Private Places, Public Spaces

A warning sign. A person pushes a wheelchair user, stick figures in a red circle with a line through. To the left of the image is a large red box with white lettering reading Do Not Push.

As a visually impaired woman using a white cane I experience unwanted touching in public every single day. I have been dragged across roads, pulled out of train carriages and pushed around shops, without being asked if I wanted assistance first. These experiences can be distressing and disorientating, occasionally they cause me physical harm. Whenever… Continue reading Private Places, Public Spaces

Don’t kids say the darndest things?

A small baby grabs Amy's folded white cane and lifts it as he looks at it. Amy is holding the baby up as he sits on a picnic table. Amy is smiling and wearing sunglasses.

I live in a suburban family neighbourhood so I regularly encounter small children on my walk to work. My white cane totally fascinates them and I almost every day I over hear a loud “WHAT’S THAT MUMMY?” Parents seem to have two responses to this question, they either answer it or they shush the child,… Continue reading Don’t kids say the darndest things?

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?

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

Bold, Blind & Beautiful?

Two side by side photos. One Amy's plain blonde hair from the back, the other Amy's hair with the light pink to hot pink to purple fade at the of her hair.

I don’t really consider myself very fashionable. I’ve never had a massive interest in clothes. I wear makeup somewhat begrudgingly and constantly feel like I’m probably getting it wrong. My wardrobe contains more PJs than nice dresses. A recent transition to a new job has meant I’ve had to dress a bit more professionally in… Continue reading Bold, Blind & Beautiful?

“Just Ask, Don’t Grab”: the role of Active Bystander Intervention

A flow chart titled active bystander intervention techniques. Heading, witnessing harassment and 5 arrows pointing to sub headings and boxes. 1. No action, do nothing to intervene in the harassment. 2. Direct action, directly intervene and confront the perpetrator. 3. distraction de-escalate teh situation by engaging the perpetrator or the target in conversation, 4, delegation ask someone with more power in the situation to intervene instead of you, 5, delay, wait until the harassment stops then approach the target to check they are alright.

With the rise in hate crime so evident, street harassment is on the minds of many of us. However, for disabled people, street harassment is a matter of every-day living. It is a very rare day that I am able to leave the house with my wheelchair and not be subjected to some form of… Continue reading “Just Ask, Don’t Grab”: the role of Active Bystander Intervention

Blind Abilities Podcast – Part 2

Blind Abilities Logo. Taken from Apple Podcast app. A black background with grey circle and the letter B and A in bold white text. The horizontal of the A is an arrow.

The second part of my interview with Blind Abilities explores my journey of accepting the cane and applying for a guide dog. One of the best things about doing this interview with Jeff at Blind Abilities was the opportunity to open up more honestly about some of the struggles that I've had and the process… Continue reading Blind Abilities Podcast – Part 2