Christian Accessibility #Twitter

I’ve been reading a lot about the theology of disability and mental health of late and discussing some of what I have learned in some really interesting discussions on Twitter.

Yes – social media gets a lot of criticism particularly Twitter but it definitely has its positives, I have found community and I love it.

Following a discussion today it made me realise thee is no one place to find out about disability theology, inclusion, trainers or organisations working in the field.

I decided to do something about this in a small way using Twitter. I have created a public Twitter list containing people who work in the field and also organisations ministering to those with disability.

Its worth noting I am choosing to use the word disability for purely practical reasons, Twitter has a character limit on both list names and there accompanying descriptions. Although I am using the term disability I am including chronic illness and mental health in the list.

The aim of this list is to pool information to enable people looking to find resources be that an organisation for support or a expert to consult on accessibility or talk at your event.

The name of the list is Christian accessibility and you can find it here.

Obviously this is a work in progress and there are not many resources on the list currently if you have a suggestion for the list please drop me a tweet @JemmaBrown obviously your recommendation has to be on Twitter.

What’s Considered a Faux Pas?

Never grab me, its my biggest hate, makes me jump and immediately puts me on the defensive.


It is understood that people are just trying to help sometimes. But here is a little insight to what should be avoided when in the company of blind people. First, please don’t grab (us or our canes). Imagine being blind folded and being grabbed by the arm. It’s very uncomfortable. Next, it’s perfectly acceptable to offer assistance. One blind person may need it where another may not. If they decline, don’t take it personally. A lot of us wish to do as much independently as possible. Also, there is no need to shout. While blind and deaf sometimes go together, they don’t in every case. Most people who are “deaf-blind” will inform you if they can’t hear very well. Last, if you plan to offer anything, offer an arm. If they want it, they will take it. If not, verbal direction may be what they’re looking for.

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Braille: A necessity for a modern day VI journalist?

Since my right eye deteriorated so suddenly I have been solely reliant on my left eye for every single day to day task, from reading large print resources to putting on make up one eye must to the job of two.

As a result I am getting more eye strain than ever before which tends to make life a little tricky, hopefully over time my eyes and brain will adjust to the way things are now but there is know way of knowing when or if that will completely happen.

As a result my university lecturers  have strongly advised me to learn braille and they are not just saying this out of the blue, they have been doing there research and have spoken to several blind journalists who have all have stated the importance of braille for VI journalists and have declared that it is a crutial must have skill.

The issue of course is that I have absolutely no experience of learning braille and will have to learn it from scratch, something that I know will be very difficult  considering how late I will be starting to learn.

In addition I can’t afford the price of even a basic Brailler something that is quite essential in order to learn how to write braille, I have been trawling the web already trying to find a cheap model or a second hand one but have so far come back with nothing. if anyone thinks they may be able to help with this please get in touch!

I also have to find a Braille tutor to teach me, I have absolutely no idea on where to start looking or who is going to pay for the lessons as cost is going to be a serious issue even if I do get a part-time job.

I really do see the possible benefits one thing I have learnt through the whole process of my right eye deteriorating is that nothing is guaranteed and all though it is a cliché nothing should be taken for granted. With this in mind I defiantly need to start learning Braille so I guess I will keep you posted.

BBC NEWS | Health | Self-help ‘makes you feel worse’

BBC NEWS | Health | Self-help ‘makes you feel worse’.

I don’t think this particular subject is as simple as the above title suggests.

Self-help can take such a variety of forms; books, articles, videos, on-line and self-help groups. From working on a persons way of thinking to their diet and day to day coping strategies – There is a lot of variation.

In my own personal experience some self help materials do make you feel worse, you read about the methodology of some way of improving yourself read the ‘instructions’ and think there is no way you will ever be able to do it feel depressed and give up.

On the other hand self help materials can help open up horizons to new ideas and techniques for self improvement that can challenge a persons thoughts and help with self development.

