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4 Youth holding their canes sit on a couch and await heading out for a Youth Leadership Activity

My Youth Leadership Weekend

On May 27th, 2022 Blind Beginnings held their Youth Leadership Weekend, which I attended. I’d like to talk about the weekend, what we did, and how was the experience for me. During the weekend, we did a lot of different activities and learned many skills. We practiced how to cross busy intersections listening for cars… Read more My Youth Leadership Weekend

A woman walks down a street, one hand holding the harness of her guide dog, the other holding a white and red mobilty cane.

Ode to My Guide Dog

With baited breath, A year ago, I waited at a door, To meet someone very special, Who walked on legs of four. Soon enough, There came a knock, To announce that they were there, And in came the instructor, With the other half of my guide team pair. He came into my life singing, A… Read more Ode to My Guide Dog

Cartoon image of a smiling globe and a rainbow sitting on top like a brightly coloured hat.

Why Earth Day Is Important To Me

With Earth Day approaching, I have been thinking a lot about all of the different outdoor activities that I enjoy that make me feel close to the earth. As a person with low vision, finding ways to make activities such as hiking, kayaking, camping and skiing accessible isn’t always easy, but in the end, it’s… Read more Why Earth Day Is Important To Me

Young man covers his face as he laughs wildly

More Than Just The Best Medicine

Happy World Laughter Day! Amid such troubling times, it can be hard to find anything to laugh about. As tough as it may be, I would encourage everyone, myself included, to make a conscious effort to find something to bring you joy and a moment or two of hilarity. In today’s blog, I’d like to… Read more More Than Just The Best Medicine

A group of middle schoolers dressed in gym clothes run down the track of a school field.

Reevaluating Physical Education

If you ask anyone from my school days—elementary or secondary— I am sure they would all tell you how much I enjoy running. I am not sure where this started, but it is something I love to do and miss now that I am older. I have thought about joining a Track and Field team,… Read more Reevaluating Physical Education

Negative Covid-19 antigen test kit, one step coronavirus antigen rapid test, saliva swab, 1 test box with imagine of lungs, close up

How I Took A COVID Self-Test

Since the beginning of the pandemic, I have had to take several COVID tests that were performed by nurses so it was quite easy for me. Not to say that it was comfortable, because I am sure that no one likes something shoved up their nose. However, when it comes to rapid tests I found… Read more How I Took A COVID Self-Test

An orang traffic cone lies fallen on its side on the side of a street.

Well This Is Awkward

Have you ever been on a phone call, and realized after prattling on for five solid minutes, that oh wow, my phone is dead! Super dead. How long ago did it die, I wonder? Or my personal favourite in-person blind equivalent, where you are talking to someone in a lineup, or a hallway, and (if… Read more Well This Is Awkward

Two Paralympian cyclists dressed in the Canadian Paralympic uniform ride a tandem bike and navigate a track.

A Paralympic Letter Home

The Paralympics in full swing, and in honour of that, this week’s blog submission gives us an inside view of the experience of a Paralympian with this first letter to home during the 2004 Paralympic Games in Athens. So far things are going well.  I arrived on Friday after a pretty long flight.  We were… Read more A Paralympic Letter Home

A phone sits unpowered on a table surrounded by a variety of other papers and books.

The Challenges of Unplugging

Let’s be real, we’re all glued to our electronic devices. Whether you’re checking Instagram on your phone or watching Netflix on your smart TV, almost everybody is at least somewhat guilty of spending too much time in front of a screen. That is why the first Friday of March, which happens to be March 4… Read more The Challenges of Unplugging

Text which reads "#PinkShirtDay" against a pink background background of hearts.

I Don’t Care – A Poem for Pink Shirt Day

I always hear rumours about the way that I act. I am constantly judged on the way that I look. I hear people whispering when my head is turned around, But when I turn back, they claim that I have mistook. I hear them laughing when I make a mistake, They make fun of me; … Read more I Don’t Care – A Poem for Pink Shirt Day

A group of pencils in a row, sharpened down to various lengths.

