How does disability define me?

Amy is being filmed. She stands at a pedestrian crossing, her cane in her left hand reaching out onto the tactile paving. In front of her a road, to her right, the pedestrian button box, crouching beside her a camera woman in a green tshirt points the camera up at Amy. Amy wears a pink tshirt, sunglasses, and has tropical pattered trousers.

For nearly 27 years I used to say that I wasn’t “defined by my disability”. The reality was that I had internalised pervasive, toxic and negative representations of disability. By refusing to be defined by my disability, I denied myself an identity, a community and the support I needed. My disability used to be something… Continue reading How does disability define me?

Using AIRA Access at the Airport

screen shot from aira listing in the app store. Aira logo is top left. Small lower case a in turquoise on a white circle inside a turquoise soft edged square. Text reads, Aira, description of life.

If it wasn't readily apparent from my post about my trip to London, I love traveling. What I don't love, though, is dealing with airports, which can be a challenge even when you have perfect vision. I hate trying to get around airports. I have no useful vision, so it's impossible for me to do… Continue reading Using AIRA Access at the Airport

Blind Button Masher

Image shows Playstation menu screen. Blue background with white text. The enable zoom option is selected, with instructions displaying how to enable and disable the zoom by holding the square and ps4 button.

People are often really surprised when I mention that one of my hobbies is gaming, especially when I'm holding a white cane in one hand. So how does a visually impaired person play video games? Ready Player One? First it's important to understand that I have useful residual vision. On a good day, I can… Continue reading Blind Button Masher

Visually Impaired Video Gamer

A white cane with a roller ball tip is folded and resting on a wooden floor. Next to it are two games console controllers. A white PS4 controller and a black xbox controller. Attached to the elastic handle of the cane is a metal key ring in the shame of a games console controller.

This blog started life as a typical accessibility review. But as I was writing what was supposed to be the introduction, I realised that I have a significant relationship with video games. It turns out these virtual worlds and the characters in them have been pretty important throughout my life, especially as a disabled gamer.… Continue reading Visually Impaired Video Gamer

Painting a Picture with Words

A screenshot of netflix open in a browser window. The menu bar is visible and audio description has been selected, indicated by bold text and a white tick. In the background, the title screen for the show Black Mirror, is visible.

The place I get stared at the most when I’m using my white cane is the cinema. A few months ago I was queuing up with Other Half to buy some popcorn and an older lady did a dramatic double take. According to OH, she then proceeded to turn around and repeatedly look me up… Continue reading Painting a Picture with Words