Video: Addressing Misconceptions About Blindness With The Disability Misconceptions Tag

A written post will be added soon.

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Remember, if you have any questions or requests for future posts / podcasts / videos, please feel free to tell me either by using this site’s contact form, by sending me an email at SirenaRayLind@gmail.com,, by mentioning me on Twitter with the hashtag #TalkAboutItRena or by DM’ing me on Instagram.

If you read many blogs from different blogging platforms on Bloglovin, please feel free to add mine as well!

Until next time, my \Treasures, I bid you a fond adieu.

Video: The Visually Impaired People Tag

Video time! The Visually Impaired People Tag!

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Remember, if you have any questions or requests for future posts / podcasts / videos, please feel free to tell me either by using this site’s contact form, by sending me an email at SirenaRayLind@gmail.com,, by mentioning me on Twitter with the hashtag #TalkAboutItRena or by DM’ing me on Instagram.

If you read many blogs from different blogging platforms on Bloglovin, please feel free to add mine as well!

Until next time, my \Treasures, I bid you a fond adieu.

The Visually Impaired People Tag

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Hello, my Treasures. Welcome back to another blog post!

As this tag is one focused on blindness, I’ve decided to do it and post it here..

This tag was started by Youtube’s Chatty Chelby and has made its rounds among many blind and visually impaired Youtubers. I’ll post my own corresponding video once it’s uploaded. The questions will be the same, and the answers will be similar, but I answer differently in videos than I do in blog posts. I tend to ramble a lot more in videos.

VIP TAG QUESTIONS

1. What medical condition caused you to be blind or visually impaired?

I have a degenerative eye disease called Lebers Congenital Amaurosis, often referred to as LCA for the sake of brevity. In my case, my retinas are scarred, thus leaving me with only peripheral vision.

2. In 3 words, describe your vision.

  1. Indistinct.
  2. Unreliable.
  3. Helpful.

The latter two responses may seem to counteract one another, but they don’t. My vision is both unreliable and helpful given the situation in which I’m placed. On bright days, it plays tricks on me and is most unreliable. On overcast days, it can be useful in distinguishing large contrasts in shading, like a pale sidewalk against grass or bold white lines on a street’s crosswalk.

3. What is the hardest thing to do being blind or visually impaired?

The most difficult part of being blind is the lack of freedom to just get up and go. I can’t leap into a car and drive to the mall if I want to. I can’t decide to go somewhere new without first getting assistance with the route and the layout of the destination. Even when traveling in familiar places, I must always keep the route in mind, and even then, weather or time of day can still make it exceedingly difficult to travel.

4. What is the best part about being blind or visually impaired?

Recently, a friend’s thirteen-year old daughter asked me this poignant question. I’m no stranger to receiving questions about my disability. I honestly love receiving them. The only way this world is going to combat the rampant ignorance surrounding blindness is for people to ask the questions they don’t know the answers to. I enjoy educating, and I welcome the queries that come my way.

I’ve been asked if I can dress myself, I’ve been asked if I know sign language, and I’ve been asked what the worst part of being blind is. I’ve never been asked what I enjoy most about it.

The question caught me pleasantly off guard, but the answer came to me within moments.

What I love most about being blind is the depth my blindness forces me to acknowledge in others. Not being able to see people forces me to look beyond the physical. The snap judgements that the sighted make, perhaps without even meaning to, are lost to me. I can’t glance at someone and think to myself, She’s too fat, or He’s got too many pimples, or Her hair’s too frizzy, or His shirt has a weird pattern. Sighted individuals see these things, and often decide the people harboring these traits are not worth getting to know.

I can’t do this, and I believe it might be blindness’s greatest gift.

5. What question do you get asked most about or because of your vision?

  • “Do you live alone?”
  • “Who takes care of you?”

I know that’s two questions, but they’re right along the same line, so I’m including both. As for the answers:

  • Yes, I do live alone.
  • Nobody takes care of me. I ask for help when I need it, but I don’t have a care-giver.

6. Do you have a cane, a guide dog, or neither?

I have a cane. I used to have a guide dog, but he was retired in 2014. I’m in the process of applying for my second, and hoping it works out in the end.

7. What is one piece of advice you would give to someone who is losing, going to lose, or has lost their vision?

Find the one person in your life who will understand and who will let you feel the grief of that loss. If you have at least one person on your side you feel comfortable talking to about how you’re feeling, it will make the transition more bearable.

