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Summertime means summer vacations. I recently went on a short vacation with my cousin and two girlfriends to Cabo, a beach town on the tip of the Baja Peninsula of Mexico. I hadn’t been to the Pacific side of Mexico since my teenage days when my family would drive down to San Felipe and camp for days on the beach. I discovered that the west coast of Mexico–like the west coast of the U.S.–has much more temperate evenings and chillier ocean water than the Atlantic side and its Gulf of

Happy Independence Day, America. (And happy birthday to my dad.) And in celebrating this day of independence, I am going to toot my own independence horn. In my last post about Braille in April, I had talked about how I was finally fully literate in Braille, having finished learning both uncontracted and contracted Braille. Now, I am reporting that I had just finished my first novel in Braille, The Accidental Tourist by Anne Tyler. While I’m very glad to have accomplished such a feat, I was at the same time

Ever since I lost my vision, one of the things I miss most is driving. I used to love driving alone on a beautiful sunny day with the windows down, the sun roof open, and music blaring from my after-market sound system. Driving gave me a sense of independence, and losing my vision meant losing driving which meant losing independence. So when I heard about this project at Virginia Tech, it was an answer to my most pressing wish. Using robotics, laser rangefinders, GPS, and smart feedback tools, Dennis Hong

I previously blogged about the Haptica Braille watch, but now there’s news of a new concept watch in the making that may give Haptica a run for their money. Jacob Rynkiewicz is designing a sleek watch with a rubber wristband that should be easy to put on and take off. Instead of numbers, there are tactile markers on the face of the watch so that a person could potentially feel with their fingers which way the dial hands are pointing, and thus, telling time. Perhaps the advantage of this watch

My cousin, Pauline, recently sent me an online article about Amy McDonaugh, a legally blind woman from South Carolina who won the 13th annual Flying Pig Marathon in Cincinnati. She ran the 26.2 miles in 2:58:14, and this marks her first marathon win. Amy is a 34-year-old stay-at-home mom who has no peripheral vision, very poor vision in one eye and is blind in the other, but she ran the entire race without a guide. She can see straight-away; perhaps this helped her “focus” on the finish line. Pauline noted

This isn’t the newest of news but I recently came across the article for the second time and realized I hadn’t blogged about it the first time because, evidently, my blog hadn’t existed back then. Of course, that just wouldn’t do considering the fact that she is like the cornerstone for the entire reason my blog even exists! Laura Martinez, a culinary student at Chicago’s Le Cordon Bleu, expressed concern with landing a proper job in a reputable kitchen after graduation because of her visual impairment. Last year, CBS featured

The last time I blogged about my Braille learning experience, I had just attended a little graduation ceremony which denoted that I finished grade one of Braille otherwise known as uncontracted Braille. Shortly thereafter, I was on my way to learning contracted Braille (grade two), and boy, is there a lot to learn (read: memorize) in contracted Braille! I finished the second book in my Braille program and borrowed a novel from the National Library Service in order to practice reading but I kept coming across symbols that I didn’t

Did I ever tell you I love my iPhone? I got the iPhone 3GS in December 2009 after John discovered that it is the most accessible phone for blind users. With Apple’s incredible VoiceOver feature that reads aloud practically everything on the iPhone (and other Apple products such as the Mac computers and iPads), I can virtually do everything a sighted person can do on their iPhone. For example, I can now send text messages, have text messages read aloud to me, check and reply to emails, find a certain

John loves the snowy mountains while I love the sunny beaches, which is why for each of our respective bachelor/bachelorette trips, we headed to our desired destination: John to Breckenridge and me to Miami. Now that we’re married, we try to appreciate the other’s preference for the outdoors. This meant I had to bundle up and face my most dreaded enemy: the cold. John fell in love with snowboarding after he went for the first time last year. Before his bachelor trip, he had never seen real snow in his

My husband told me about this a few weeks ago but stupid me forgot to blog about it, and now there’s only one day left to support the project. Doh! John and I have each individually pledged money towards the project, and I urge you on behalf of stylish blind people everywhere to do the same. Because products for the visually impaired are such a niche market, things designed for the blind are often awkward, not well thought out, bulky, less functional. Moreover, they’re downright ugly. Why do the products

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