I’m posing outside with my black Slim Line #WhiteCane wearing ivory leggings, tan tank under a tan dolman sleeve sweater, and sneakers. My white backpack is sitting next to me on a wall.
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Technology Creates Endless Possibilities

“For people without disabilities, technology makes things easier. For people with disabilities, technology makes things possible.” ~Mary Pat Radabaugh.

Blurred image of an open laptopI am so grateful to have the opportunity to learn new things every day. Take a recent article I wrote the other day focused on how I use my computer. In response to my post fellow blogger, David Goldfield of Thoughts from David Goldfield directed me to a very comprehensive FAQs he wrote on this topic.

What I like most about David’s article, How Does a Blind Person Use a Computer or Smartphone, Anyway? is the way he explains not only the ‘what’ but the ‘how’ of assistive technology for a person who is blind or has low vision. When you have a moment pop into David’s place to check it out. He also encourages additional questions he may have missed.

Have A Happy Hump Day!!

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How Do You Use A Computer When You Can’t See?

“I am not what happened to me. I am what I choose to become.” ~C.G. Jung

#1 - Screenreading & Magnification Tools located on my bottom toolbar.
#1 – Screenreading & Magnification Tools

One question I’m frequently asked as it relates to my sight loss is how I’m able to do some of the things I do like; work on the computer, read, watch tv, cook, grocery shopping, travel independently, walk my dog, makeup application, coordinating outfits, to name a few. The short answer is with training I’ve learned how to accomplish day-to-day tasks with low-tech labeling tools like fluorescent bump dots or Ott lamp to high-tech gadgets like video magnifiers or CCTVs (closed circuit televisions).

#2 - Magnification Controls
#2 – Magnification Menu

#3 - Magnified page
#3 – Transparent Magnifying Glass

Several decades ago when I first heard the term “paperless office” I thought there’s no way this will work. I couldn’t comprehend what would happen to my paper filing systems I mean I had many years worth of pay stubs, bank statements, health records, financial records, household data and on and on.

#4 - Full Page Magnified View
#4 – Full Page Magnified View

Thankfully as technology evolves I do too. I went from someone who had to keep every scrap of paper because “you just never know when you’ll need it” to a shredding maniac and transferred my paper filing skills to digital. Today, I do everything online and I have no need for paper other than to scan it to my computer if need be.

#5 - Magnification Options (full, lens, docked)
#5 – Magnification Options (full, lens, docked)

Since my life literally revolves around my computer I felt the time was right to show you how I use it especially in view of the fact that my magnifying/screen reading software of choice is not compatible with my system. Windows has built-in accessibility or “Ease of Access” which includes a narrator, magnifier, high contrast, closed captions, keyboard, mouse and other options.

#6 - Magnification Lens
#6 – Magnification Lens

My laptop is connected to a 32-inch flat screen television which I use as a monitor. With such a nice size screen, I have more desktop real estate to manage multiple programs with increased magnification. I’ll describe each of the screenshots in this post to give you an idea of how I use Windows 10 built-in accessibility.

#7 - Narrator Options (general, voice, commands, minimize)
#7 – Narrator Options (general, voice, commands, minimize)

  1. I’ve pinned the narrator and magnifier tools (highlighted) to my taskbar at the bottom of my screen. This way I don’t have to hunt for the settings.
  2. When I open the magnification tool the control menu pops up. In this screenshot, the plus and minus signs allow for an increased or decreased view. There are 3 optional views from which to choose (full screen, floating lens or docked lens). The magnifier goes up to 1600% however at this setting there is very little on the screen.
  3. No matter what optional view is chosen (this is full screen) there is a transparent magnifying glass (arrow highlight) that I can click on at any time to change my settings.
  4. When I click on the magnifying glass the magnification menu appears so I can alter my adjustments.
  5. This screenshot shows the available viewing options and keyboard shortcuts.
  6. The highlighted circle shows what the lens option looks like. It will magnify wherever the mouse is moved.
  7. The narrator menu has a number of options such as voice, speed, pitch and volume. In addition, you can select how the narrator starts, navigation and create keyboard shortcuts.

Life is different after you develop a disability, but when the focus is placed on what you can do, with some adaptations, life continues onward.

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Style & The White Cane Can Coexist

Style & The White Cane Can Co-Exist

Real Beauty Transcends Barriers

Bold Blind Beauty

Style & The White Cane Can Coexist

Beauty, Blindness & The White Cane

Stephanae & white cane Image Description is in the body of the post.
Stephanae & White Cane

“But you don’t look blind” Many of us blind/VI ladies hear this quite often, especially if we are stylish and walk confidently with our white canes or guide dogs. But here’s the thing, if someone told you they had cancer to say “you don’t look like you have cancer” would be considered rude. The same holds true for blindness and many other disabilities. Fact is there are many fashionable and attractive women who happen to be blind. The thing that sets us apart is we refuse to let our lack of eyesight prevent us from living life on our terms.

I think it’s important for all of us to remember things aren’t always as they might appear.

“Everybody, including people with disabilities, makes assumptions. Problems arise when we are not open to learning our assumption was wrong.” 

Libby Thaw, The Checkered Eye Project

Featured Image Description: 

I am posed standing in this photo (a collage of three images) with my white cane. My outfit is a black tee, black leggings, black crisscross heels, gray long hooded vest.

Additional Image:

Another tri-collage where I’m standing with my white cane against my counter in the living room. This time I’m wearing all white (jeans, cami, open shirt) with beige block-heeled lace-up sandals. A silver cuff bracelet, statement necklace, and earrings complete the look.