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Disabled Voices Online: interview Holly from Life of a Blind Girl

Disabled Voices Online

In our first installment of Disabled Voices Online, we are lucky enough to be joined by Holly from the blog Life of a Blind Girl, here to tell us all about her blogging experiences.

As the title of her blog suggests, Holly is blind, but that doesn’t stop her from being a successful blogger. You can see her blog at:

https://lifeofablindgirl.wordpress.com/

What made you start blogging?

The reason I started blogging was because I wanted to help other blind and vision impaired people like myself. I wanted to pass on the skills, knowledge and experience that I’d learnt to others. It’s not easy being a blind person, I wanted to do something that wasn’t sugar coated and wanted to give an honest account of life as a visually impaired girl. I thought that blogging would be a really good way of doing this. I enjoy reading blogs so wanted to try and write one myself. I love writing so this was also another reason for why I started blogging.

How did you find setting up your blog?

I found setting up my blog very accessible, in fact I was very surprised. I use WordPress and did some research beforehand in to which website was the most accessible for blind and vision impaired people, so this was why I chose WordPress. The only part of setting up my blog that I struggled with and had to get sighted assistance, was the theme and images that I wanted on the blog, as there were no descriptions and I could not see them.

So how did you work out what images and theme to go for then? Did you just let a sighted person choose or did you have a sighted person describe them to you and make a judgement based on what you imagine would look good?

I did a bit of both; I had a sighted person describe them to me and then we both made a judgement in what would look good. It was a joint effort really.

How do you find running your blog: creating new content, raising awareness of its existence etc.?

I find this fully accessible and very straight forward. It’s all very quick and easy to do.

For raising awareness, getting my blog out there on social media is a huge help and allows me to do this easily.

What do you think of social media in terms of accessibility? Which social networking sites do you like and which do you dislike?

I find Facebook and Twitter the most accessible, and use them the most. Instagram is a tricky one as it’s images so I don’t use it as much.

What do you think your blog has achieved?

I think my blog has educated sighted people on sight loss and helped tackle perceptions around visual impairment. I also think it has given blind and visually impaired people help and support and useful tips. I hope to continue to do this in the future.

Apart from your own blog, do you do any other writing online?

Yes I do, I do guest posts for people and I am also a blogger for Action For Blind People.

What sort of feedback do you receive?

I receive all sorts of feedback such as people telling me that resources on my blog have helped them, people have said they find it inspiring and it’s opened their eyes. I’m very grateful for the feedback that I receive.

How do you think the internet could be improved for blind people?

The internet is great for blind and visually impaired people to access content and get online like everyone else. However, not all websites are accessible so this is one area in which I think it should be improved. I think all websites should be tested with a screen-reader or magnification software preventing such people having issues using them. One other area in which I think it can be improved is where images have image descriptions/Alt text on them so that us as blind people know what they are.

What problems have you faced while blogging?

There are a few problems that I have faced whilst blogging. One of these is getting images on posts; this is very hard as I cannot see them. One other problem was that it took me a while to get my content out there and recognised but I think social media is the key to this. I also realised that I needed to learn the shortcut keys for wordpress and this made blogging a lot easier once I did so.

What advice would you give to aspiring bloggers?

Before you start blogging, I would say research the most accessible blogging platform for you. Personally WordPress works best for me but there are others such as Blogger which are accessible. Once you’ve done your research and found a site that you are comfortable with and happy using, then use that throughout.

Another piece of advice that I would give to aspiring bloggers is to find a topic that you are passionate, interested in and that you feel you can write consistently and frequently about and stick with it. If you do this, then you will find writing blog posts so much easier.

Remember: you won’t have readers straight away. Blogging takes time and effort but it is worth it! If you reach out to fellow bloggers and organisations, guest post for other people and try to spread the word about your blog on social media then you will notice your followers and readers growing!

Comment on other bloggers post as well. Read a post you like? Then leave that person a comment then they will see this, hopefully click on your link, read your blog and it will also be visible to other people as well. There are so many bloggers out there so make sure you shout about yours! I’d say that social media is the key to promotion.

If you want to start blogging then go for it, don’t give up!

What blogs other than your own do you think people should be reading?

If you would like to read some blogs by other blind people then check these out:

https://myblurredworld13.wordpress.com/

https://seemyway.org/

http://www.thinkingoutloud-sassystyle.com/

 

Thank you ever so much to Holly for taking the time to do that interview. If you’d like to visit Holly’s blog you can find her at:

https://lifeofablindgirl.wordpress.com/

Also, you can see the work Holly does for Action for Blind People at:

https://actionforblindpeople.org.uk/action-connect/blog/?Author=121

Please feel free to discuss the themes explored in the above interview in the comments below.

 

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