8. What is one piece of advice you would give to a sighted person about interacting with a person who is blind or visually impaired?

Please don’t grab or touch us without our permission. I’ve been in situations where I’ve been grabbed by the arm and pulled across a road or down a sidewalk. If you did this to a sighted person, it would look like an abduction. That’s how it feels to us, but nobody blinks twice. Once they see the dog or the cane, they just assume we’re being helped.

It isn’t only rude to touch a blind person without our permission, it’s terrifying. If you wouldn’t grab a sighted person and manhandle them along, don’t do it to us. We are people. We have rights, we have triggers, we have things that frighten us and make us uncomfortable. For many blind people, being seized out of nowhere is one of these.

Please, just don’t do it.

9. Why did you join WordPress?

The original question was “Why did you join YouTube?” but as this isn’t YouTube, I’m altering it for this platform.

I joined WordPress because I enjoy writing. I knew that as I grew my business, I would need to get my voice out there, and while I’ve been told potential clients won’t be looking at blogs, YouTube channels or podcasts, I still enjoy writing my posts and filming my videos and recording my podcasts. I enjoy sharing my story with all of you. I want to inspire, and that doesn’t have to begin on a stage. It can begin right here, so long as I make the effort.

I’m so happy I did join WordPress and that I have begun my journey here. Every follow, every like, and every comment makes me smile. They let me know I’m making a difference, even if only a small one. Small ripples grow, and I’m blessed to have each and every one of you in my life.

10. Name 3 people to do this tag next.

If anyone I tag below does not want to do this, you don’t have to. And if anyone I haven’t tagged comes across this post and wants to do it, please send me a link to your blog post / YouTube video / podcast episode! I’d love to know your answers to these questions.

Tag, you’re it:

Jenna Farris, author of Safe Space

Maria, author of Girl Gone Blind

Tio, author of Travels With Tio

Treasures, if you haven’t checked out these blogs, you must. They’re some of my favorites, and they’re beautifully written.

I hope this post shed a little more light on what it’s like being a blind girl in a sighted world!

Subscribe to me on Youtube!

Remember, if you have any questions or requests for future posts / podcasts / videos, please feel free to tell me either by using this site’s contact form, by sending me an email at SirenaRayLind@gmail.com,, by mentioning me on Twitter with the hashtag #TalkAboutItRena or by DM’ing me on Instagram.

If you read many blogs from different blogging platforms on Bloglovin, please feel free to add mine as well!

Until next time, my \Treasures, I bid you a fond adieu.

The Blind Girl Beauty Tag

Sirena applies lipstick of a matte raspberry shade to her bottom lip. With the tube in her right hand, her face is tilted slightly away from the camera, her eyes gazing off to the right.

I follow Molly Burke on Youtube. She’s a huge inspiration, and she keeps me going when I don’t think there’s much road for me to travel. To be one of Molly’s friends would be so awesome. You should totally follow her; she’s fantastic.

I’ve not watched even a third of her videos, but one of the videos I have seen is her Blind Girl Beauty Tag Collab with another awesome Youtuber, Fashioneyesta. I found it really interesting, so decided to swipe it and answer it for myself.

Disclaimer: I’m not the most beauty savvy blind female you’ll find on the internet. Inspirational girls like Molly Burke, Lucy Edwards, and Emily Davison know a lot more about blind beauty than I do. I’m honestly still learning certain things, but I wanted to give this a shot anyway.

So, without further ado, let’s do this!

BLIND GIRL BEAUTY TAG QUESTIONS

1. What is the hardest makeup product to apply as a person who is blind or visually impaired?

I would definitely say mascara. I have really poor depth perception, and I’m more apt to stab myself in the eye or paint my cheek before I touch my eyelashes. Smaller, shorter wands are best, and it’s easier for me to turn my head and blink against the wand rather than attempt to move the wand along my lashes. I’ve even taken longer wands and held them really close to the end for more control. You’ll definitely want to wear a powder free latex glove for this though, because you’re likely to get mascara all over your fingers otherwise. It’s not at all an ideal solution, but it’ll do in a pinch.

I have heard that lash extensions can make applying mascara easier, but I can’t afford having those professionally done right now, so I couldn’t speak to that one way or the other.

