Accessibility: Using Soundscape in Miami!

Hello Shiquers and welcome back to Nerdy Shique Universe! I’m back with another post!

Using Soundscape in Miami!

As you know, I’ve been using an app from Microsoft known as Soundscape. It’s a very good app to have if you’re visually impaired and have a hard time traveling around your area or in town even in the car, this is one you should have. I have had two people download it to take a try since our paratransit in town tends to take most of us all over the place, if if you remembered my story about my reason for getting this app is due to being on the van for two hours and it does come in handy after I downloaded so I can see if I’m on the way to my destination or not and same with heading home.

One good thing is to have this app in a crowded town and Miami is the perfect town to use it in. As you know, this city is almost what if you duplicated New York and made it slightly bigger by making it start near Dade County and go towards the tippy tip of the peninsula that is Miami! You have two parts to it and that’s North Miami and South Miami which that is why you see FIU, Florida International University, buses going from one part of town to the next. I’m not kidding, saw it before! Also, I knew people from Miami at the Rehab Center since this town is known for Bascom Palmer, which is where I was on Tuesday. Reason why I say that this town is perfect for this app is because it tells you EVERYTHING around you. I know it’s supposed to do that but I noticed here in Casselberry, even Altamonte, and Downtown that Soundscape doesn’t always pick up on everything like it’s supposed to since we do have some more independent businesses either opening or closing and also it doesn’t pick up on every store you pass by like a Hot Topic for instance which is weird in my book, it didn’t even catch on Journey’s when I was at the Altamonte Mall but it did pick up Foot Locker. While in Miami, on the other hand, it did pick up on every building on the block and it told you where it was. For instance, when my dad and I entered Miami after having breakfast in Jupiter Inlet we missed where we had to go and I decided to bring out my phone and opened Soundscape and it found all of the hospitals in the area even some of the rehab centers and of course it knew that we were in the Bascom Palmer parking lot and gave us the compass directions we were facing. I liked it here a lot more since it does detect where you are a lot better due to people can get lost easily in a town like this. I think the reason why it didn’t detect that many things in my area is due to how much spaced out things can be rather than being so close. I remembered using it briefly in Waterford and it only detected Regal Cinemas since we were seeing Solo with friends recently and it did pick up on Five Guys which was a little walking distance away. I think it detected other places but those were the only two it found.

There is one thing I would point out is that sometimes it’s not the best for actual GPS tracking because my dad was trying to ask about where to turn sometimes. I had to exit out of it to use the Maps app in order to find El Ray De Las Freitas which you can read my review before this one. Even though Soundscape is great for finding landmarks, I think that’s the best way to use it for even though it did say all the different roads we’re on and what direction we’re in but best to use Maps instead to find a particular address rather than relying on Soundscape to try and find where you’re going. I did find it interesting how Miami had churches on almost every block, including a Ukrainian one. It did point out the different schools, police stations in case if you want to move there for safe areas, and so on.

So, that’s my short experience about using Soundscape in Miami since it is very handy to use but if you’re looking for a specific address Maps and other GPS apps for addresses are better to use since it won’t give you the direction to turn in especially in a place you’re not familiar with since we rarely go to Miami unless it’s for my eye appointments. Plus best for Maps to find the location since there were so many number streets in town which you can be confused in where or what to turn onto.

So, that’s it! What’s next for Nerdy Shique Universe? Well, have a Convention Spotlight on the National Federation of the Blind National Convention which is coming up in July! Stay tuned!

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Accessibility: Using Soundscape At Millennia Mall!

Hello Shiquers and welcome back to Nerdy Shique Universe! Today is another Accessibility Review!

Using Soundscape in Mall at Millennia!

As you know, I have been using the Soundscape app developed by Microsoft on my phone. It’s a GPS location app where you can know where you are, what’s around you, and what’s ahead of you. You can also place a beacon on a place to help you find it if you need to catch your ride on time.

I already have used this app while going to Walgreens near me and the Altamonte Mall to see if it works in an indoor place and it does. I did tell the guy who introduced me to my very beautiful Braille Sense Polaris about that tidbit because he has a friend who wondered about that and that answered their question to see if it could work in a mall. So, I wanted to try this app at other malls in town and decided to try it out in the Millennia Mall which is a huge tourist spot here in Orlando. Yes, some of the stores are upscale but some of my fave ones are here which include Lush, Bath & Body Works, MAC, GameStop, Apple, and NYX.
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Hay I had to stop here is because I needed more of my Celestial Moisturizer from Lush since that is the only moisturizer that works on my sensitive skin besides coconut oil. I use this moisturizer before I put on my primer to put on makeup and it does make a difference since my skin has been improving thanks to this and other things. I also needed to go to NYX to get another Light Concealer Jar and wanted to get their translucent powder which I have heard good things about.

