Image of antique school desks.

School Of Hard Dots

The year is 1988. Billy Ocean is singing “Get Outta My Dreams, Get Into My Car”. Steven Hawking has released A Brief History of Time. Rain Man is topping the box office. Big hair and thick scrunch socks are in. Partying involves the Blue Light Disco hosted at the local concert hall by the police. Google is not yet invented. Mobile phones are not on the market. A bag of hot chips costs less than a dollar. And this is high school. My Perkins Brailler, invented in 1951, yet still the most used mechanical braille writer in the world, weighing in at 4.8 kilograms thumps awkwardly against my thigh. Its bell tinging ever so slightly with the movement of my footsteps as I hurriedly lug it down the shabby corridor toward my designated room. It’s a room that by its very necessity marks me as someone who doesn’t belong, despite what my school uniform is designed to portray. It’s a room […]

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Image of the cap and scroll an undergraduate dreams of.

The Undergraduate

You’ve got to be kidding, I say to my husband, my voice drenched with resentment. How is any of this fair, I wonder as I struggle to gain control of my emotions. He’s just finished telling me how he completed his entire undergraduate degree without independently looking up a single academic database for supplementary materials whatsoever. I’ve recently begun my PhD. I’m sitting on the lounge scrolling through academic articles on my phone when he comes into the room utterly miffed by the discovery that academic information has to be bought like a hand of bananas or loaf of bread. He always thought it was freely available, and is curious as to how the system works. I explain it according to my very limited understanding, but am distracted by something immediately unravelling in my mind, and unbeknownst to him, I cannot possibly have this discussion right now. I’m too busy reeling back in horror at the fundamental shifting of my universe. […]

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Image of a computer, a cup of coffee and a writing pad and pen on a table.

An Open Letter To University

Dear University, Much has been researched and written regarding the disadvantage and inequity experienced by people with disability in the university system. There are entire academic disciplines, departments and databases devoted to the topic. To explain how it has effected me as a person who is well within the realm of legal blindness is difficult. It is difficult because somehow I am the one who carries the shame and burden of not measuring up to an impossible standard, set by a structure and history of exclusion and invalidation of my needs, wants and rights. I try not to think about it too deeply, but I know I would be even less likely to succeed without opportunities within the university system to present my case, justify my academic performance, and explain why I am not nearly as accomplished as I would be if I were not navigating the very real barriers that come with having a severe sensory disability, and all the […]

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Image of a woman's hands with planet earth hovering above them.

For All The World To See

What would you do if you could see? The question is posed by a stranger on the train, a shop assistant, colleague, potential employer, acquaintance, friend, or society in general, like a spider meticulously threading its web of power and liberty around a fly, innately illustrating yet again to me just who has the upper hand in this situation. I can almost see the expectation hanging in the air between us as I take a deep breath and gather my wits about me like a protective cloak, knowing this could get ugly. Of course, I am expected to reward such obtrusive attention with a walk along the moral high ground, with its gracious answers and honey sweet nectar. Never mind the encroachment, intimacy, invasion or intrusion on my very being, let alone the offensiveness or impossible nature of the question. The fact is, everyone does disability differently. There are as many means, ways and work-arounds for people with disability as there […]

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Image of a range of guide running tethers.

A Guide To Guide Running

So you’re thinking about becoming a guide runner, or maybe you’re just a little bit curious about how it all works, but don’t know where to start. Well you’re in the right place. Hi, I’m Meg, and I’ll be your runner, and your guide to guide running for the day. Guide running for a blind or low vision athlete can be nerve racking. After all, you don’t quite know how much is involved or what to expect, right? But I promise it isn’t as complicated as you may think. So take a deep breath, and relax. You’ve so got this – we’ve so got this! Now let’s get down to the majesty, brilliance, and brass tacks of guide running. What is it, and how do you go about it? Guide running is a collaboration between a sighted guide and a blind or low vision athlete. Sounds awesome, right? The good news is, not all the onus is on you as the […]

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