Image of a roll of toilet paper on a wall dispenser.

Busting Disabled Toilet Myths

As a person who is blind or has low vision, I’ve never considered it my right to use the designated disabled toilet. I’ve always thought of them as amenities for people who use wheel chairs, walking frames, walking sticks, crutches, or maybe an ambulant adult with children who aren’t yet at an age to be unsupervised in public restrooms, and their isn’t a designated parent’s room around. As a cane user myself, I confess that until recently I hadn’t considered just how essential disabled toilets also are for people who use guide dogs to navigate the environment. Could you imagine trying to fit thirty kilos of blond Labrador at your feet in one of those tiny, awkward to manage, let alone move in cubicles that are so often found in public areas? It’s not exactly an equitable or dignified prospect. After all, a dog isn’t the same as a white mobility cane. A girl can’t just fold it up and put […]

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Image of a wolf's face looking dangerous with a hunter's look in his eyes.

Running With The Wolf

I am acutely aware that to have my vision restored is somewhat of a phenomenon. It’s the equivalent of finding diamonds in the bottom of my breakfast cereal. I can barely believe it myself. Could I have actually outrun the wolf? How do I form the words to express something so big and unexpected to the rest of the world? It’s a world far more accustomed to people losing their vision rather than gaining it back. A world of haughty assumptions and expectations. Let me explain. I have a congenital eye condition that not only has me well within the bounds of legal blindness, but has been considered inoperable for as long as I can remember. Over the years, my vision quietly deteriorated into darkness without my permission or my comprehension, leaving a trail of questions, confusion, and chaos in its wake. So in one oh so desperately desperate effort a little over a year ago, I sought a new ophthalmologist, hoping […]

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Image of a drawing of a wedge of Swiss cheese.

Accessible Information – The Thin Edge Of The Wedge

Everyone has a secret stash of something. Oh come on, don’t pretend you don’t know what I’m talking about. We all do it. Some stash chocolate, shoes, paper clips, or money. In my case, it happens to be accessible information. Unfortunately, there is nothing secret about my not so secret stash of chocolate. I am pretty open about my habit. I’ve been known to put the call out on social media requesting a re-stock of said secret chocolate stash. And as for shoes, I’ve declared “shoe lover” as a part of my LinkedIn headline for quite a while. Therefore, nothing secret about that either. Although, paper clips have never been of interest to me. Sure, there had been the minor obsession with stationery in my younger years, but that wasn’t practical. It’s now filed in the things I would do if I were sighted basket, along with driving, sky diving, and catching a tennis ball. Accessible Information When it comes to […]

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Image of coloured jigsaw pieces all locked in place.

Disability, Ableism And Inclusion. Oh My!

Ableism comes in many forms, and despite what we like to tell ourselves as a society regarding our progress in this area, I think we are failing. We are failing the ghosts of advocates past, present and future by our tendency for play acting, rather than truly acknowledging our shortcomings and moving forward in any meaningful way. Even today, with all the advances in disability rights, legislation, inclusivity, human centred design, and supposed social understanding, sometimes I have to wonder if the push for inclusion is just a box ticking exercise with no intention to back it up. So often the powers that be apply no substance, logic, or practical application to their methodology. It is as though they almost deliberately leave a fundamental piece of the puzzle out of the equation, and thereby set us up to fail, while still being able to make themselves feel good about just how generous they are by allowing us to dwell within society. […]

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Image of the legs of a lone woman going for a parkrun.

Parkrun For One

Parkrun may have cost me a pyjama day on the lounge, and some serious toddler treat negotiations with Little so I did not have to actually parent. Hell, it will probably cost me an entire weekend, but the cognitive overload and exhaustion was oh so worth it. Guess who challenged her crazy self to a solo Parkrun with nothing but a sketchy mental map, a white mobility cane with a rover wheel adaption for ease of use, a buzzy thing known as a Mini Guide, and a Bow Tie Running Rope guide tether on her hip in case she made a friend along the way? Chosen for its flexibility, yet not too close not too far apart design, this Running Rope would give me and my fiction the freedom to synchronise our movement, but forgive us our just getting to know one another form. In fact, one of our inspirations behind this particular Running Rope was the Parkrun format with its […]

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