What Happened? Well…not much! As in, I felt like this mall was not a good environment for this app because whenever I walked around with my dad to get to the NYX store all I heard, “Heading in this direction Millennia Mall!” It didn’t point any of the stores out while leaving from the food court heading towards the NYX Store which was on the bottom floor. It didn’t point out Bath & Body Works either which over in Altamonte it was pointed out and I kind of figured out why nothing was pointed out except the Apple Store after passing by it. I could have seen on the other side to see if it would point out any of the stores, especially the really luxury ones like Versacci and Bloomingdale’s. I think the issue was…

Issues? It’s the noise in the mall and I’m talking about the really loud music you tend to hear throughout the mall. Ever since this mall has opened back in the early 2000s, which was my high school years by the way, there were these little TV screen panels hanging over the center of the mall which align with the Food Court on the top floor. You hear surround sound orchestra music and now they added more modern music to it. You also tend to hear the music from inside whatever store you were in. I still remembered the echo of it when I was inside Waldenbooks when it was in that mall when it first opened. (Trust me, I still miss it!) I think the music and the echo of it throughout the mall was not helping Soundscape be able to detect the stores inside but it did really detect Apple on the bottom floor which surprised me and even told me that I was in the parking lot when we got outside. Seriously? It did it over the roar of waterfalls outside, oh yeah this mall is upscale on the outside. I’m not bashing on either one but I think Soundscape needs an update soon in detecting more places and not only that, forgot to mention…

More to Improve! I feel like the app needs to improve on the area you’re in. I didn’t get to mention in this first review but whenever I’m in a store it keeps on mentioning its distance. For instance, standing in Barnes & Noble, it still says, “B&N 12 Meters!” It should just say along when you hit the “My Location” button, “You are in Barnes & Noble!!” Then proceeds to tell the places next door to that place rather than just making it sound you’re not there.

Another thing is is still the Meters to My Right Or Left which can help even more. I’m glad that this app works but Millennia is not the mall for this app, I can’t say they should take down that music display since that seems to be a favorite thing among the visitors. I would say just go without Soundscape and go with friends for sighted help or if you have it, AIRA with you because more blind people are getting those glasses nowadays. If you don’t have AIRA and still want that sighted support through your phone, Be My Eyes is another option.

Well, that’s my use of Soundscape in another mall! I’m stil wanting to put this app to the test at Florida Mall to see how well it can detect its maze of stores and see if it can detect the hotel part. That may have to wait since a lot of things are coming up the next few months! So, anything new? Not yet, just follow us on Twitter @ Nerdy Shique for our updates!

Blindness: Making MakeUp Better for the Blind!

Hello Shiquers and welcome back to Nerdy Shique Universe! Today is another response and opinion post and this deals with blindness!

Putting On Make Up While Being Blind!

What got me to do this post is that recently in Sao Paolo, Brazil a salon taught blind women how to put on makeup and that included false lashes. They even placed Braille dots on makeup and brushes which I wish that could happen here because you all know I love doing my own makeup and it’s hard to know what’s what even in brushes when I first get them. I will talk about my makeup application process but wanted to touch upon the course itself.

I heard about this story through Jen Luv’s Reviews’ news show What’s Up In Make Up this past Sunday and I was excited because finally someplace in the world there is a course in helping blind women how to put on their favorite make up brands despite not being able to see themselves in the mirror. I know that struggle since it’s not easy to see yourself in the mirror when putting on mascara or even your favorite eye liner and it is a struggle to know what brush you’re using. I just find it awesome that this salon went far and beyond to give blind women a chance to do this to teach them. According to articles, it was a way of building their self-confidence and able to apply makeup and groom themselves without any extra effort. There is also Braille dots on the shades so they can choose from to use. I remembered how years ago in Personal Management at the Daytona Beach Blind Rehab Center I was taught different tips with samples that the teacher had from Mary Kay and Avon and not only that from a woman who used to work for a department store make up counter and she gave amazing tips from her days working there before she had Stargars Disease where this visual impairment causes you to lose sight and you’re mostly near sighted. I remembered how she had her magnifier at all times even in the cosmetics aisles we were in at Walmart and and gave good tips and pointers on what to get and even the mobility intern wanted to learn more about make up!

Yes, we can’t really see the mirror but the stereotype with most blind people is that even though we can’t see ourselves in the mirror we can’t groom ourselves and putting on that foundation or eye shadow can be a challenge. Want to know how I do my make up? Let’s see!

My Way of Doing Make Up!

I tend to start with my brows where I use a clear brow gel most of the time and if I wanted to depending on using my Ulta sets I would use the dark brown brow powder or my trusty NYX Brow Pomade in Chocolate. Then I prime my eye lids to put on shadow and then set it and then prime my face. I do moisturize my face before doing my makeup and a good tip is do your moisturizer after doing anything else in the bathroom like styling your hair and then have breakfast because it gives time for the moisturizer to soak in. Since I’m going back to Daytona for a week, I would have to do that before breakfast. After priming, I tend to feel my brushes to see what eye shadow brush I would use first depending on the pallet I’m using. If I’m going with a quad, I use four brushes which are my lid brush, my Definer brush, my Crease Brush, and my Brow Brush. If I want to go extra special with a multi-colored pallet with more shades I do have the transition where I use more of a flatter precise brush, or if I just want to do inner and outer corners, either or, I do have a smaller and pointed brush that I would sometimes use that on the lower lash line which I rarely do. I admit I do use double ended eye brushes if the pallet came with one or if the set has a few that I can mix in with my brushes because I do use an entire set sometimes that came pre-packaged in a case like one that I take with me to conventions or I tend to have loose brushes in a train case or pencil case to switch them out when they get dirty and place them in a cup bristles up.

