Welcome to The Invisible Vision Project’s blog.
On March 20, 2016, (I know this blog is 3 days late…), The Invisible Vision Project came to life. At that point, it was just about 6 months after I became a white cane user. Due to the progression of my vision loss, I needed a lot of tools to help me with my deteriorating eye sight, assistive technologies and a white cane became my everyday life essentials.
When The Invisible Vision Project was first launched, it was a place to share my personal experiences with a visual impairment, on a Facebook Page. As well on the Page, I shared some resources on visual impairment in general (i.e. articles on blindness/visual impairment, blogs and stories written by bloggers and writers on vision loss, etc), that’s also how I got to know many bloggers and became friends with many, and, became a blogger myself. There’s also a new series that started out called “Blind Girl Problems” which basically became a place where I documented some of the real-life challenges I faced on a daily basis, as a blind girl, some of these moments are serious, but others, are just really funny! I compiled a lot of these into blogs, in which you can read on the blog, by click on the “Blind Girl Problems” tab on the main page of the blog. (If you are reading on a smartphone or a tablet, click the “Menu” button, then, click on “Blind Girl Problems”).
When The Invisible Vision Project was first launched, I didn’t think of writing blogs. I never wrote blog before that, and I was also skeptical, that nobody would be interested in reading my blogs. But, those aren’t the real reasons, the real reason was, that I just wasn’t comfortable and confident in my writing. After about a month of debating, I gave in and decided to give blogging a try. Then, on April 15, 2016, I clicked “publish” on the first blog I ever written, not the proudest but definitely the first, and it’s titled: My Story, My Vision. And after that, as you can probably tell, I’m still writing to this day. So far, there are over 100 blogs published, and still counting!
Of course, life changed so much during this past 4 years. And, as some of you may or may not know, this Blind girl behind The Invisible Vision Project is also chronically ill. So, during the period where I was going through challenges with my eye sight, I was also struggling with my physical health. And, unlike the problems with my eye sight, which was fairly straight forward. My journey with chronic illness and finding answers, took a lot more effort, especially in finding the right medical professionals to get the right diagnosis. I qeven went through the heartbreaking experience of getting misdiagnosis and delayed diagnosis. And I know, this is sadly common, in young people living with chronic health conditions.
As you know, The Invisible Vision Project came to life because of my journey with vision loss. And the name, why I decided it as it is, is because, I felt and still feel that my visual impairment is invisible, and truthfully, it is. Because after all, I don’t fit into the society’s “vision” of what a blind person looks like. My eyes, they look fairly normal (on the outside). To put it simply, I don’t look blind. It’s sad but true. And, even when I started sharing my journey with chronic illness, I didn’t feel like I needed another platform or name, because again, in a sense, my chronic illness is also invisible, at least to the naked eye. You can’t see what’s wrong with my body on the outside, but there is something wrong, it’s there, and it’s very real!
When The Invisible Vision Project first started, there was only a Facebook Page and a blog. It took sometime to build other social media connections, such as: Email, Twitter, Instagram, there used to be a Google+ account (no longer available). The most active social platforms are obviously the Facebook Page and the blog. The Instagram account is a joint account for personal use as well as for The Invisible Vision Project related postings. And, the twitter account, which surprisingly, has the most follows. And of course, I don’t really look at numbers, and don’t compare or compete with anyone on that.
In 2018, The Invisible Vision Project also launched a new series called “Guest Bloggers” and what this series is, is that guest bloggers have the options to write a blog, to be published on The Invisible Vision Project or, engage in Guest Blogger Interviews. This has been a big hit since it started, and it’s also how I got to know a little more about my fellow blogger friends! You can access this series the same way you access the “Blind Girl Problems Series.” Also, this series is an ongoing one so, if anyone knows a blogger or is a blogger yourself that is interested in something like this, please get in touch!
Over the last 4 years, so much has changed, not just with blogging and my work as a disability and social justice activist. But also with my health as well. But, no matter how hard life gets, wether it is because of my vision or health, I’m determined to continue this very important work that I find so much meaning, purpose, and value and above all, it just gives me so much joy!
It is with the launch of The Invisible Vision Project, and working in activism made me realize that: it’s OK to be different, it’s OK to have a disability, it‘s OK to live life differently and not following the “normal” route. After all, what is normal, anyway?
My life, as I learned, was and will not be so normal. I have some life challenges that were identified too late. I was supposed to, or at least could’ve received the help I needed a lot sooner, but didn’t. But, I survived it. I’m proud to be, a warrior and a survivor. And, I’m feeling content and happy with my life, with my health and my eye sight, as the way it is. Or even if, however it will change in the future. I know l’ll just learn to adapt to it, eventually. And I know, not everyone will agree that I work on this very important work in activism, to advocate for myself, and for those that can’t advocate for themselves. But, I’ve learned to not let other people’s opinions influence me too much. Not everyone will understand or love you. But, you need to understand and love yourself.
In saying all of this, I couldn’t just leave without saying a word of thank-you. To not only my readers on the blog, or followers on The Invisible Vision Project’s all social media platforms, that are following my journey. But also, to all of my friends, and people that stood by me. People that told me, it’s OK to come out of my “shell” and to accept me for who I am. To have a voice, not only through writing but also through speaking (in case you didn’t know, I’m also a public speaker!). Thank you, thank you, thank you, everyone! As I worked tirelessly for the past 4 years, the work still continues. The journey still continues. And I‘m really thankful to have you coming along!
Thank you for reading to the end!
By: The Invisible Vision Project