Interview on the Low Vision Bureau Podcast

We, the Blinkie Chicks, would like to thank Alvaro Gutierrez for interviewing us for the Low Vision Bureau podcast. We had a blast chatting with, and getting to know Alvaro, and as our projects are similar, we look forward to possible future collaborations.

Alvaro Gutierrez, the founder of Low Vision Bureau, created the site to build a community of blind and visually impaired people and to hopefully improve the status of blind and low vision individuals in societies worldwide. Alvaro lives in Columbia, but hopes to find a job in the United States helping blind and low vision individuals. He is constantly seeking new individuals to interview on his podcast, as well as to collaborate with on the goals of Low Vision Bureau.

Check out the Low Vision Bureau website, and interact with Alvaro on Twitter.

If you haven’t heard our interview yet, please click here to hear our interview on the Low Vision Bureau Podcast. Additionally, you may check out the blog post Alvaro wrote to accompany the interview.

We appreciate all the support; thanks for reading!


Introducing @soundsofdreams: Our New Webmaster!

Hello everyone, we have exciting news! The very talented Ania, @soundsofdreams on twitter, has joined the Blinkie Chicks as our new webmaster! She is going to redesign this site to make it more functional, and look better. With Ania’s help, this website will be where you can learn about and gain access to anything the Blinkie Chicks do. So stay tuned, everyone, and welcome Ania!

Our #AccessChat Interview

Hey everyone, it’s Jessica. I had the pleasure of being interviewed by Fedora Outlier on Tuesday for their weekly #AccessChat on twitter. Those who know me know I am a twitter addict, so this type of interview was perfect for me. I tweeted from the @BlinkieChicks account, and answered questions about what we do, and the technology we use. If you missed Tuesday’s chat, but still want to read the basic questions we were asked, you can read the questions and our answers below. Enjoy!

1. Who are you? Which Twitter client are you chatting with? And, which Apple devices do you own?

I’m Jessica: a student majoring in Sociology. I own an iPhone 5, an iPad 2, and a Macbook Pro. I use YoruFukurou, Twitterrific and TweetList Pro. Ashley is a student majoring in Special Ed. She owns an iPhone 3GS & a 4th generation iPod Touch, and she uses The Qube and TweetList for twitter. Daria is a college grad who majored in English; she owns an iPod Touch 3rd generation, and she mainly uses The Qube for twitter.

2. Tell us: What happened to form the @BlinkieChicks? What brought you three together?

We wanted to make a difference, & be a resource for others, so we began doing presentations, creating media, and tweeting.

3. What were some of the challenges you all faced in college—and how did you overcome them?

Some things we’ve struggled with at times include: making friends with able-bodied students, getting help/dealing with unwanted help, & inaccessible events on campus. We educate those we speak to, advocate for accessibility, and do presentations to raise awareness.

4. What were some resources and tech that helped you make it through college?

Our Disability Support Services is amazing! For awhile, I didn’t have much tech, so I used a computer with a JAWS demo. I saved & bought what I have. That + learning to effectively communicate with professors made college life much easier. A computer with JAWS, understanding professors, and Disability Support Services helped Daria get through college. Ashley uses an iPod Touch, and a laptop with NVDA.

5. What’s the goal behind the content and resources the Blinkie Chicks are creating? Who are they aimed at reaching—and why?

We’re dedicated to bridging the gap between the sighted and blind communities. Our content is targeted at a range of people. Many of our presentations educate sighted people, whereas our blog & a lot of the links we share are useful for the blind.

6. If folks were to follow your social media updates and blog—what can they expect to see?

We share our blog posts & presentations as well as links to news, stories, information, and issues relating to blindness.

7. What’s one word of wisdom (about life, accessibility, etc etc) each of you would share?

I say, “Advocate”. The world isn’t designed for us & society excludes us. We must speak up for better access & inclusion. Daria says “Educate”. We’re treated differently because many don’t know better. We must educate to make life better for all. Ashley says “confidence”. Confident & capable people change the perceptions others have about visually impaired people.

Our Introduction

Jessica, Ashley and I (Daria), also known as BlinkieChicks, met at different times in our lives. I have known Jessica since I was ten years old. (Wow, we go way back). We attended the Governor Morehead School for the Blind. We met Ashley through twitter, in Winter of 2012. Jessica and I kepy tweeting her about how nice it would be when she came to UNC Pembroke. We could not wait to meet her and her guide dog Landon.
In August, she became a student at UNC Pembroke, and we started hanging out at each other’s dorms. We hung out with one another just about every chance we got.
I say this to point out that, one day In November, Jessica and I were hanging out in Ashley’s suite, and we came up with the idea of creating a twitter account for the three of us. We also wanted to create a Spreaker account, so that we could post podcasts of our presentations.
We decided to call ourselves BlinkieChicks. “Blinkie” is used as a slang term for a blind person. We have used (and still do use) this term in playful ways. For example, one of us may say something silly, and another of us might respond with “Silly blinkie.” Anyway, when we created our twitter account, we did not know what to say in our bio. We didn’t even know exactly why we created it. All we knew was that we wanted to create an account that kepy the blind community updated on different happenings that took place. Also, we updated our community about apps that may or may not have been accessible.
This past Tuesday, Jessica, Ashley, and I had a discussion via skype about the direction in which BlinkieChicksb should go. One thing we noticed was that our biography did not match what we were actually doing, which was presenting to the public, making podcasts, etc. Our biography said that we’re three college students who love Starbucks and Apple products, but we rarely tweeted about those things. When we first started, not everyone was fully active. Now, we will be, and this blog is one of the ways in which all of us will contribute. Nice to meet you, dear reader!!! Pease, don’t be a stranger.