Beyond the Pencil Part 3

I still remember my elementary school days where braille was a big part and perhaps the only medium in which I accessed and produced information. I remember my hands taking in the words and the way they were spelt, the way everything was laid out on the page which included the way in which paragraphs… Read more Beyond the Pencil Part 3

Image of a NFB style of white cane showing the way in which its telescoping segments shorten the cane.

The White Cane Chronicles Part 2

It has been about nine months since I have transitioned to having a Guide Dog in my life. Though this means that I am usually with my furry companion when I am out and about, there are still times when I need to use my white cane, or times when I use it to ensure… Read more The White Cane Chronicles Part 2

A large colorful paper dragon puppet is part of a parade on Lunar New Year.

Happy Lunar New Year!

Every year on January 1st, people all over the world gather to ring in the new year. It is a time for new beginnings, new goals, and new discoveries. But in some parts of the world, this day is not January 1st. In countries such as China, Taiwan, Korea and Vietnam among others, the new… Read more Happy Lunar New Year!

Two girls on ice, dressed in helmets and team jerseys fight over the control of a ringette puck.

The Importance of Team Sports

When I was little, my parents had thought that team sports wouldn’t be something that I would be able to do. However, joining a Ringette team was probably one of the best things that ever happened to me. I played on a sighted team, partly because I had enough vision that I was able to… Read more The Importance of Team Sports

A young teen pushes snow off to the side of the sidewalk using a shovel.

Winter Woes

Growing up in Northern BC, I have had tons of experience with the struggles that come along with the winter weather conditions. Namely ice, plenty of snow, and temperatures ranging from minus 5 through minus 40. To most people living in the Lower Mainland, this way of living either sounds awful and they all think… Read more Winter Woes

The letters S T E M and corresponding icons of what the letters stand for - Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math

Stemming My Way To A Science Degree

Science has always been my favourite subject, so much so that I remember my very first lesson in kindergarten which was 15 years ago. From that point on, I was permanently enthralled by the fascinating world of STEM. STEM stands for science, technology, engineering, and math; however I will be focusing more on the science… Read more Stemming My Way To A Science Degree

Image of a chart showing the braille codes for each of the letters of the alphabet.

The Importance of Braille Literacy

Why is braille literacy so important? Does Braille even matter today, in a world where everything is read aloud? What the heck even is it?  In light of World Braille Day that was celebrated on January 4th and the entire month being designated as Braille Literacy Month, let’s take a look and try to answer some… Read more The Importance of Braille Literacy

Image of a golden bird cage sitting empty, it's door wide open.

Caged

I picked at my French fries, the combination of salt and potato becoming a lump in my throat each time I tried to swallow. My throat was already dry from our walk to the restaurant, and my appetite had been non-existent that entire weekend. The White Spot was spacious yet stuffy with all the busyness… Read more Caged

Image of a laptop sitting on a marbled kitchen counter, open and ready for use.

Youth Leadership Online

Throughout my youth, I have always had an interest in gaining experience through various volunteering opportunities. Within these roles, I was often the only one with a visual impairment, often leading to me having to find a way to ensure that each experience I sign up for was accessible for me. I had always heard… Read more Youth Leadership Online

Image of a smiling group of youth from a past Youth Leadership weekend, all wearing blue Blind Beginnings t-shirts and smiling for the camera.

My Youth Leadership Experience

As a young child in Vancouver, my family had the opportunity to connect with a lot of others who had children who were blind or partially sighted at camps, events and even just in our daily life. However, when I was six, we moved out of Vancouver into a smaller community in the interior, and… Read more My Youth Leadership Experience

Image of a stick figure person standing with a thought bubble over their head, reflecting on a topic.