Facebook | The Guide Dogs for the Blind Association (UK)’s notes

Facebook | The Guide Dogs for the Blind Association (UK)’s notes.

(The above link takes you to a Facebook page where you can listen to the audio leaflet)


I am the living proof of this, I’m registered as partially sighted although it is commonly assumed that I must be compleatly blind to have a guide dog – WRONG!

Better Teaching for disabled kids

Teaching children with profound and multiple learning difficulties (PMLD) | Education | The Guardian .


Although this artical focus’s on childrens services for children and young adults with PMLD, it throws up a wider issue.

Teachers are not getting enough education to enable them to effectivly teach people of all ages who are disabled.

I have lots of living proof of that in action at all levels of my education.

Often, right through from infant school to university I have been disadvantaged and not allowed to fulfil my full potential because of teaching that is not inclusive.

It’s been a while

Wow the gaps between my posting seem to get longer and longer, sorry!

Everything is a little mad right now, I have just come out of a relationship, I have to say it was the longest relationship I have ever had lasting a grand total of 6 months (just), it’s taken me some time to adjust to being free and single again and get my head around are split, but in a way I’m pleased it happened now and not further on down the line. Really it’s the best thing for both of us because I’m busy training with Gus and I think he needs some time to sort his life out before he ends up wasting it!

So right now I’m sitting in a hotel room in Southampton that has been my home for the last week and will be my home for a further week, along with Gus my soon to be fully qualified guide dog. The training is tough in a variety of ways but we are both baring up really well, although Gus appears to have developed a slight cough.

The other people on the class are a little older than me and both have kids my age, but we all get on really well and have laugh about getting scrambled egg in our eye and having to have a bath after breakfast because I have spilt so much of mine all over me! We also have a great laugh about all the mad things our dogs do and great lengthy conversations about spending routines and anal glands over breakfast lunch and dinner.

The trainer is an apprentice GDMI and she is absolutely fabulous we all have great laugh and the atmosphere on class is amazing and very relaxed which makes us all nice and chilled and better dog handlers!

I was supposed to hear about halls by Friday and be told about my room allocation but I have not heard anything yet and apparently my final exam result for BSL should be through but I have not heard about that either so I’m waiting on the post!

some news and other useless information for your reading pleasure

Well first up I absolutely feel it is necessary to declare my extreme hate and disgust at my computer! For no apparent reason it is running slower and slower everyday it seems and I am battling against continuous crashes, freezes and general slowness!

The usual defragment’s and disk clean-ups don’t seem to be having an impact, I even removed a whole gigabyte of data from it and its still not speeding up, I fear its coming to the end of its life.

I have been trying to do a project using Windows Movie Maker this evening and it has crashed twice already, I have now given up on what I was trying to do after it got to the point where I had to unplug the computer and boot it up again!

So I’m here updating this, for your reading pleasure and about time too! Its probably karma telling me to vent to you all about the crapness of the technological situation!
(if there are any large computer manufactures out there I would like it to be known that all donations are great fully received!)

The huge moan aside the real reason I wanted to write was because I found out on Friday that training with Gus is defiantly going ahead and that we will be training residentially in a very posh hotel!

Its great news, if I had been given the choice I would have always preferred to do residential training, it being my first dog it will give us some really good quality time without Ian or anyone else being a distraction.

So we start training together on the 23rd of June and I am seriously counting down the days, I have a lot of stuff to do before I disappear off for a whole 2 weeks, not to mention another 2 A level exams to sit. I really can’t wait to get stuck in to training; I know its going to be hard work but it’s going to be worth it!

Apparently there are 3 of us on class with one trainer and the class is taking place in a really nice hotel in Southampton, I will spend 2 weeks residentially there and then another 2 weeks (ish depending how it goes) training at home. It’s really good the training is in Southampton because I will be living there in September, it will give me a chance to get to know the place a lot better and hopefully learn some routes.