I bet you’re wondering, “What do you do for eye liner?” There are times where I do use gel liners or liquid liners but tend to use them with the liner brushes that either come in a set or just buy one on its own. I do have a few of the ones that came with a few gel liner pots but those get used for my Fairy Tail mark when I cosplay as Lucy. The eye liner I tend to use the most happen to be pencil liners. Reason being is that when I first started wearing makeup I had a hard time controlling liquid liner and gel liner and it always ran all over the place without me even knowing and it’s embarrassing. I decided to just stick with pencil liners when I can because they are easier to control and best as a training liner because it gives you the idea of where the line starts on your eye and when it ends. I tend to guide the pencil to the area with my other hand to make sure it’s in the precise area I need it to be. I even do that with gel liners since I have gotten used to the pencil, which is a good tip to do. If you want to use liquid liners, I do suggest using a separate brush for that. I just tested out a new look and I used Sea Symmetry from Wet N Wild’s Midnight Mermaid Collection with an angled liner brush and it worked out so much better than making the thickest line that you would have a bit of a raccoon eye. It’s easier since the tip is more precise than the brush applicator in a liquid liner and of course having that baby wipe or make up remover pen would be a great way of having on hand if you go overboard.

Mascara was a hard thing for me to acquire the skill for because the wands can be tricky! I wondered how the salon stylists taught how to put it on but I will tell you that it does take a lot of practice. Mascara wands come in different shapes, lengths, and even spikiness! Trust me, the Urban Decay Trouble Maker was so spikey I had to toss it and glad it was a sample too! Which a good way of starting, usually, is getting the sample sizes because not only it gives you an idea of what the full-size does but the wands aren’t enormous. Molly Perk uses the minis all the time because it’s easier for her and it might be easier for you but if you want to go for full-size, especially drugstore mascaras since they work the best depending on who makes it, guide the wand with your other hand to the lashes in order to be careful around the eyes. I admit I poked myself in the eye more than once even when I was training myself and it’s not a good feeling! Especially when it’s with a really spikey wand like I mentioned with Urban Decay. And oh yes, if you watch any videos, please don’t do it with your eyes closed! I done it for years and well…I had conjunctivitis for a bit and realized it’s best to do it eyes open. If you saw my Omni 2016 videos, that is what was going on with my watery eyes.

Now onto the face! Usually the face is the easiest because you have a bigger space to work with. Unlike with the eyes, you have to figure out where your crease is the most since that is a great landmark for yourself when applying eye shadow, even Smash box mentioned in their videos is to find your crease to know where to put that crease shade either for transition or later on in the look or both! If you have hooded eyes, then that could be a little tricky and there are tons of videos with people who have hooded eyes give you tips and pointers on that. Now, back to the face which you tend to have concealer, foundation, and powder. I tend to conceal first because when I put on my foundation it will blend in more easily than doing it the other way around and since I do color correct due to my acne marks which are being taken care of, using a green concealer does help and blending your natural concealer on top makes it easier. For concealing, I tend to feel for what needs to be color corrected or at least concealed along with my under eyes. Before, I used two different concealers for my spots that matches my skin tone but now I just use the NYX Light Concealer for that since I would know where I would brush it on. With foundation, depending on how you like to use your foundation, today a lot of companies have made it easier with adding wands to their foundations. I admit I like this format more than the pump because when I used a pump I tend to have a hard time getting it into a bowl I used to use to put my foundation in or when I put it on a sponge it can be a little bit much. With the wand, I just apply it to my face and then blend it in with either a brush, whether it’s a foundation brush from a set or the Ulta oval brush which works best with these types of foundations or a sponge which I found out why people love so much, and make sure that it’s evenly spread out. I tend to go over with the brush or sponge a couple of times to make sure it’s fully blended because it can be a huge mess if it’s not blended correctly and a tip with foundation and concealer, make sure that both products are colors that would match your skin and blend beautifully together! Long time ago, I tried that Maybelline concealer pen in Light Medium and I was starting to use Almay’s foundation in Warm and they did not blend well together! One of my gal pals was taking the same writing class as me and she saw that my concealer was slightly darker and I think Maybelline’s idea of “Light-Medium” is different from Almay’s “Light-Medium” which is interesting to learn from that experience. I would say try to use a foundation and concealer either from the same brand or if you want to use a different brand of each, try to ask for a shade match with a friend or a salesperson who knows how to match. I know it sounds a bit confusing with that last part but there are times when a salesperson has a hard time matching you and you can get the wrong shade. My buddy Vivi’s tip, with a sighted friend have them take a tester and swatch a color if it’s close enough and see how it oxidizes or not over a ten minute time limit and if it gets darker than what it’s supposed to be then that’s not your shade, if it doesn’t then it’s a winner.

