I Didn’t Know You Were Out There: Finding Connections Through the Stories We Share
by Danielle McCann
Coming off of the National Convention high and being excited to strengthen the new bonds I made this year reminds me of a time when I craved finding others like me. I didn’t grow up with blind people in my family and the other blind kids at school were interested in different things than I was. I was a teenager when I first met another blind Latina and even then, she was a few years older than me so we didn’t really connect.
I’m one of those millennials who came of age before the Internet really took off; yes, I joined Facebook when it was for .edu email addresses only. Before the Internet, it was difficult, especially if you couldn’t get around easily, to make connections with others who shared your interests and lived experiences. Now-a-days, we have it so easy. We can connect with one another through multiple online avenues. If we’re willing to put in the work to find people we want to connect with, it’s simpler than ever to find people with whom we can relate. We can establish some of the strongest bonds we will have in life just by reaching out to someone who has shared their story and letting them know that we know where they’re coming from or that we support them.
One of those avenues I’d like to highlight is the Voice of the Nation’s Blind Blog. This space is available for members to share personal stories as they relate to blindness and our lives. This platform gives the opportunity to read and share our personal experiences as blind people with diverse perspectives. Through sharing our experiences, we can build stronger bonds of friendship, understanding, and support.
If you’re interested in writing something but aren’t sure where to start, here are a few suggested topics:
- Advocating for yourself as a blind student
- Getting that first job or any employment experience
- Blindness is one of my many characteristics
- Blindness skills or training
Writing a blog post isn’t scary. I promise, we have guidelines to help make putting your story together easy. If you’re interested in writing for the Voice of the Nation’s Blind, please send an email to [email protected] and I’ll reach out with next steps.