Tuesday, 17 May 2016

How accessible is my blog? #disability #images

This image contains a word
Can you read it?

Most of you will say, yes.  But many of those who are visually impaired can not read the word.  This is because they need to use screen reader software to "read" for them and this software has enormous trouble reading images. 

I am lucky, I can use my zoom software to make the image as large as I like to read the word.  And I thought I had made it clear enough that it would be accessible to everyone.  

But I was wrong.
We all need to better understand what it means for our websites to be accessible.  

Here are some simple tips:
provide a good level of contrast
write in plain English
use a clear font with good spacing
explain all images and videos in text
provide the text for any sound files

I hope this encourages you

(encourage was the word in the image)

Saturday, 14 May 2016

How are your eyes these days? #poetry #DrSeuss

Oh the things 
That people say
The words I wish 
Would go away
You don't look blind
How are your eyes
What can you see
Can you see the skies

And patiently 
I answer them
But very soon 
I won't pretend
That it doesn't annoy
And doesn't offend
Because those questions
Will usually send
Me over the edge
Into wondering if
Anyone knows
What it's like to live
With little sight
And lots of pain
And yet they ask
Over and over again

How are you feeling?
You seem OK
I'm glad things are better
Not so bad today?
And what do I say?

Tell me what do I say?
To make you feel better
Coz I think that's it
You want to know
That I'm not so sick
Because that's easier
Than having to see
Really what it's like
Living life as me
And realising
I'm making the best
Of what I've got
I've still got the rest
Of my skills and talents
And beyond the aches
I can use my brain
That's no big shakes

So how are my eyes?
No better, no worse
I'm getting on
I don't feel cursed
In fact I feel blessed
To have technology
And by the way ...
I am still me!

Linked up at Prose 4 Thought

I will still EXPERIENCE the World #travel #disability #spoonie

This morning I read a wonderful article on The Mighty: When I Saw the Adventurous Life I Envisioned Before My Illness Slip Away which spoke a great deal to how I can feel at times.  I recommend that you read it for yourself, but in brief, it speaks of a young woman diagnosed with a chronic illness who is having to come to terms with changing her plan for a life travelling the world. There are days when I can let myself think like this, and these were almost every day in the first six months after loosing my eye sight and realising my mobility problems were not a temporary blip; but most days now I think differently.

My Travel Plans (as were)
I will see everything there is to see in the world; all the amazing sights and people and cultures and buildings and natural wonders.

I will stand on Antarctica and walk in colonies of penguins; drive an RV through New Zealand and see the land of giants; watch the sunset over deserts; trek through forests to see orangutans; worry about bears in Alaska and time eruptions in Iceland; see the Northern Lights and watch dolphins and whales time and time again; try disgusting food because it's better to have tried and disliked than never to have tried it at all.

It was all mapped out, every square inch of the planet a place to be seen and explored and captured with my camera and shared with Rachel and Mike.  It was a life full of adventure and fun but absolutely no bungee jumping!!

My Travel Plans (as I grieved)
There's no point in even trying to go to any of the places I have always wanted to see, because I can't see.  There's no point in expecting to trek through jungles or take a boat up the amazon, because I can't trek or even get on a little boat let alone sit in it for hours.  There's no point planning to see the Northern Lights because they're subtle and will not be bright enough for my little sight to pick up, and I will be too tired by the evening to be able to cope with the trips anyway etc etc.  A spiral of can nots and will nots and impossibilities for the future.

I have come through the grief (I'll be blogging about how that happened) and now .....

My Travel Plans for life
I will experience everything I possibly can in the world; all the amazing sights and people and cultures and buildings and natural wonders.  I will find ways of travelling which make it possible; we are trying cruising this summer to see how that works for me.  I will meet people from different cultures and enjoy their company because it's always been more about their stories than about what they look like.  I will visit the natural wonders and I will hear through Mike and Rachel what I can not see and we will take photos and I will use technology, there at the place, to see it the very best way I can.  I will open my ears and hear the waterfalls; I will touch the rocks and the ice of the glaciers and I will feel the wind and spray from the sea.  I will feel the joy of those around me and my own as I travel with loved ones and place memories in my heart.

I might be in a wheelchair, or scooter, or perhaps in a funky off-roading contraption and I will find a way.  I might need assistance, but we all need assistance from loved ones or experts whenever we travel, it's just a different form of help.

I have it all mapped out and it's the whole world.  I will see as much as it's possible to see and I will see it with the whole of me; I will experience it as me and it will be awesome.  No disability is going to stop me, my only limitation is money and let's be clear, that was always the limiting factor but it doesn't matter in dreams and plans for the future.

Thursday, 5 May 2016

Spring into Spring with Torch Trust #poetry

Spring into spring
Here new lives begin

Peace in creation

Therapy with fingers

Plants and confidence

Linked up at Prose 4thought

A journey through retreat with Torch Trust #poetry

High anxiety
When we all arrive
What will be?

Welcoming friendly faces
Put us at ease

No expectations
Come just as we are
Relax for the week

Comfy and bright
Home from home

Every detail
Thought out with prayer
A holy place

Within a day
Strangers become friends
Sharing stories

Sustains and renews

Empower and encourage
New skills

Meal times
Feed body and mind

Now going home
Leaving this holy place
Will return soon

Torch Holiday and Retreat Centre #poetry

Welcomed warmly
Hearts, hands and minds
Completely safe

Completely safe
In Jesus' protection
Everyone valued

Everyone valued
For individual talents
As children of God

As children of God
Supported and cherished
No fear here

No fear here
On retreat with torch trust
Heaven on earth

Heaven on earth
All eternally loved
Welcomed warmly