Now onto powder, I save these for last in the essential makeup since it does help put the look together. I use a translucent powder for my under eyes because I find it easier than having a banana powder not be right for myself. I’m currently using the one from L. A. Girl and it works pretty well for one. While for face, I am using Warm Beige from Wet N Wild because it matches, well close match, to Buff Beige in the foundations due to how warm my skin is. And finally, my bronzer, blush, and highlight. With my natural looks, I don’t need that much bronzer even though I used to contour my cheeks but seeing how Wayne Goss explained that you don’t need that much, I do agree. Yes, having a tan is nice and all even with self-tan but you can kind of go overboard even in the bronzing department. I just stick my contouring on the outer parts of my cheekbones near the ear lobe in the temple area because that is where the light hits the most on me and learning from my artistic days that is where shadow hits a lot more. I do use different bronzers but my paws always seem to land on the Butter Bronzer from Physician’s Formula because you can go in very lightly with this and it can be buildable if you need more. I even had this during Holiday Matsuri when I did Link and Itachi for my chin to make it slightly masculine and it’s perfect for that! Blush and highlight, I just stick with my cheek bones closer to my nose, which I apply blush by going with the curvature of the bone and go towards the ear. I was taught an interesting trick you can use and that is cross your arms where you have your left to have your thumb and index finger at the start of your cheekbone and then your index at your ear and place your brush in the middle to help gauge with your blush brush. I was told about this trick but it was hard for me to do and thought I had to be better with my left hand but this way it would be easier if you’re just right handed. With the finger gauging, you can also your index and middle finger for helping with the width due to how big or small the blush brush is made. I may have to try this technique again since it’s been years and blush can be easily messed up even with the wrong color or the amount of pigmentation. I mean, I had a huge pigmentation issue with Milani’s Baked Blushes once and I had a HUGE pink spot on my face. Got to be careful with those! And you can use the same technique with highlighting since it is supposed to be on top of the blush.

If you’re wondering, yes I do use setting spray and it can be a hit or a miss so I have to make sure it’s in the right area to spray!

There! That’s how I put on my makeup in order. Not everyone’s order is always the same because people do put on their makeup differently and I find eyes first to be the easiest in case of fallout from shadow. Not only that, even as a blind and visually impaired person, not all techniques are the same for everyone because with that blush technique, I was taught the finger thing and I was also taught that you can take your angled blush brush and pinch it close to the feral as possible and do upward sweeping motions. And there is my favorite blending technique, I tend to use those little brush applicators you get with your blushes or highlights and blend your bronzer, blush, and highlight together to get a nice watercolor look! After my setting spray, I do feel nice and refreshed and out the door! Unless someone I know spots my eyeliner somewhere on my face.

What Brands Should Do!

During Jen’s video I did comment about the Sao Paolo thing that brands in the States should do the same thing as they do. I did contact my local Lighthouse about having a workshop on this which I will definitely link them to this and one of the recent articles and Jen’s video because with the Lighthouse and Rehab Centers alike, make up courses should be taught because when you’re in the work force they want to see if the employees are well groomed and their make up on and presentable. Having these tips and guides whether for work or just wearing it for fun can help with the adjustment process of being visually impaired or totally blind. Like with Sao Paolo, it will definitely help with the self-confidence issues because as blind people we tend to worry about not being able to do something despite not being able to see yourself in the mirror or even cooking for example and learning the skills in order to combat that helps heal those doubts. When I started with makeup, I was doubting myself in being able to do eye shadow, liner, and so much more but after learning it myself, getting those tips and pointers, I have improved greatly even with my selfie taking, Heck, even explaining my brush touching to know what’s what, I feel for the bristles to know how wide the brush is in order to see if it’s a face brush or an eye brush, for instance for my powder brush I tend to feel how fat the handle is and then move up and feel the feral and if some brushes have a similar one then I go to the bristles and feel for its shape. I have two different powder brushes in my Brush Vanity Affair set from Coastal Sense and admit I interchange if I need to get into the pan to finish my powder like I did this morning. While eye brushes, for lid I tend to feel for the first brush in the line of eye brushes and know that’s ’he one for my lid or to set my primer. I would love to have those Braille dots on the brushes though because it can help out even further because there are times where the brushes can look-alike and having that Braille system can help in knowing what brush is which by either using the first letter or have three letters which I admit I do on some of my makeup products. For example, “Pow” can be on a Powder compact and also on a powder brush and if there is more than one powder brush can use “L-Pow” for Large Powder. And for smaller brushes, do it on the ferrals at least to make it easier for the space. It can be easier than using labeling tape because there are times where the labels come off for some of us, I admit I have so many problems with it, I even had to leave my label off of my Naked Heat pallet because of the tape being so bad that it falls off every time. And not only that, one last thing, if a brand can’t do a class in person why not have a blind person who is experienced in makeup teach it or do videos for the website? There are so many hours of the day for a store to be opened, especially in a mall where MAC and Sephora lie alongside the makeup counters in department stores, not only that there are people that don’t have the experience of teaching a blind person and that can happen in the makeup industry so having that person that has the experience would help either do it in person for a certain event and even for new releases in how they would use that item. I mean so many brands have so many seasonal items especially when Spring and Festival Season comes around and having that person getting to practice with the item first and knowing the colors and come back to the store or to film for the website can show how they would use a yellow or a rose blush to give their looks a real festive look. I mean, I wished I taped it but when New Year’s Even rolled around I used my Gwen Stefani pallet to get an interesting look with the rosy pink tones and gold to give off a festive look. Even people asked how I do it, I answered with that I have a guide as a Word Document, which reminds me…

