Monday, May 27, 2013

Radio Show news.

I've meant to blog about this on both of my blogs for quite some time now. I'm one of 3 co-hosts of a radio show by and for and about people with disabilities. All disabilities. Any disabilities. I am loving this volunteer opportunity and learning a great deal. Thanks to CKCU FM radio in Ottawa Canada 93.1 FM. Our show is called "Welcome to my world" and airs each Tuesday morning from 9:30 to 10 AM. You can find the link below where you can listen on demand. We have an e-mail address and twitter feed too. e-mail is and our twitter feed is @ckcuwtmw ,In the next few days, I plan to write more about how important radio has been and continues to be for me. Stay tuned for that. Here is the link for the radio station. From there, search for "welcome to my world" or tuesday at 9:30 AM. CKCU FM Radio

Have I walked through your photo opps?

This morning, my guide dog and I were moving along a sidewalk. Up ahead, there was commotion. Lots of talking. Walkie talkies and things like that. A man offered to help get me around the chaos. I asked if it was construction. This is construction season after all. But no, they were making a movie. I asked if they would like a very cute and well behaved dog in their movie. He laughed but said no. Poor Tulia! She could have been famous. after moving on, I got to thinking. How many times have I obliviously barged through people's photo opps, wedding pictures, video highlights, etc? If I have inadvertently done this, I am truly sorry. Maybe I should brush Tulia, dress myself up and go back and see if we can be in a movie? But, I've got workto do here and Tulia is sleeping in the sun. So, no movies for us.

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

I am not your good deed for the day!

I had one of those experiences yesterday that even just a few years ago, I would have just accepted.  Tried to move on and said nothing.  But somehow, I won't do this anymore.  I think part of the reason for this is my creation of my one woman show "Flying in the dark"  That made me stronger and more confident as a woman who is blind.  Also, I feel I need to be a voice for myself and sometimes others who did what I would have done and said nothing.

Yesterday, on my way to teach someone how to use her iPhone, I stopped in a cafe for an iced tea.  I had a few minutes and thought that I would sit down, sip my tea, go over my lesson plan or read a book.

I found the cafe by myself with the assistance of my trusty guide dog.  I entered.  Found the line up.

I got to the counter and ordered.

I also asked if the person could carry my tea for me.  I did request it in a take out cup which turned out to be smart.

As I stood there, a man approached the counter.  He did not talk to me.  He said, "I have a seat for her."

The woman at the counter (bless her) said, "Are you going to sit down?"

"Yes." I said.

"I will take you to my table." he said.  Then proceeded to grab me and push me towards the table.

He shoved me into a chair and said, "I did my good deed for the day."

Just then, the poor server came with my drink.

The man said to the server, "Now you will go to heaven."

What?  Heaven?  For doing your job and delivering a drink to someone.

I almost put my head phones in and sat there.  Then, I thought, "No!  No!  I won't sit at a table with this person!  I won't be quiet!  I won't stay in this situation!"

I leaped to my feet, brandishing my iced tea!

The man said, "You are not staying?"  I said very loudly and clearly so everyone in the vicinity could hear.  "I am not an inanimate object.  I am not your good deed for the day!  ANd, I am not sitting at a table with someone who thinks like you!"

And I marched out of the cafe!  Tea in one hand.  Dog in the other!

So angry but yet so proud!

I was not silent!  I was not making a joke of it!  I said what I needed to say and I left!

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

High tech low tech both fascinate the public.

yesterday, two other hosts and I launched a radio show by and for and about people with disabilities. I will blog more about the show soon. I am still absorbing the launch and how it felt. However, I want to say this. We had media coverage from CBC radio and CBC television in Canada. The tv man was in the studio filming us as we did our show. This is community radio so we have to do all aspects of it. Conduct the interviews, play the music, operate the sound board. Everything. I had my iphone in the dock and was running music from it. I turned the speech off and ran it from my braille display so radio audiences don't hear the sound. The journalist was fascinated by this. And then, in the next breath he wanted to make sure he got a photo of the guide dog lying under the desk. What a contrast between two of the things that help me to lead an independent life. My guide dog (low tech in many ways) and my braille display and my phone (high tech) but both so important and essential. Here is the link to go and find our show. Once you get to the site, search for welcome to my world or tuesday at 9:30 AM. CKCU radio

Monday, May 6, 2013

Very exciting book news. Kindle app now accessible for me.

Anyone who knows me at all, knows that I love reading.  I've always been addicted to it.  My earliest memories are of people reading to me.  Their voice muffled behind the book, the squeak of a book cover, the turning of pages, the wonderful book smell.  this being read to was wonderful but not enough.  I wanted to read for myself. Audio books came but they came according to what was available and not always what I wanted to read.  Then, I learned braille.  Very wonderful.  Reading in the dark under the covers and not getting caught.  But bulky and again not too many books (especially new books) available to me.  And then came the scanner and special software.  Sure I could scan a book page by page which took time but was still better than not having that book at all.  Then i devices and ibooks came.  I got a special thrill out of buying a book from their store and reading it in braille with my braille display.  But iobooks does not have as many books as kindle has and kindle has never been accessible.  But now, the kindle app for I devices is totally accessible and now more books than ever are available to me.  I found several storytellers I know with their books on kindle which I shall gladly now buy to support them.  Thanks kindle.  Next step for  you, make the  kindle readers accessible please?