2. What is your #1 tip for shopping with vision loss?

If you have the option to shop with a sighted person you can trust, do that. If you’re like me and you don’t have anyone nearby you can drag to a store, my tip would be to know what works for you. Know your size, know the colors and cuts that flatter your skin tone and body shape, because you’ll probably be doing a lot of online shopping.

I, personally, use Stitchfix as my first go to. Their customer service is fantastic, and one of their representatives filled out my entire style profile with me, even though I only needed assistance with a few aspects of it.

Stitchfix assigns you your own personal stylist who selects five pieces of clothing, shoes and / or accessories within the styles and price ranges you specify. You can include personal notes to said stylist if there’s something specific you’re looking for in a particular fix. Fixes can be scheduled to arrive at any interval you desire, from bi-monthly to on demand. Your fix gets shipped, you try the pieces on at home, keep what you like and return, free of charge, what doesn’t work. The $20 styling fee charged to your account turns into credit toward your purchases; if you choose to keep all five items, you get 25% off the entire order. (There are even Facebook groups where you can go to sell items you might not want to keep, but that you may wish to purchase just for the discount.)

I’ve never yet kept an entire fix, but I love its vercitility. I love that I can link my Instagram account to my profile so my stylist can use my photos to select items that are most likely to compliment me. I love that I can get fixes for my daughter delivered as well. I love that I don’t need to pay for return shipping. I love the personal notes my stylist includes for me, and how she gets to know me and my style a bit more with each fix. I love that I can schedule fixes on demand for those months when I just don’t have funds to spare for them, and even when I do schedule fixes, I love that Stitchfix will work with me if I need an extension on a return window until a nearby time that’s more financially comfortable for me.

I’m not being sponsored by Stitchfix. If you click the link above, it is my referral link, so I will get $25 in credit when you check out with your first fix, but so will you. Win win. Honestly though, I gush about them because I’ve had such amazing experiences with them. They’re not always the best choice for things, but I’ll usually try a fix first before attempting to fight accessibility battles on other retail sites. Even their iPhone application is accessible.

Find what works for you, and use that. Stitchfix works for me. I learn about brands I might not have heard of, I find new cuts and styles of clothing that flatter me, and I can take all of that to other sites and stores if I need to. Again, it works for me, but it might not be the solution for everyone.

3. What is one beauty item you stay away from due to vision loss?

I would have to say hair dye if we’re talking about what we steer clear of independently using. If we’re talking about facial items, I’d have to agree with Molly and say loose powders of any kind, but when it comes to coloring my hair, something I’ve wanted to do for a while now, I would have it professionally done. If I tried doing it myself, the end result would look as though every salon within a ten mile radius went all Independence Day destruction on my head.

4. What tips would you give to a young girl struggling with vision loss who wants to get into makeup?

First, don’t assume you can’t participate in this part of being a girl just because you don’t have 20/20 vision. This door, like so many others is not closed to you. You’ll need to find techniques that work for you, but you can most definitely do this.

Next, I would say know what works for both your age and your coloring. If you have a Maceys nearby or any store with a makeup counter, see if a parent, trusted loved one or a friend will accompany you there. Ask the people at the counter to do a full makeover on you. If you don’t already know what colors will suit your skintone or your age, you’ll find out here. Rely on that trusted loved one to be completely honest with you and to work with the makeup artist to select suitable shades for a flattering and age-appropriate look.

As for applying makeup, there are some tutorials online specifically geared toward blind and visually impaired makeup users. Here are a few.

Makeup Application – VisionAware.

9 things I’ve learnt about applying makeup with a visual impairment.
This was written by Emily Davison or Fashioneyesta (see above) and has some pretty ingenious tips.

How to Apply Makeup if You Are Completely Blind: 15 Steps.

If you work with a state agency, request training in daily living skills. They will teach you some techniques for putting on makeup. Not every rehabilitation instructor is magnificent at this, but most have at least been trained in it.

Read magazines online with your screen reader or magnification program, or subscribe to them in braille, join the NFB Newsline, etc. Listen to makeup tutorials on Youtube. Ask your female family and friends (if you have some you trust implicitly) to have makeup parties with you where you can try different techniques and receive visual feedback on the outcome. Make a night of it!

But most of all, sweet girl, just have fun. You’re young. You’re beautiful. You have got this.