Another great thing is to have a big Word Document of the pallets with the colors and how they are placed. Some of the pallets you find on Ulta, which is the better place to get your info in my opinion, have all the colors in order. I tend to do this when I’m about to get a new pallet if they have a description with all the shades in order and I do it “Shade 1, Shade 2, etc.” And if they have the color description to their shade name, I include that for instance the Ulta Be Gorgeous Set I had Shade 1: Light Pink and so on! Interesting fact, they accidentally missed the silver shade in the shade list in case anybody got the set and noticed that when I did when I did my guide. If the website doesn’t tell you, just have someone tell you the color names if they have any such as the Hot Topic pallets I had to have my dad read the shade names that are printed in the shadow or on the cardboard and tell me the colors for that name. Once I use that set or pallet, I count until I get that shade after looking at my guide or have it open next to me. I should have it on my new Braille Sense. And since we are on this subject, brands should also give shade names and descriptions on their websites and do what Urban Decay does with their pallets everywhere online and that’s by bullet points because it will make it easier than having someone just guess when they get a Make Up Revolution pallet or a Wet N Wild quad, it can help with giving the color name and its description after clicking it because I remembered Smash box did it with their old trios to use as an example. And it does help with color selection while buying online because when I got my Ulta sets it did help knowing what colors come in the pallets.

Whew! That was a long one! I do have to say is Sao Paolo did an amazing thing for blind and visually impaired women. Make up is supposed to be a way of self-expression and it should be for all kinds of people whether sighted or blind, having a different skin tone, and so on. It just brings that creativity. I hope this would convince brands to try it out since we have a big population all over the world why not try it out too? You get to learn more about the person, their eye condition, how they can see if they can still use a mirror or not, and can learn more about the products. I will be having fun at Inglot then because they just stick to numbers on their site and that’s another thing, name your colors instead of numbers, Coastal Scents did it with their single shadow pans. Anyways, way to go!

That is it for this post! I know it was long but hey it does kind of help and hoping that brands get on this band wagon because they should know more of their customer base and who knows I may come out with something in the future. So, what’s next? Another book review on the horizon! Stay tuned! Also follow us on Twitter @ Nerdy Shique for the latest updates!

A side note from earlier with brands doing the Braille, it would be costly but it would be nice if they had a laser or 3D Printer to offer the service for free or at a low cost to add the Braille on a brush or an eye shadow pallet or blush. Just saying!

Hauls + Accessibility: Hot Cash April 2018 Haul and Microsoft Soundscape Review!

Hello Shiquers and welcome back to Nerdy Shique Universe! Well, here is a mash up I never thought I would do! You know I love shopping even at Hot Topic and tech and this is a mash of tech and a haul since I got my Hot Cash Haul for 2018 and tested out a new app while I’m at it! Let’s start with the haul shall we?

Hot Cash Haul April 2018!

So, Hot Cash has come and gone at Hot Topic and this time all thanks to some purchases in February I did get two of them and it was a hard thing to choose when knowing what to get in order to meet that amount you have to get a discount! I had #30 off this time around let’s see what I got!