My Own Ableism

As the whole world wrestles with the questions like, “Was that racist? Am *I* racist? Has my privilege made racism less visible to me?”, so too have I recently begun to ponder ableism within the blindness community and the broader disability movement. What is able-ist? Has my “plain vanilla” blindness enabled me to devalue people with… Read more My Own Ableism

Image of a laptop screen that is running the Discord server software.

Leading in an Online Environment

Online communities have become increasingly common in this day and age, flourishing on numerous social media platforms including Facebook, Twitter, Reddit, Discord, dedicated forums and message boards, and so on. I have always enjoyed participating in various online communities related to my interests (particularly music) and I had always been fascinated by online platforms that… Read more Leading in an Online Environment

Image of two parents on either side of a child each holding a hand while they walk.

Dealing With Social Supervision

All my life, my parents would accompany me whenever I left the house. They would bring me to and from school and drive me to and from extracurricular activities and special events. They would stick particularly close to me whenever I was in an unfamiliar environment. When I was really young, I would almost always… Read more Dealing With Social Supervision

Image of two people crossing a street together, one dressed in pants and a flowered blouse and extending a white cane in front, the other in shorts and a red shirt walking casually beside.

Not Guiding, Just Walking Together

As someone who has grown up with a disability and who spends a lot of time discussing both the positive and challenging aspects of living as someone blind from birth to my friends, I often dream of what it would be like to have a friend who just gets it. “But why,” you may ask.… Read more Not Guiding, Just Walking Together

Image of a collection of pumpkins, ll lit with candles and carved in a variety of scary faces.

Halloween Night

It was a dark and stormy night, I was home alone because my parents needed to take my younger brother Timmy out for trick-or-treating. I knew I was too old for an activity like that, so I stayed behind. I grabbed my pack of Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups and sat on the couch to watch… Read more Halloween Night

Image of a laptop sitting on a table, a steaming cup of tea beside it while on the screen iis a Zoom window with a variety of different people in the online meeting.

Why Is My Difference So Different?

A couple of years ago I joined a Leadership working group made up of a diverse group of individuals who wanted to learn how to be more inclusive and practice celebrating diversity. At the first on-line group meeting, there were 8 of us from different locations in Canada, and even one person calling from England.… Read more Why Is My Difference So Different?

Image of a speech bubble with a variety of symbols inside of it, representing bad words.

Blind is Not a Bad Word

The use of certain language is a complicated issue, not just in the blind community but the disability community in general. Do we use person first or disability first language? Should we not use certain words in order to prevent drawing attention to the disability? Are there any words we shouldn’t say at all? To… Read more Blind is Not a Bad Word

Logo for Blindness Awareness Month.

A Conversation About Blindness

It’s the first week of Blindness Awareness Month and we are kicking off our month’s worth of content with a version of a conversation that could very well be happening somewhere right now as you read this. A conversation. Person 1: October is Blindness Awareness month. Surely, people know what blind is, so why do… Read more A Conversation About Blindness

Image of a mountain, its slopes dotted with snowfields against a pal blue sky as wispy clouds float overhead.

A Word Worth A Thousand Pictures

With each passing generation, our society has become increasingly visual. And now, there is hardly a millennial or Gen Z who doesn’t go through the process of taking a photo and sharing it at least a few times a day. Cellular phones with cameras are now common, almost essential, rather than the novelty devices they… Read more A Word Worth A Thousand Pictures

Image of the lens of a camera pointed directly at the viewer, the cameraman blurred in the background.

What’s It Like To Be In A Documentary?

This week’s Blog submission is something a little special. On Saturday September 18th, Blind Beginnings hosted a Movie Screening Fundraiser that featured a screening of the documentary, “Through My Eyes”, a short film that featured Blind Beginnings Executive Director Shawn Marsolais and her journey through vision loss and the eventual founding of the organization. Also… Read more What’s It Like To Be In A Documentary?

