Sight with Style
A blind person in the sighted world
Well, here I am again and this time I thought I would do something a little different from the usual arts and crafts blogs. I wanted to share with you a little about me. How I came to start up Craft Manchester and mainly my journey with my sight problems. I want to share with you my thoughts and experiences when it comes to being registered as blind. I could write a book on all of this but I will try and keep it as short as I can. Hope you enjoy!
Only about 15 percent of people who have a blindness diagnosis have no light perception, according to VisionAware.
Sight with Style! Why this title? Well, I put on a charity event last year for Henshaws a charity I volunteer with and it was to celebrate style and vision. This was to say, “Just because we have a sight problem doesn’t mean we can’t be stylish and fabulous.” The more I think about that concept ‘Sight with Style’ the more it makes me think that this can mean so much more then just fashion. Style can be how you conduct yourself, your life, your attitude. I believe that despite my sight problems I have carried myself with style. I have faced challenges face on and overcome them. It has not been easy and still isn’t. I face a new and different challenge every day. My best advise is always carry yourself with style and grace and you will achieve anything.
“It’s about walking boldly with confidence, transcending barriers and changing the way we perceive blindness” – Stephanae McCoy
Stephanae McCoy is one of my inspirations. She is an independent stylish woman who has achieved her goals and shares her experiences with the world to help others. She lost her sight and didn’t want that to define her so she created Bold Blind Beauty where she shares her experiences, fashion and beauty tips. This proving you can still be you despite your disability. Other fantastic women I have come across whilst coming to terms with my own disability are Emily Davison of Fashioneyesta. She is a student as well as writing her blogs on fashion and beauty and changing perceptions in fashion for disabilities. Life of a blind girl This is another amazing woman to follow. If only I had the internet growing up, where there is now a wealth of experience that is shared helping people see they are not alone and don’t have to let their sight loss define them. They can achieve the things they have always wanted to and so much more.
“Blindness doesn’t always mean total darkness.”
This brings me to Craft Manchester, after getting my degree in Design and Art Direction, which was very difficult at the time and I think if I had had more support like you can get today I would have achieved better. I knew I wanted to be in the creative industry and having a pit stop in an office job (as I needed to pay the bills), I knew it was always there and i was always going to get there one day. Unfortunately that pit stop turned into an eight year struggle.
I had an accident and lost my right eye. As I was just coming to terms fully with my disability and starting to except it and who I was I was thrown right back to the start. I never let people in, for fear of shame and feelings of inadequacy due to my visual impairment and also because I worried so much about what people would think and how they would judge me. What i had lost and not knowing what to do at this point as this was different to what i had experienced before with my existing sight problems. I had to face the reality of what was really happening in my life
It took a long time but I slowly started to except help from different sources, family, friends, charities and myself. I started to get back into the creative world by starting slowly with bead making. I would find my way around my obstacles. Using technology in a big way to help. Getting more and more confident I started working with Henshaws again and they asked if I wanted to run and arts and crafts club. I really thought this was an amazing opportunity as getting creative again helped me in so many ways, I wanted to share that. This and talking with people in the same situation helped my confidence no end and then I decided to go for it and set up Craft Manchester as I truly believe creativity is the best kind of medicine and want to share that with the world.
“There is no greater way to effect change in this world than by imparting knowledge to future generations.”
We have to change the way we perceive one another. I am confident now because I can admit who I am, what I’ve done, and love myself for who I’ve become. The only limitations we face in life are the ones we place on ourselves.
If you want to find out more about Craft Manchester and what we offer, keep up to date with our social media and website.
Stay Crafty x