Sailor Moon Sailor Guardian Symbols Earring Set! You all know that I have been a Sailor Moon fan for the longest time and and had a major nostalgia bomb when I watched the re-dub. When I saw these on the website, I knew I had to have them. They are earrings of the original five guardian symbols that you see in the series when they reveal themselves as Sailor Guardians. I was really happy about it due to the Jupiter symbol in there since Jupiter is my all-time fave scout or guardian! Sorry! I wished they made the earrings Sailor Moon and Mars wore, I always wanted those!
Spike Gem Earrings! I know it sounds crazy but these earrings are almost like icicles in a way but they’re plastic spikes. I kind of feel like Hot Topic is coming back with the spike items since I saw a choker with spikes with a ring in it like in the past which I almost got but decided not to. These earrings were interesting and never seen before. I have gotten the spiked hoops which were heavy but looked great and even worn them with my Digimon character but these are cool! I feel like I had my ears pierced with these but they are more of a stud style. Hot Topic! Make more earrings like these!
Loki Septor Necklace! You all know who know me, I love Tom Hiddleston’s Loki from the Marvel movies! I can’t help it because he does it so well! While looking for items for this haul, I was looking for items related to the Avengers due to Infinity War coming out today and found Loki’s septor as a necklace. I added it to my bag right away and was surprised that when I got it it was a horizontal charm necklace like my Panic! At the Disco one. I’m wearing this with my Fairy Tail emblem and Panic! Necklaces and it gives an interesting layer when you look at it. Oh yeah, next author pic, I’m wearing these three necklaces!
New Doctor Who Logo Shirt! I did get two t-shirts since there are times where my large tees don’t fit as well as they used to due to my shoulders and I’m pretty much plus sized at the moment. This shirt was something I’ve been wanting for a while and that is my new Doctor Who logo shirt. As we all know is that the new season is coming out this fall and with it there is a new logo and Hot Topic happened to have a shirt with it and released it around February but decided to wait a bit before I got it since I was getting Hot Cash. The wait was worth it since I got the $30 off my entire order. I’m happy that I finally got it and can’t wait for the newest season in the fall!
Avengers Infinity War Collage Tee! So, Infinity War is out and I thought it would be perfect to get a shirt for the newest movie and the good thing that Hot Topic had a ton of t-shirts to choose from based on Marvel. I got the one where all the characters are in a collage since in this movie we will be seeing a ton of characters appearing and can’t wait! In case anyone is wondering, yes I caught Sebastian Stand, Bucky Barnes, on The Talk yesterday and it was great watching him talk a little bit of the movie and the pics they took as one big cast. I can’t wait to see this movie and will be wearing my Thor Thunderbolts and Loki Septor!

Additional Items:

Exchanged Sailor Moon Cat Cup for Pushin Cat Bottle! Well, after this order, I did notice Hot Topic was doing a discount code but couldn’t use it with Hot Cash so I went for the Sailor Moon cats travel cup. I didn’t know it was going to be one of those cups you tend to get for a kid when I saw it in person or felt it. I thought it was going to be a sealed tumbler because when you hear “travel cups” you think to that or the mug version and was wrong. I had to exchange it for something better and it’s a water bottle with pushin cats! It may not be a tumbler but it also has cats! I love this thing even if it has the straw inside. The reason why I prefer sealed bottles or tumblers is because I tend to knock over my drinks and with it being sealed tight there would be no spills. I am glad that this one is the same way where you have tightly sealed and the straw comes up easily.

Avengers Infinity War Makeup Pallet and Too Many Dead Pools Shirt! Gondras brought me a coupon that Hot Topic had sent him and he knew I would put it to good use and I did! What got me to use it is that they advertised an eye shadow pallet based on the Infinity Stones from the Marvel movies and other shades in it. I was hoping they would have it in store but they sold out and had to go online. What else I picked up was a Dad Pool shirt since the last Dead Pool shirt I got for I was many years ago and it was of him with the cake and the portal behind him as a Portal joke. I got the one with Too Many Dead Pools. I almost got the one with him and Domino but this one was funnier and I prefer the funnier shirts with him, I mean Gondras has the one of him punching a shark that Nerdy Shirts got him. Now my shopping spree is over.

Soundscape!

Besides picking up my order, I did have a bit of a mobility test with myself and it’s with an app I’ve been using lately and it’s called Soundscape which is made by Microsoft and only available in the App Store on IOS devices. What got me to get this app is because of one situation with paratransit during my customer service training at the local Lighthouse. There are times where I get home early and other times I get home so late it’s unacceptable and this time it was really unacceptable because I live nearby the Lighthouse which is around thirty minutes or less but nope! They didn’t get me home until close to 8 at night! Even Gondras was on the phone with me when it happened and that is why he picked me up during the last weeks of training because it made him mad and concerned that they are doing this time to time. I understand that too since there are times where some people need priority drop offs.

What is this app? Well, it’s basically a location app that uses your Location Tracking to tell you were you are with the “My Location” button which tells you the direction you’re heading or what place you’re at, what’s around you with the “Around Me” button which tells you the businesses and intersections and streets around you if you’re walking or on the bus, what’s ahead of you with “Ahead of Me” which tells you what road and intersection or business is ahead. This app tells me what’s in the park next to my neighborhood in miles! Good thing is that I use it to see if I am heading home or not on the paratransit to see where the driver drove to. Gives you a better perspective. So, I decided to test this app out at Altamonte Mall which is where I was picking up my package and wanted to test it out in a semi-crowded mall. When I went today, I decided to have the transit system drop me off at Barnes & Noble to make it easier than picking a random department store. I decided why not use the Beacon Setting which now it added a feature where I can mute and unmute the beacon noise in order to hear the announcements and if I’m ready to come back. I did use the Beacons on Tuesday when I went to Walgreens with the paratransit after an appointment with Blind Services to look at my new Braille device that’s being purchased and happy about and set the Beacon Setting with Walgreens and went to lunch at the nearby pizza place and enjoyed two slices of pizza and walked back to Walgreens to wait for my ride. This time I used it with Barnes & Noble since that was going to be my pick up point at the end of the day and muted the noise because it can be a little distracting. I turned on the announcements and when I walk by places, which I walked around the top floor first to get a better feel and for Soundscape to catch everything so if I were to come back to a place I would know where to get back to. I did use my sensory training from Daytona Beach as well to hear any key sounds, notice some lights that are particularly bright, and any unique music coming from a particular store.