Photo of a hand holding a phone that is displaying the Voice Dictation icon, standing at the ready for epic and hilarious misinterpretation.

That’s Not What I Meant!

Smart phones with onscreen keyboards are nothing new. When they were first introduced, however, there was a great deal of concern from those who were blind or partially sighted. How would we enter text without tactile feedback on these gadgets? Could we see the keyboard clearly enough to enter text? What if we accidentally touched… Read more That’s Not What I Meant!

Image of a Doctor's Stethoscope lying coiled on a table.

Diagnosing Doctor’s Visits

When one is a child, their parents are mostly the ones who are speaking upon their behalf. One example of this would be at a doctor’s office. As a child, we rely on our parents in these circumstances to advocate for our medical needs. They hold on to important paperwork such as your health care… Read more Diagnosing Doctor’s Visits

Image of a violin with its bow lying across the top of it as it sits on a table covered in sheet music.

A Message of Gratitude to All My Musical Friends

As individuals who are blind, it is necessary for us to seek accommodations and adaptations and ask for help from time to time. We all probably remember the moments when strangers have gone up to us, asking “what’s wrong with your eye?”, “do you need help?”, praying for our eyesight to be restored, or just… Read more A Message of Gratitude to All My Musical Friends

Image of Maryam Salehizadeh wearing Team Canada uniform on the Goalball playing field, crouched in a defensive position.

Paralympic Spotlight: Maryam Salehizadeh

Many sports are featured at the Paralympics. Goalball, however, stands out as the lone sport that was designed from the ground up for players who are blind or partially sighted. This year, Canada will be represented by the Canadian National Goalball Women’s Team, comprising of six athletes from across Canada. In this week’s blog, we… Read more Paralympic Spotlight: Maryam Salehizadeh

Image of a happy group of campers from one of our Summer Family Adventure Camps.

Why I Love Summer Camps

Throughout the year, I always look forward to the summer! The sunny weather, ice cream on a hot day – but the best time of all is the Blind Beginnings Summer Camps. I have attended several of the camps, and each one has been a blast, both as a camper and a volunteer. Camp has… Read more Why I Love Summer Camps

A collection of multicolored speech and thought bubbles collected together, representing all aspects of communication.

Communication is the Key

I never really heard about Communications until I was in High School. At that time, Communications classes were presented as alternatives to our English requirements, and were often made to be seen as the easier option for those who were considered to struggle with English. Even if I was to take a Communications class simply… Read more Communication is the Key

A variety of different Instagram icons float against a green background, representing the many different functions of the app.

Accessible Graming

Have you ever wondered how blind or partially sighted people use Instagram? This blog covers two perspectives, from both a partially sighted and blind user. As many people know, Instagram is a very popular social media platform. Especially in today’s generation, Instagram is very “in”, particularly amongst people our age. Because of this reason, many… Read more Accessible Graming

Image of a chocolate cake with pink icing inside a cake box. Messy writing in green icing reads "Happee Birthdae Harry" on top of the cake.

Happee Birthdae Harry

Harry Potter’s birthday is on July 31 and we thought it’d be fitting to celebrate that by asking a few of our regular Limitless Blog authors to write up what this fictional character and world he resides in means to them. I’m not sure why but I was always reluctant to read Harry Potter as… Read more Happee Birthdae Harry

Cartoon image of a woman wearing a face mask with a towel wrapped around her head, looking relaxed as bottles of different skin care products surround her.

Why Skin Care is Self-Care

I’ve written previous articles on fashion and make up, so naturally I feel as though skin care would be something that I’d also be passionate about. When I’d watch make up videos on YouTube when I was young, skin care videos would also show up, but at the age of 10 I didn’t realize the… Read more Why Skin Care is Self-Care

Image of a braille display plugged into a laptop as a pair of hands hover over the pins of the display, reading the braille.