5. How did you learn how to apply makeup as someone who is blind or visually impaired?

I used to perform a lot as a child. Singing recitals or the occasional competition, dance recitals, acting once I got to middle school, weddings (there were a fair few of those growing up), so throughout my childhood, makeup was just something that was applied to my face more often than it is for most children. I got to memorize the feel of it. How it was applied, the angle of the brushes or lipstick as they stroked against my skin, the faces I was told to make that accentuated cheekbones or lips.

When I was old enough to want to try applying it myself, I had various instructors and TVIs (teachers of the visually impaired) teach me different techniques for applying it. The TVI and TA team who taught me pretty much everything about anything was Rosemary and Lindsay. They were my best people when I was in high school. I gave them such a hard time at times (it was a boarding school, something I’ll get into in another entry), but they were just the most incredible women. I love and miss them so much, I really do.

Dianne, a rehabilitation instructor I had several years later, was another huge help when it came to applying makeup. She reaffirmed the techniques I already knew and taught me some new ones. After that, it was a matter of practicing and adopting my own ways of doing things, sometimes pulling from what I’d already learned, sometimes drawing upon something I’d read or seen on Youtube.

6. What is one thing you think every girl should be able to do without looking?

I need to agree with Molly again here and say I think every girl should be able to apply lipstick without looking. I find it so easy and it was the first makeup product I was confident about applying on my own, that I don’t understand why looking is truly necessary. I find it to be just one of those things you get the feel for, you can kiss blot if you’re worried, and getting it on your teeth is really not as common as sighted girls might have you believe it is.

7. Do you think not being able to see yourself affects your self confidence?

So far as appearance goes, yes, I do. I grew up in an environment where I was more likely to be insulted than complimented, and in addition to that conditioning, being unable to see myself in a mirror, having to gage my appearance solely by feel can often be very disheartening. I’m not the most fit of females due to medical reasons and, until recently, the inability to use touch screens on gym equipment. I’m very aware of this, I’m working on it, but it’s been thrown in my face many times. When I can’t look into a mirror to reaffirm the positive aspects of my appearance I feel I might have, I do find my confidence tends to slip.

8. Name one thing you need help with when it comes to makeup or fashion.

I need a visual check after I do my makeup, whether that check comes from calling Aira or sending my sister a selfie. I want to ensure everything’s blended well, within the lines it needs to be in, not to heavy or caked on, etc. With other products, I still need assistance touching up my nails after painting them myself, and of course, I need assistance dying my hair if it’s going to be done at home.

That’s three things. Oh well. You guys know me by now. Asking me to talk about only one thing generally doesn’t work.

9. What is a blind girl beauty or fashion essential?

Note: If you click any of the links below and purchase, I will receive a portion of your sales as these URLs will carry you to searches created through my Amazon Associates account. If you’re interested in any of them, definitely help me out!

All right, so, again, I’m agreeing with Molly here. cotton swabs are a must have, both for touching up makeup and for removing excess nail polish from cuticles. For the latter, I like to keep nail polish remover on hand, and there are some swabs specifically geared toward this task.

I also think blending sponges are an absolute must have when it comes to applying certain makeup products.

10. What is the best part about applying makeup as a person with vision loss?

I can apply it anywhere. In the dark, on my bed, in the car, on a sidewalk before heading into a meeting or a concert, etc. I don’t need to juggle makeup products and a compact mirror, and that’s a freeing feeling. I’m not a huge fan of people pressing in on me at all sides, especially people I don’t know, so not having to crowd around a bathroom mirror is such a relief to me. So long as I can get that confirmation thumbs up or thumbs down at the end, I’m able to make myself up just about anywhere.

11. Have you ever experienced any major fashion or makeup disasters in the past that are due to having vision loss?

Not publically. When I was about twelve or so, I was messing around with an unlabeled makeup kit in my bedroom. I wasn’t so great at identifying things by feel yet, so I ended up putting on way too much foundation, the lip liner on my eyes, the eyeshadow on my cheeks, the eyeliner on my lips, having mistaken it for lip liner… you catch the idea. My older sister came in and was all, “Oh my god, what did you do to yourself!” It was embarrassing then, but I look back now and giggle like an idiot. Such a disaster! I’m glad I didn’t try going out anywhere or I’d probably have been traumatized for life. Or, you know, traumatized anyone who, like me, was terrified of clowns.