Even Life after Sight Loss did talk about this on their YouTube, which I also thank them for this app in the first place, and using that sensory recognition to know where is what can tell you a lot. One thing that tells Hot Topic apart is the metal that is usually played on the speakers, Bath & Body Works and now White Barn Candle have their usual scents wafting outside in the corridor, which you can smell a mile away, there’s a popcorn stand where you smell the butter and at least it’s a lot lighter than it used to be. All-in-all this app is really good but I wish not only Soundscape give the unit of measurement, either in yards or meters depending on the setting, but tells you if it’s on the left or right of you because when I walk I tend to not know if a certain store or aisle is on my left or right and without that it can be a little confusing. Microsoft if you read this, which I will be tagging them on Twitter, add that to the settings or have it automatic because it can help some people that need that added information.

Rating On The App: 4.5 Star Paw prints Out of 5! This app is a really good app and so far Microsoft has been hitting it on the ball with helping in the Accessibility department. They have added more support with JAWS even with Edge which I still need a new license key in order to play around with Edge. Their mobile apps are really good which I love using Seeing A. I. for doing product identification, color help, and even short text reading. While Soundscape, it does give you the locations and it did that for me in Altamonte very well. I want to try this app at Florida Mall since that mall is huge and crowded due to how big of a tourist spot it is and of course I heard that there’s an Inglot store which I never knew and just seeing their cosmetics with just number labels don’t help me at all so I need to explore more with this app and I will give you another review in how much it works at the Florida Mall. If you think I should try it out at other malls or places Like Disney Springs for example, I would love to do that! If you’re visually impaired and need an app like this, I would say try it out since not all apps are for everyone, I did have my teacher in the training course download it and she did suggest it at the Lighthouse Reunion since it did give her the location updates. And a head’s up, any Android users, it’s not available for Android. Hoping there will be a version for those users along with Soundscape.

Well, that’s it for this post! I know it was pretty lengthy but it was something I wanted to share and add something to the Accessibility part of this blog. I will see how it works anywhere else and hoping more things get added. Stay tuned later on today for a new book review! Make sure you follow us on Twitter for the latest updates @ Nerdy Shique!

Blindness: Sight Loss Is Never Ending!

Hello shiquers and welcome back to Nerdy Shique Universe! Today I am doing something different and it is also thanks to one of my fave podcasts!

Blindness Is Never Ending!

So, I was listening to Life after Sight Loss and Mr. Derek Daniel was talking about how sight loss is never ending. I know there are treatments out there but it does not mean it will be ending that soon. Yes. We have AIRA, E-Sight, and other glasses with cameras and new gene therapy but new people are coming into the world of sight loss in many ways which includes being blind from birth, an accident, or even having a developing disease that grows over time like mine. Besides that, he did tell some of his sight loss stories and I want to share mine.

I wrote The Blind Perspective: Convention Stories from the Dark which told some of my experiences as a convention attendee turning press with my sighted days to blindness. I have done a lot of things besides being a convention goer too which included being a college student, a Hadley Institute student and here are some of those stories and some of the feelings that went with it and ay include mine.

