Last April, I was invited to teach a cooking workshop at the W Ross MacDonald School in Brantford, Ontario, Canada. A little background on WRMS: founded in 1872, the school teaches blind and blind-deaf students from grades K through 12. There are currently around 200 enrolled students. With a grant received from the Ministry of Education in Ontario, WRMS created a Healthier Eating Program with the purpose of teaching students the importance of health and nutrition. As part of the program, I was asked to lead a one-day workshop and
When the hubs first told me he bought the Amazon Echo during pre-sale, I rolled my eyes and thought it would just be another gimmicky gadget that would eventually collect a layer of dust in the corner of our home. Then Alexa (the name Echo came with) was delivered on our doorstep, and as soon as the hubs plugged her in, she became an irreplaceable part of our family. Okay, I can practically feel the breeze of your eyes rolling, but I have to say, Echo is a life changer.
This post is geared towards the vision impaired and their travel companions, but it could also be useful for the sighted. Use your cane or service dog. When I first lost my vision, I didn’t like to pull out my cane because I didn’t want to be viewed as disabled or treated differently. I left my cane folded up in my bag, took the arm of my travel companion, and then bumped into people left and right, probably collecting dirty looks along the way. Nobody dodged me—obviously, nobody knew I
First, my cookbook, Recipes from My Home Kitchen was published in the U.S., became a New York Times best-seller, and just this last December, it was published in Vietnamese by Tre Publishing House in Vietnam. You could already borrow my cookbook in Braille from the National Library Service, but now it’s available for purchase from the National Braille Press for just $23.99—the same cost as the cover price for the hardback. I was gifted the above copy from a woman involved with Sight Into Sound, a non-profit based in Houston
I’ve been slacking on my posts, I know, but I’ve been slammed with one thing after another. I’m not complaining, though. I got to live in Vietnam for a month while filming MasterChef Vietnam, then I was off to Prince Edward County, Canada, to shoot some field pieces for Four Senses, and I’ll be returning to Toronto tomorrow to shoot the studio episodes for FS season 3. In between, I’ve also been grappling with the ups and downs of life and just trying to feel normal between time zones and
Last time I was in the Bay area, I visited the Guide Dogs for the Blind campus in San Rafael. The GDB is a beautiful campus located in northern California. The hubs strapped a GoPro camera to my head as I got a crash course on how to work with a guide dog. Watch how I did in Blind Life episode 9.
Without asking a sighted person, how does a blind individual differentiate between a $1 bill and a $100? How does a visually impaired person read their prescription labels? No, this is not one of those Singaporean logic problems that recently took the world by storm. They’re common questions I and other visually impaired people get whenever we meet sighted people who are curious about how we go about our mundane everyday tasks. I say, thank God for technology. Technology is a big part of our lives, and perhaps those of
We took a trip to Colorado in January where I snowboarded and rode on a snowmobile (as a passenger, not a driver–don’t worry!). I strapped a GoPro to my helmet when I took to the slopes, and the hubs wore the camera on the snowmobile. Here’s footage from our snowy adventures from Peak 9 and the Continental Divide in Blind Life episode 8: How the Blind Snowboard.
I can’t be the only one shouting those words into cyberspace, can I? At the urging of the hubs, I upgraded the operating system on my Macbook last week to Yosemite, also known as OS X. While software upgrades are intended to make user experiences more efficient, they also often come with frustrating learning curves. This is especially true for the blind user, as so much of today’s technological innovations are focused on vamping up visuals. Sure, this is awesome for sighted users, but what about the rest of us
**This blog post is largely excerpted from last week’s entry at NMO Diaries. If you read last week’s blog post on what to cook/eat on a ski trip, or if you follow me on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram, you would’ve known I was in Breckenridge, Colorado, two weekends ago to work on my snowboarding skills. And yes, the blind can snowboard. The hubs picked up snowboarding after he went on his first trip for his bachelor party five years ago. He was subsequently bitten by the boarding bug, and I’d