About Us

This blog is about how the world is viewed by the visual and the visually impaired. The intent of this blog is to bring the two worlds together. It is administered by two fabulous sisters, Toni, who is sighted and Robin, who became visually impaired in 2002 at the age of 18 due to misdiagnosis.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Accessible Voting Technology....

Along with the right to vote we all should have accessiblity to vote. Jill Piner, a PhD student at Rice University in Houston,
TX is currently working on a project that involves understanding and promoting change in accessible voting technology, specifically for blind and visually impaired individuals. For this study she needs to recruit people that are 18 years of age or older and legally blind. The recruits need to take a survey about their previous voting experience and what changes they feel would be most beneficial. This type of research can help in the changes needed with making voting more accessible and allows our community voice to be heard. The link to the survey is at the end of this post and it should take no more than 15-20 minutes to complete. All information is kept strictly confidential and will only be used for academic purposes. No personally identifying information (like name, address, etc) will be collected. Remember "Alone we can do so little; together we can do so much." Helen Keller.


Happy Holidays Luv Bugs!
Stay Beautiful!

Beautifully Blind, Inc.

Sunday, November 21, 2010


On November 4, 2010, when I heard the words, “flight attendants prepare for takeoff”, they took on a whole different meaning for me compared to previous flights that I have traveled. I was not only taking off to a destination, but to another country unfamiliar to me. As I could feel the rush of excitement in my body, I kept thinking, Jamaica here I come! My journey was about to begin, and I was ready for what my new adventure would entail. I mentally visualized the beaches, coconut trees, mango trees, beautiful ocean water, and tasty fruit, which increased my level of enthusiasm. However, as Toni mentioned in her post, there was a potential threat of hurricane Tomas, to which I was not excited about at all.
When our plane landed in Jamaica, after walking outside to get into the cab, I could feel the warm humid air brush against me. As I got into the cab, I was thrown off because I completely forgot that Jamaica was a country where the driver is on the right side of the vehicle, rather than the left side as established in The United States. So, every time our driver talked to Toni, who was sitting in the front seat, I kept thinking that the driver is sitting on the wrong side of the car. LOL. When we arrived to the hotel, as everyone proceeded to get out of the car, Imani let out a big sigh, and excitedly said, “Wow, this place is beautiful!” By Imani’s reaction, I didn’t have to see to know that we were in an astounding place.
The next couple of days in Jamaica would be those of education, fun, and relaxation. While waiting for the hotel shuttle, a security guard approached my mom and me. The security guard conveyed that some people take things for granted, and treat others, such as disabled individuals, as though they are lesser of a human being. The security guard went on to commend my mom for being a great parent. After our conversation, it was time for us to go on our tour of Rose Hall; a former sugar plantation aka the home of the ghost Annie Palmer. If you’re not aware of the story, I recommend you research it. Very interesting, yet creepy! I was amazed by the tour guide’s descriptive abilities. Through her dialogue, I was able to mentally envision what the house and objects in the home looked like. Being blind, I didn’t feel left out of the tour, but instead I felt a part of the group.
The following day, I enjoyed myself sitting by the pool, listening to my iPod, and the beautiful sounds of nature. Our hotel was right on the beach, so I could hear the strong currents brush ashore, along with the sound of wind. I couldn’t help but feel a sense of calmness and contentment. However, as Toni mentioned in her post, her experience at the pool was quite different. LOL.
The rest of the trip was a blast, except for the incident I had with one hotel guest. In the gift shop, I politely asked a woman standing by me if I was in her way, and she sharply replied, “Yes, you are in my way.” It is incidents like this one that makes me wonder what people think my white cane is for. However, my mom told her that I was blind, and the woman seemed as though she didn’t care. The woman’s sister (who I will call Erica) overheard the conversation and rushed over to us displaying an overly nice disposition. I assume Erica felt bad because of the rude and insensitive behavior her sister demonstrated. Erica brought over a shirt she thought I might like and described the shirt in descriptive detail. As Erica was describing the shirt, she conveyed that their father was blind. Coincidently, not only was their father blind, but the two women had another sister named Robin. All I can say about this situation is, hmmm… As our trip came to a close, the driver who took us to the airport handed me my bag, and said “I love you.” It was a sincere statement that left me in shock, but validated how compassionate some people can be. Wow, what a way to end my trip!

Saturday, November 13, 2010


Ok so where do I begin?! Our plane ride was great, we were bumped up to first class because the agent said my daughter reminded her of her daughter and she was just so cute...thank you Imani! Jamaica was beautiful! We arrived in Montego Bay Thursday and came back to Colorado Sunday...super short trip. Coming from dry Colorado the humidity felt great! We were a little worried because Tomas was in the works, but luckily it had down graded from a hurricane to a tropical storm and its path was away from Jamaica. We had a nice taxi driver named Baba, he asked a lot of questions about Robin, if she was blinded at birth or diabetes...I told him neither, that she was misdiagnosed...he was saddened. It was strange because one of the security guards came up to my mom and asked her what had happened to Robin and that he thought it was so nice that we bring her out to do things...ummmm what are we supposed to do???? Leave her in a room somewhere because she can't see???? WEIRD!!!! Anyway...the mornings were a little rainy with a light breeze but the sky cleared up by noon. The feeling was very relaxed and laid back, it felt good to not have to rush to do anything, be anywhere or to adhere to a schedule. While Robin enjoyed laying out in the sun listening to her ipod, I ran around the water park trying to keep up with my 8 yr old. Imani, my daughter had a blast going down the water slide...not so much fun for me; I had to carry her tube up a winding staircase and then run back down to the bottom to see her come down; she had me do this about 6 times..the joys of being a mommy lol! We went on a tour of the Great House of Rose Hall, Imani was quite intrigued with the history and bought a book, I was shocked that she still wanted the book and read it although it didn't have any pictures. Not only was she intrigued with the story of the house, she was also intrigued by the many stray cats around...thank goodness I keep hand sanitizer on me at all times! The resort had a lot of amenities for children; Robin and I had a difficult time getting Imani out of the kid zone...we were held captive by her for HOURS!!!! Robin is such an awesome aunt, she played Nintendo car racing games with Imani and spent a loooooooong time singing karaoke while I read a book.

On our way back to Colorado we went through Miami and spent the day on the beach. Because of the weather in Jamaica and the high waters we didn't go out on the beach, so it was nice to enjoy the beach in Miami. We all ended up wet from getting hit by a high wave while getting out feet wet...we had a blast! Imani didn't want to leave! We chilled out on the beach and had a nice lunch. Robin shocked me because she is not a drinker but she drank some of my raspberry lemonade which had vodka in it, she actually liked it! She may be moving away from her virgin strawberry daiquiri lol!

Although it was a short trip, we had a great time! The view was beautiful and the experience was great!