Grateful: First, Derek mentioned gratitude and what I feel grateful for is being able to learn different topics and skills through Hadley Institute ore the years. Without Hadley, I would not have been able to learn Braille and now finishing up Self-Esteem & Adjusting to Blindness since I am trying to me an Assistive Tech Instructor and this is helping me improve. Another thing is being able to have a work experience in Daytona at their Rehab Center. It gave me the spring board to get into teaching even with is tech. And the last thing that I was grateful and still grateful to this day is doing press for Omni Fandom Expo. How so? Well, they were the first con to discover this blog and ask for press all thanks to a small typo I made. It gave us great opportunities to sit down with guests like Brian Beacock, Lauren Landa, Paul St. Peter and even now Derek Steven Prince to ask them about their work. Don’t worry, you will see that interview soon!
Anger: Yes, I may be happy-go-lucky but I had my moments of anger and that dealt with how people didn’t see my cane back in my university days. I was always mad when people ran into me, almost ran over my cane tip with their bikes, I was lucky that none of them ran me over, and even luckier to dodge two golf carts that Security drove! WTH guys! You should be keeping the campus safe not to run over someone who’s blind. That got me to have my cane sprayed neon green and that helped.
Surprise: Since things take place in my life, I did get surprised by one thing is finding descriptive audio at the movie theater and the movie I started with was Dead Pool! I was not expecting it because I did hear that some movie theaters were implementing it and was worried Regal Cinemas wasn’t and when the manager at the one near me asked about it, I was surprised and glad to have it! It was very detailed and it got me to using it from there on out, the only one I had a hard time hearing was the one for Guardians 2 due to how hard everyone, including me, were laughing and we were next to the speakers. I can’t wait for Infinite War!
Embarrassment: Another aspect is that we’re not always perfect since we do make mistakes and feel embarrassed by it. One moment would have to go to when I used the Men’s bathroom twice in one day! I was trying to take an exam at Student Disabilities on campus and the bathrooms next to it were in a dark alcove before they moved to an easier to get to location in the same plaza area and I thought I was using the Women’s room. This was before my Braille reading was good enough to read Grade 2 and well when a guy came in, I knew something was wrong and asked, “Is this a men’s room?” And heard, “Yeah!” I thought, S&*@! And finished and left. Another embarrassing moment which I was able to use my mobility skills was where I opened a bottle of Vanilla Coke and it exploded all over my arm and this happened during Omni 2016. I had to run to the bathroom and cleaned myself off and then had to find my way back to the Gaming Room where Gondras and Nerdy Shirts were. And of course, that same time, I accidentally had my cat tail in the toilet which I am glad to wear a shorter one now and double check that it won’t go in.
Happiness: There’s many things that make me happy and one big thing is…cats! I know it sounds obvious due to how our logo is a cat’s paw and I make my cat sounds and even have cartoon kitty minions running around. Cats have been my major thing since I was little actually. I remembered having a white cat when I was around five and was sad that my mom gave it back to the owner that gave it away with other cats. So, that is why I still love cats and cat characters to this day. Yes, Gondras and I will have our own kitty!
Sadness: Even though there are happy times but there are sad times too. I would have to say is that when I graduated from college? Yes, it was a relief but at the same time I felt sad that I left because it was a huge thing for me to accomplish and a part of my life. Yes, it took me ten years to finish college but it was worth it…
Regret: Which I have to add this to things I regret doing. What is that? Well, listening to my counselor at the time when I was placed into my writing minor. I wanted to be a blind services counselor myself since I understood what it’s like to be blind and able to help them and give them advice if I have someone going to college. I wished I did continue my Exceptional Education Minor in order to go to Grad School to do Counseling but that counselor thought I wouldn’t pass Grad School because it’s “too hard.” My Bachelor’s and Minor were hard because I almost failed Theory of Creative Writing when I started my writing minor. I wished I kept going!
Redemption: Since I felt regret for not continuing due to my interests, I feel like I am redeeming myself by becoming an Assistive Tech Specialist and the best start is by going back to school. I have started the application process to get my Grad Certificate and hoping to get into Norther Arizona’s online program for it. Yes, I do appreciate having my Bachelor’s and Minor now but I feel like with how hard it is to get a job as a blind person, try looking for the past three years without anything, it was time for a change. I feel like it’s time to forgive myself and prove that I can get that certificate!
Inspiring: If you have read my Omni Fandom Expo review from this year, I have become an inspiration to my sighted peers. Yes, it’s weird to be an inspiration to sighted people but I can see why. I did ask people about it to help write something for the Braille Monitor and what people love the most about me is my perseverance because I don’t give up anything and also I don’t want to give up on anyone which happen to be my friends, especially when I feel like one door closes I find a way of opening a new one to keep going with my dreams. As a blind person, it feels like we have to give up on things due to our blindness but there are times where we have to pick ourselves up and push aside the negativity to keep on going. You know how much I was ticked about not going forward in keep going with my original dream? Well, it gave me a new one. And another thing to feel inspiring is that I do things to represent the blind community and that is my freelance press stuff. Yes, I need help with visual things like video and photography but it doesn’t mean I can’t keep going with it. When I dawn that press badge, I feel great that I’m working for another con or another year at one!
WTF!? Yeah, I have to include this because I did remember going through one major moment and that is hearing someone that they were wishing to be blind like me. I know it sounds screwed up but blindness is not the best solution because there are hardships when it comes to being blind even when you’re going through times of re-learning the skills but through a different light so to speak. I had to learn how to make eggs again as a blind person to use as an example. When I heard that, I did confront the person and well they did deny what they said which I felt my friendship with them is something not worth keeping if they are going to feel that way, heck they were even ignorant when it came to my blindness years back. I am not sure what had happened to him but hoping things go for the best for him.

Well, those are my experiences when it comes to having vision loss and the adjectives to go with those experiences. Even though it is hard to be blind, I did say I have to learn many skills differently, I’m able to survive as a blind person. What I want you guys to take away from this is that don’t look down on us or feel sorry for us because that we can’t see. We have a new way of living life and still learning how to live it. Heck, I’m trying to expand my cooking skills as time goes on and about to finish up customer service training at the moment. All I have to say is just think of us as still human and help when we ask for it or just hang with us because you will learn something new.

That is it for this post! I’m glad to share some of what I went through with you all. If you want to check out Derek Daniel’s podcast, I highly recommend and will link to his website so you can check it out and how to get it on your own portable devices that play podcasts. I will also link you guys to The Blind Perspective because it does show my convention experiences. So, what’s next? I will do my next Coastal Scents look and get my The Blind Perspective: Convention Stories from the DarkLife After Sight Lossinterview with Derek Steven Prince up! Until next time!