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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

Image of the word "LOVE" and underneath it is the Braille lettering of the word.

From the Heart

Coming home with an envelope full of candy hearts and a heap of Valentine’s Day cards is one of my favourite memories from my junior school days. You would be given a class list in order to prep your beautifully crafted cards, which would be distributed the next day. However, I will discuss the divide… Read more From the Heart

Image of two people using white canes to navigate along the sidewalk which runs through a park.

White Cane Chronicles

Most people who are blind or partially sighted are introduced to the white cane at some point in their lives. At first, many of us are hesitant and may feel shame traveling with a visible mobility aid, but we soon realize that this object is not a material device but instead an extension of our… Read more White Cane Chronicles

Image of a painting of a silhouette of someone holding a flower, over a background of a watercolour sunset

Crafting Imagination Into Reality

I’ve always seen myself as a creative person, especially when it came to music or dance. Although I never had a particular aptitude for art, it was still something I did for fun and my own enjoyment. I viewed it as another way to make the pictures in my head come to life. In early… Read more Crafting Imagination Into Reality

Image of the Playstation 4 controller against a white background.

Ready, Set, Game!

From nostalgic memories to amazing gaming sessions with friends, video games have a special place in the hearts of many. My first gaming experience was when I was 5 years old. My parents had bought my brother the PlayStation 2, and I wanted to try my hand at playing with him. I quickly learned that… Read more Ready, Set, Game!

Image of a sharpened pencil against a stark white background, surrounded by pencil shavings.

Beyond the Pencil

I really enjoy getting lost in the messiness of characters and their worlds. As a child I carried books where I went. This love has transferred over to writing and now I create my own characters and storylines for others to enjoy. However, I have constantly been told English isn’t an interest which will further… Read more Beyond the Pencil

Image of a calendar page showing the month of January with the 1st circled with red pen and the word START above it

Keeping Up With New Year’s Resolutions

It’s that time of year again! Celebrating the New Year, reflecting on the year that has just passed, and that all too familiar annual tradition of setting New Year’s resolutions. We’ve all been there before, setting a number of goals for ourselves that we hope to accomplish in the upcoming year. Yet, more often than… Read more Keeping Up With New Year’s Resolutions

Image of a set of blocks that have 2020 on their face that are slowly revolving to change to 2021

Reflections on 2020

As I reflect on 2020, I’m reminded of how optimistic I felt approaching the start of this year.  I was excited at the prospect of playing on the whole “20/20 vision” theme, and 2020 is a number that seemed so full of hope.  At Blind Beginnings we were in the final stages of a big… Read more Reflections on 2020

Image of a boy using a quill to write on a piece of parchment paper.

A Collection of Holiday Poems

In celebration of the Holiday season, we held a Holiday Poem Contest where we asked our members and families to submit original poems for the season. We have chosen 5 submissions and published them below.  We want to thank everyone who submitted a poem,  and to wish everyone a very Happy Holidays and Happy New… Read more A Collection of Holiday Poems

Image of a blind swimmer nearing the end of the pool and a tapper reaching out with a pole that has a soft end to alert him

Discovering Paralympic Swimming

Paralympic swimming has been an integral part of the Paralympic summer program since 1960. There are 14 different classification categories. S1 through S10 are physical disabilities, S11 through S13 includes visual impairments, and S14 equals cognitive impairments. Jill is an S11, which is the totally blind category. Nika is part of the S12 category which… Read more Discovering Paralympic Swimming

Image of sheet music underneath the green decorated branches of a Christmas Tree

Music of Christmas Past

A joyous collection of Christmas songs by various blind and partially sighted singers! Featuring piano, guitar, flute, and violin playing with the added blend of beautiful voices harmonizing.  All this was released just seven years ago after an idea was put forth to create a CD of Holiday songs as a fundraiser for the Youth… Read more Music of Christmas Past

Image of the Vancouver city skyline from the air, overlooking the Downtown core.

My Big City Adventure

Moving out on your own is one of those things you always dream about. You often think about how cool it would be to have your own place, to be able to have friends over whenever you want, and buy all the snacks you can eat. This dream became my reality about four years ago.… Read more My Big City Adventure

A group of colored crayons, each color spelling out the acronym of the colors of the rainbow, which is R.O.Y.G.B.I.V

Beyond Roy G. Biv

It’s something that is most often done when we are children. We use our paint covered fingers and draw absentmindedly, make messy pictures for our parents, or take to the sidewalk with chalk. As we get older, art begins to rise in complexity. Colour blended seamlessly, intricate detail crafted with great care, impeccable creations that… Read more Beyond Roy G. Biv

Image of the Welcome to Aldergrove sign, placed on a green patch of grass and flanked by an open Highway.

Aldergrove Roads Take me Home

There are the typical generalizations about both rural and urban areas such as cities always being a home to most amenities, whereas towns tend to be thought about as dirt roads and farmland. Let’s start with determining what qualifies as a small town, and what falls under the umbrella of a city. According to our… Read more Aldergrove Roads Take me Home

Image of a Goalball player wearing a blindfold and blocking a shot by the opposing team

The Forgotten Sport

Many people may not be familiar with the Paralympic sport of Goalball, one of the only sports that was created specifically for the blind and partially sighted. In a way, it is an unsung sport that truly does not get enough exposure and, to many players and fans around the world, feels like it’s a… Read more The Forgotten Sport

Image of Fall Leaves

Fall and Winter Fashion Tips

I’ve always been interested in fashion. I think it stems from my parents. Ever since I was born, my mother would put me in trendy clothing. She thought that just because I couldn’t see myself clearly in the mirror, that doesn’t mean that I shouldn’t care about my appearance. I couldn’t agree more, and I… Read more Fall and Winter Fashion Tips