All About Braille Displays

Have you ever wondered how blind individuals access a computer? If that sounds like you, this blog article is just for you! Computers and phones are a very important part of life in this day and age. The world of technology is changing rapidly. We use computers and phones every day to write documents, send… Read more All About Braille Displays

Image of a series of crayons - red, orange, yellow, green, blue, indigo, and violet, which make the up the acronym ROYGBIV.

Beyond ROYGBIV Part 2

Most children love crafts, and I was certainly one of them. So many colours and options to always choose from. However, being that I was born blind, being involved in crafty activities felt challenging as a child. A constant struggle for my younger self use to be the perfection and accuracy sought when it came… Read more Beyond ROYGBIV Part 2

High School hallway showing a line of bright yellow student lockers

Grade 12 During the Pandemic

High school graduation is a big moment in life, and the end of the school year is often filled with big celebratory events like Grad Dinner and a ceremony involving hundreds of people – but that of course could not happen during COVID. The only Graduation celebrations included taking photos earlier in the year and… Read more Grade 12 During the Pandemic

A father and daughter hold hands and walk, silhouetted by the a purple and orange dusk sky.

The Different Forms of Fathers

When we think of a Father, we instantly think of our biological Father. However, a Father can and does mean different things depending on the family’s situation. A Father figure can be many different people in your life: a teacher, A coach, a family friend, and in some circumstances, a Stepfather. This is the case… Read more The Different Forms of Fathers

Image of a collection of graphics and icons that represent different aspects of East Indian culture, all formed together in the shape of a heart.

The Invisible East Indian

For the longest time, I remember being embarrassed of certain East Indian traditions. Although I am more confident in my heritage and ethnicity now, that wasn’t always the case. When living in a country where the majority of the people are similar and you see yourself as the odd one out, it makes you want… Read more The Invisible East Indian

A pair of hands form the universal symbol for a heart or love in front of a rainbow Pride flag that is blowing in the wind.

My True Colours: Like a Rainbow

The month of June is Pride Month. This is a month to celebrate the LGBTQ2SA community while educating society and shading light on the discrimination of this minority. Although I am still hesitant to disclose this part of who I am for fear of how I will be received and treated, I myself identify as… Read more My True Colours: Like a Rainbow

A hand holding a piece of chalk writes on a blackboard which reads ADHD Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder

The Diversity of ADHD

Near the end of 2020 I decided it would be a good time to start learning about other disabilities outside of blindness in order to educate myself and be more informed. I followed advocates with various disabilities in order to get information straight from the source — people with lived experiences. Throughout my research I… Read more The Diversity of ADHD

Image of a computer keyboard with three blue buttons, each representing a different disability community - deaf, blind, and physical.

What Accessibility Means To Me

Accessibility is very important for all of us, not just for people who are blind but also for people who have other disabilities and people who are sighted. Accessibility is not just technology as some people believe but it is something that makes life easier in any kind of way. It can be anything from… Read more What Accessibility Means To Me

Concept of literary art with letters coming out of a pencil.

Finding My Inner Poet

Ever since I was a child, I’ve always loved to write. As soon as I learned how to form letters, I would grab my colorful markers and write all over my Disney Princess covered notebooks. But the fun didn’t stop there. I would eagerly write on any plain white surface I could get my little… Read more Finding My Inner Poet

Image of a pair of hands writing the words "Dear Mom" in an elaborate script on a pink piece of paper

Dear Mom

Many will say that they have the best mother in the world. From all of the sacrifices they make to the care they provide us all throughout our lives, our mothers mean more than just mere words can explain. I am also one of those people who will adamantly proclaim that my mother is the… Read more Dear Mom

Image o someone looking through a lens that distorts the view and makes it upside down.

Shifted Perspectives

On the bus last week I met a woman with the same eye condition as me.  Her diagnosis was fairly new, and had come much later in her life.  Mine has been with me since birth.  “I wouldn’t wish this condition on my worst enemy” she proclaimed.  I didn’t know what to say to that. … Read more Shifted Perspectives

Image of two men practicing Akido, one flying in mid-air as he flips over into a fall.

