Tuesday, July 28, 2015

10 Reasons Why Being Blind Sucks BY MICHELLEBOTHA1

I really enjoyed this post titled 10 Reasons Why Being Blind Sucks by MICHELLEBOTHA1 So I decided to share. I am going to come up with my one reasons.  And I would encourage other people to come up with their own post as well. I feel that there are some lesser known benefits to being blind that need to be shared. They may seem a tad insignificant in the face of, um, being blind but hey, I say take what you can get.

1: It’s a massive saving
So I literally spend R260 a month on transport. That’s a monthly train ticket and for the rest of the time I bum lifts off anyone who’s going my way. And can anyone roll their eyes, ask me to contribute towards petrol, mutter, “Aargh, I wish she’d just get her licence already”? No, because I’m blind and that would be rude to blind people. I also assume that I save quite a bit on make-up which I have no idea how to apply and never intend to try mostly because by the time my face completely disintegrates I will be absolutely incapable of witnessing the carnage so we’re all good. This actually also saves me an amazing amount of time. Unlike many women I can be ready for work in about 20mins which means more sleep for me and thus more happiness.

2: You are never designated driver 
I’m not what you’d call a heavy drinker but it is nice to know that wherever I am I can sit back, relax and enjoy a glass of wine or three knowing that I will not have to drive anywhere.

3: People are only too willing to serve you
I get waited on hand and foot all the time. “Can I pour you a drink…can I bring you some cake…don’t worry I’ll fetch your coat”. At parties all I have to do is stand still and wait for people to give me things. By the time I’ve said, “Hm, I think I’d like…” there are two or three eager assistants leaping to their feet. On a cruise, it’s never my turn to go and get some drinks. It’s always my turn to, “…just stay lying here in the sun to selflessly keep our spots”.

4: You never have to sign up to “help out”
Ugh, let’s be honest “helping out’ rosters suck. They mean getting there early or staying late or giving up a holiday but I have a lifetime exemption. I’m blind, I’m literally incapable of washing dishes, packing away chairs or helping with your wedding decor. I’m not even joking – I really just get in the way during en masse chores. I can totally do my own dishes when it’s just me and the detergent but put me in a group and I just can’t take the initiative because I can’t see what needs doing and who’s doing what. So I just call “I’m blind” and that’s the end of that.

5: You are credited with sage-like wisdom
Us blind people see with our hearts and love you for who you are and can sense your true self with our soul-piercing super senses and stuff. You can learn all kinds of important life lessons from us like don’t take the sight of the mountain for granted and beauty is only skin deep and eat your carrots for lots of vitamin A.

6: Manicures and Pedicures are a monthly must have and not a luxury
What I’m not spending on a car and petrol I am spending on a monthly once over at the beautician so that works out quite well I feel. For most women a beauty treatment is a treat but for me it is a monthly necessity simply because I cannot cut my nails, shave my legs or pluck my eyebrows without causing myself grievous bodily harm. So I get to relax and let a pro do it without feeling the tiniest bit extravagant.

7: You can’t see people checking out your ungainly dance moves 
I do actually enjoy a good wiggle every now and again mostly in the privacy of my own space and usually in my underwear (just putting that out there) but when I do venture out I can truly enjoy myself without worrying about who’s checking me out (and not in a good way in an “Oh, that’s unfortunate” way). It’s kind of like when little kids fail at hide and seek. You know when you find them standing in the middle of a room with their hands over their eyes – if I can’t see you, you can’t see me. It’s pretty liberating actually.
8: You have a sure-fire escape from tele-marketers and cult evangelists

“Hi, would you like a pamphlet and an awkward exchange about my cult which I’d like you to join so I can get a reduction on my cult membership fees?”
“No, sorry I’m blind so unless you have an accessible copy…what a pity, bye”.
My standard response to tele-marketers is, “I’m sorry, I’m blind and I’m trying to *insert activity e.g. make lunch, wash the cat, sew a button* and my life is really difficult”.
9: You will garner high acclaim for your most minor achievements

I did an awareness talk at a primary school a while ago and this room of little kids literally broke into raucous applause when I took a sip of water. People say “well done” when I sit on a chair, make a cup of tea, put together a nice outfit – it’s great to be constantly affirmed.
10: You have a topic for awkward party small talk that never dries up 
 So as an introvert I pretty much can’t stand awkward party small talk. I’m really not a fan of that silent moment filled by phrases like, “Um…so…” But as a blind person (and for many people, the first blind person they’ve ever met) I have a plethora of fun anecdotes and am happy to answer all the usual questions I have to field like, “So how much can you see?” in order to avoid the “Do you know so and so” game which usually happens soon after, “So what do you do?”
So there you have it, the unsung benefits of blindness. Any to add fellow blindies?

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

The importance of having text alerts set up on your cell phone. When you're Blind or visually impaired.

I want to talk to you about the importance of having text alerts set up on your cell phone. When you're blind or visually impaired.

Now in this digital age we are stepping away from cash and using credit cards and debit cards more. 

With a credit card or debit card it makes it easier for those of us who are blind or visually impaired to go out and purchase items. We just have to remember which card is which and our pin number.

But when you have a credit card or debit card you do not know exactly how much money you have every second because it is not in your hand just like cash would be.  So you need a Way to  track your spending habits. 

 This is what I do personally to keep track of my bank account. I have text alerts turned on for my debit card and credit card for my bank account. Every time I swipe my credit card or debit card I get a text telling me where I swiped it and for how much. It helps me keep track of how much I spent and where I spent it.

Some people may find it annoying to have a ding every time they use their credit card or debit card. But I have a story to tell you, I hope it will encourage you to seriously consider turning on text alerts.

Last week I got a text alert for $.97 on my credit card. But I did not swipe my credit card anywhere that day for any amount.  So I called my bank and asked about the purchase. They said it was a test. People will swipe your card number for a small amount to find out if that card is active. If you do not catch it in time they will swipe you for a larger amount once they discovered that first transaction was able to go all the way through. If it wasn't for my text alerts I would not have been aware of that swipe until I logged into my bank account the next day. 

Luckily I was able to catch it within two minutes of the punched in the same day. The only negative impact for me is I have to wait for my new credit card to come in the mail. But I'd rather wait 5 to 7 days for a new card. Instead of worrying about a huge credit card bill bill.

So to those who are blind and visually impaired I strongly recommend that you turn on text alerts on your bank account so you're aware of all and any transactions that happen on your account. It may save you one day from a huge problem.