Tonight at Toastmasters

Tonight at Toastmasters, my speech project was to pretend that I was giving a press conference. My prepared statement was to be about 5 minutes long with about 10 minutes of questions and answers. Here’s what I said.

Good evening Ladies and Gentlemen of the Press.

Tonight I am announcing a new website that you will want to visit regularly and often. It will provide answers to questions that you didn’t know you had about how people who are blind or visually impaired go about living their lives.

You may have questions you’ve wanted to ask, but you felt awkward, and by reading this blog, you might discover issues and concerns of people with disabilities that you didn’t realize were issues and concerns.

At seeingitmyway.com, you will meet a woman who has been blind for over 50 years. Through my blog, you will see the world from my point of view. Hence the name, seeing it my way. I write about a variety of life experiences, including what it’s like to ride a tandem bike with a blind person, how people who are blind can read their mail with technology, how Braille works, and what guide dogs do and don’t do.

If You know a blind person, have a child who has been diagnosed as legally blind, or are losing your vision yourself, this unique site will give you the insight to prepare you for many situations. One reader, whose child had just been diagnosed with an eye disease, wrote and said “Thank you for this blog. It has already answered so many of my questions.”

You may be familiar with Deborah Kendrick, a well known advocate for people with disabilities, who writes a bi-weekly column for the Columbus dispatch. While I may quote her from time to time, my blog is in no way in competition with her columns. Her work is based on research and interviews, with some personal experiences added to illustrate a point. My blog is based solely on my own life experience. Seeing It My Way is not just about blindness. I’ve written several posts about moving my mother into assisted living. If you have ever dealt with the care of an elderly parent, you will appreciate reading an affirmation of your own feelings and concerns. I will be writing about other life issues, as I post on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays.

If you are a visually impaired person yourself, you will find that this site is easy to navigate with your screen reader. My webmaster, Eric Ralph, has been very sensitive to my own need to make the site accessible. Mr. Ralph has been extraordinarily generous with his time in building this site and updating it with photos and other features. I am extremely grateful for his expertise and his patience with me, as a novice in the world of websites.

In addition to the seeing it my way blog, you can also be linked to the “Take Your Event to New Heights” page, about Mary Hiland as a motivational speaker.

Finally, you can click on the seeing without sight link, to learn about the class I offer to parents of home-schooled children. In this 90-minute presentation, the students will have a hands-on learning experience with Braille, meet my Seeing Eye dog, and gain a better understanding of people with disabilities.

Many of you have a website of your own, and some of you blog on a professional level. Currently, my blog is a community service, but in time, I’m hopeful that visitors, namely event planners, will want to “take their events to new heights, and hire me as a workshop presenter or a keynote speaker. Now I’ll be glad to answer any questions you have.

 

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