Seven Times Down, Eight Times Up

There are many sayings in the Japanese language that have their roots in martial arts and the military. Nanakorobi yaoki, which can be translated “seven times down, eight times up” among other ways, is a saying to encourage someone not to give up, and is one of my favourites. It’s also a good way to… Read more Seven Times Down, Eight Times Up

Image of a hand writing on a blackboard that is filled with various different Math equations.

Solving For Why

I miss the days when Math was as easy as 1-2-3, and I could rattle off my times tables without missing a beat. Now, I despise anything to do with math – even simple measurements and counting money. When I reached grade 7, I was taken out of mainstream math classes in order to be… Read more Solving For Why

Image of a woman wearing gardening gloves and holding a potted plant, surrounded by other plants in a garden.

Growing Into Gardening

Gardening is one of those things where you can’t help but wonder how blind or partially sighted people would do it. It seems so visual, most would think you need to see to be able to know what plants are what and where, what are the weeds or actual plants, how and when things are… Read more Growing Into Gardening

Image of a large collection of Easter Eggs in a multitude of pastel Easter colors - pink, blue, green, yellow and orange.

Making Your Easter Egg Hunts More Accessible

For my 7-year old son, waking up on Easter morning is almost the most exciting morning of the year. He has learned that the Easter Bunny comes while he’s sleeping, and hides chocolate eggs and small toys all around the house, and he spends Easter morning happily searching for and collecting his treats.  As a… Read more Making Your Easter Egg Hunts More Accessible

Image of a brailled book on a table, lying open.

Beyond the Pencil Part 2

Glossy covers, the smell of printed pages, and the various stories captured in the pages are just some of the reasons I adore books. Yet along with the excitement of reading comes a pang of disappointment each time I pick up a book and flip through its pages but am unable to read the words… Read more Beyond the Pencil Part 2

Image of some booths at a Farmer's Market, one booth selling fresh tomatoes in the foreground while people mill around and browse.

Shopping Small To Make A Difference

In the past few years, I started learning about how it’s important to try and shop from small local businesses. I didn’t realize the impact until the pandemic set in. Seeing the impact caused me to reflect on my journey and how I was able to make it work as a legally blind student living… Read more Shopping Small To Make A Difference

Image of a braille book open and a pair of hands gliding across a line of braille.

Attending My First Accessible Publishing Summit

Having a huge love of reading and being a University student studying Publishing, literally anything and everything to do with books and publishing instantly catches my attention! So when scrolling through an endless list of school emails, I came across one from a previous instructor about a great opportunity. I couldn’t help but open it.… Read more Attending My First Accessible Publishing Summit

Image of a basketball and a volleyball, sitting beside each other.

Playing on a School Team Being Blind or Partially Sighted

Playing on a school team is often a pinnacle of a person’s school life. Long practices, team bonding, and exhausting yet rewarding competitions are all things members of a team experience. But what is it like to be on a school sports team when you are the only one that is visually impaired? This is… Read more Playing on a School Team Being Blind or Partially Sighted

Image of a woman, her eyes closed, applying a layer of gold eyeshadow with a small brush

Expressing Yourself Through Makeup

Often times when I’m in public, I receive compliments on my makeup and get asked who did it for me. Some people are quite shocked to find out I did it myself. Although I have help for formal occasions, in my daily life, I do my makeup independently. As a legally blind young adult who… Read more Expressing Yourself Through Makeup

Stylized and cartoon style graphic of the Earth

Growing Up Blind in a Developing Country

Being blind or partially sighted in a developing country is a topic that I don’t hear about very often, and this blog is to hopefully shine some light on this topic that doesn’t get talked about enough. Moving to Canada after growing up for 12 years in a developing country  has been such a huge… Read more Growing Up Blind in a Developing Country