12. Do you ever have people commenting that you ‘don’t look blind/visually impaired.’?

Oh yes. Not as much when I have my cane out because that’s sort of like waving around an ‘I’m blind, you may commense feeling awkward’ sign, but if I’m sitting with family or friends, it’ll happen more often. Someone will try to hand me something or hold out a pad for me to sign (I get that a lot with the USPS guys) and when I explain that I’m blind, it’s usually like, ‘I’m so sorry! I couldn’t tell!’ Or ‘Oh, wow, I’m sorry! You don’t look blind!’

My love has told me he finds it easy to tell by looking at me merely because I don’t fixate my gaze on anything, so I often wonder how others can’t tell if I’m not immediately focusing on them, but maybe they’re just not quite as observant.

Society and the media often portray blind people as needing to look a certain way to be identifiable as blind, but the reality is that we often just look like everyone else. Surprise! It’s not always immediately obvious.

13. Do you use any pieces of assistive technology or apps to help you when putting outfits together or doing your makeup?

As I’ve mentioned above and in previous posts, I use Aira for a lot of the visual tasks I’d usually need to bother family and friends into assisting me with. I know there are many of us explorers who are not entirely convinced Aira will stick around for the blind community once it has enough funding to grow beyond needing us, so my eyes are open to that. I will use it for as long as it deems us worthy of its service, and if / when the sad day comes that it leaves us behind as most other applications, services and companies tend to, there may be something new to assist with visual feedback. There is always Be My Eyes, though the volunteer aspect of that service means the visual feedback isn’t always terribly consistent.

For now though, if I need help identifying a new piece of clothing or checking on my makeup, I use Aira or Be My Eyes. Once I know what I have, I’ll either memorize the item of clothing / makeup or label it accordingly, so that in the end, it’s just the final check I need help with rather than the day to day matching and selecting.

There you have it, my Treasures, the Blind Girl Beauty Tag! For this one, I’m only going to tag one other blindie I know of who is following me, my beautiful little heart sister, Jenna Faris. I’ll include the questions below. Anyone can copy and paste them if you want to do this tag. Credit, again, goes to Molly Burke and Emily Davison or Fashioneyesta for coming up with these questions. They’re not mine, and I don’t claim to know either of these amazing young women. I just like their tag.

Grab The Questions

BLIND GIRL BEAUTY TAG QUESTIONS

  1. What is the hardest makeup product to apply as a person who is blind or visually impaired?
  2. What is your #1 tip for shopping with vision loss?
  3. What is one beauty item you stay away from due to vision loss?
  4. What tips would you give to a young girl struggling with vision loss who wants to get into makeup?
  5. How did you learn how to apply makeup as someone who is blind or visually impaired?
  6. What is one thing you think every girl should be able to do without looking?
  7. Do you think not being able to see yourself affects your self confidence?
  8. Name one thing you need help with when it comes to makeup or fashion.
  9. What is a blind girl beauty or fashion essential?
  10. What is the best part about applying makeup as a person with vision loss?
  11. Have you ever experienced any major fashion or makeup disasters in the past that are due to having vision loss?
  12. Do you ever have people commenting that you ‘don’t look blind/visually impaired.’?
  13. Do you use any pieces of assistive technology or apps to help you when putting outfits together or doing your makeup?

Remember, if you have any questions or requests for future posts / podcasts / videos, please feel free to let me know either by using this site’s contact form, by sending me an email at SirenaRayLind@gmail.com, or by mentioning me on Twitter with the hashtag #TalkAboutItRena.

If you read many blogs from different blogging platforms on Bloglovin, please feel free to add mine as well!

Until next time, my \Treasures, I bid you a fond adieu.

Reblog: Five Random Questions – Tag

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A.M. Molvik answered the tag!

Thank you so much for doing this!

A.M. Molvik's Ramblings

Today we are going to be deviating from my normal book, writing, and personality blog posts to answer a tag that I received last Sunday. Although, since this is about me I could argue that this is a personality blog post…

Anyways, I was tagged by Sirena Rayleeta Lind with the Five Random Question tag. Thanks for tagging me!

What this is, is you go to ConversationStarters.com, and get five random questions to answer, so this could be interesting. 

Anyways let’s get started! I’m going to do this as similarly as I can to the original, but since I like to be able to check grammar before posting, I’m going to do this the normal way which is just writing the entire post and then publishing it. 

Do you believe in God?

Yes, I do.

He made me and everything in the world and He made it perfect, but…

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