Pink background white text. The RNIB see differently awards logo. White text reads Dr Amy Kavanagh #SeeDifferentlyAwards. Grey Background, white text, I'm a national finalist, Campaigner of the Year

See Differently Awards

On Tuesday I had the pleasure of attending the Royal National Institute of the Blind See Differently Awards.

Amy stands in front of a banner with the RNIB logo on it. She wears a long navy dress with big pink flowers on it. She holds a pink long cane, and has a sassy expression.

I was chosen as a Campaigner of the Year national finalist for my #JustAskDontGrab campaign. It was a huge honour to be nominated and shortlisted! I was totally overwhelmed when I heard the news as it felt like a real recognition of my work by the visually impaired community.

A group selfie in front of the same banner. On the left an older couple, the woman rests her hand palm flat on the mans chest. He wears a red bow tie, they both have big smiles. In the middle Amy

It was a really lovely occasion, and luckily I could take my parents as well as Other Half. The event was truly empowering and I just loved hearing about all the incredible work being done by so many to break down the barriers faced by blind and partially sighted people.

Unfortunately I didn’t win but I was very happy to lose to the incredible Rachael Andrews who won a landmark case at the High Court in favour of more accessible voting for visually impaired people.

However, the real highlight of the day for me was meeting some of my brilliant Twitter pals. So it was truly fitting that today Diary of a Disabled Person nominated me as a Fearless Snowflake! The award inverts the snowflake insult often hurled at advocates online and turns it into a way of celebrating uniqueness and strength. In a week full of recognition this delightfully mischievous award is the real icing on the cake, so thank you!

The Fearless Snowflake Award Logo. A blue softly painted background with the light outline of a white snowflake. It reads The Fearless Snowflake Award

In honour of being a fearless snowflake and the lovely awards ceremony I’m going to talk about three fabulous visually impaired women and their blogs (which you should all be following!)

First… Elin Williams of My Blurred World

Elin is an incredible young woman who blogs all about her experience of sight loss and chronic illness. Her empowering message is one of confidence for other young disabled people. The blog is full of the dignified honesty and kindness that exudes from Elin when you meet her. If you have any young people in your life who are struggling with coming to terms with illness or disability, you couldn’t send them to a better blog than Elin’s!

Next… Holly Tuke of Life of a Blind Girl

Holly and her blog are funny, charming and brilliant! Life of a Blind Girl is a one stop shop for life hacks (including some very useful makeup tips), accessible tech and employment advice. Holly is striding into her 20s with all the confidence of a badass blind woman. She is the awesome visually impaired advocate that I wish I had discovered ten years ago. Holly is also deeply passionate about her music. Holly wrote a pretty cool guide to gigs in the early days of this blog, so check it out! She charts her experiences battling access at concerts, the love of her favourite artists and the powerful meaning of music in a world with low vision. So if you have a music buff that needs a new recommendation, send them to Holly, and they might learn a bit about how blind people can 100% succeed in the workplace!

Finally… Chloe Tear

Chloe’s blog started out as Life as a Cerebral Palsy Student. Since 2013 Chloe has been talking about the highs and lows of life as a disabled student. From her love of mustard yellow to her hilarious and often moving accounts of navigating the world with a mobility & visual impairment, Chloe’s blog is utterly charming. Recently Chloe has been touring national media talking about her experiences of disability hate crime. I have been awestruck with her powerful voice and bravery to discuss such an important issue. She is a true ambassador for disabled women and her fearlessness gives me strength. Chloe is so much more than a snowflake she is a brilliant blizzard!

A group of young women stand together. On the far left, Elin, in a blue top and black skirt holding a folded cane. Then Chloe in her trademark mustard yellow cardigan holding her long cane. Then Holly in a black and white dress smiling at the camera. Finally Amy in her blue and floral dress holding her pink long cane.

It was a privilege to stand beside these women as we were recognised for our activism. I know they will be friends for life and I hope you will all come to admire them as much as I do.

Fearless Snowflake Award Rules

  • Thank whoever nominated you, & link back to their blog.
  • Link back to this blog post, & name Diary of a Disabled Person as the creator.
  • Display the logo.
  • Nominate 1 – 3 individuals, & make sure to let them know!
  • Write a couple of paragraphs describing why each of your nominees deserves The Fearless Snowflake Award.
  • Get in touch with me so that can pass on my personal congratulations.

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