A self (and everybody in a minority) advocate, Amanda knows what she thinks and wants, and isn’t afraid to say it. Which I think is a great attribute to have!
As well as detailing her personal tales, adventures and achievements on her blog, Amanda is a contributor at The Mighty.
Rather than me try to tell you more about Legally Blind Bagged, I’ll let you get to the good stuff and discover for yourselves.
First here’s a quote from Amanda on what a blind bag is. A bit like a ‘lucky dip’ here in the U.K.
‘A Blind Bag is a mystery toy wrapped in a bag and you don’t know what you’ll get’
As to question 4 this is definitely one of the ‘perks’ of disability. We have a similar bus pass here in the U.K., mine also allows for my companion to travel with me for free!
Brilliant answer to question 6, you’d have some great photography moments there!
I would certainly like to be present if question 9 were possible. I wonder if he would be happy or disappointed….?
No flack from me at your answer 13 Amanda, it sad to say it but I have to agree with you in a way.
Go you on question 16. Love it!
My Questions/Amanda’s Answers
1. What made you decide to write a blog
In February of 2015, I answered a writing prompt for The Mighty about the way people treated my then boyfriend with Cerebral Palsy on an outing. The piece was published and after getting some feedback on it, I figured why not write some more. I created the blog Legally Blind Bagged as a dumping ground of sorts when some pieces I wrote were rejected, but it wasn’t until June 2016 when Christopher Ulmer of Special Books By Special Kids decided to interview me as part of his road trip series. People told me I should write more and take the blog more seriously, and so I did. My pieces have been featured in a lot of different websites like Easterseals Thrive and Blind New World and has evolved over time to include some fun geeky travel pieces and reviews. It’s an ever growing space that’s all my own, and I’m glad people enjoy it.
2. What do you want your blog to achieve?
I would love Legally Blind Bagged to become well known to the point of celeb status, just enough to where I can be taken more seriously from a media standpoint so I can experience new things I have never done before and use that knowledge to help others, whether it be a new adaptive device or a fun experience that just opened in Orlando. My ultimate goal of all this is to gain a portfolio to become a writer for something like Buzzfeed and make a living off it…or at least get on the social media team at my job (Universal Orlando Resort) Hey, a girl can dream, right?
3. What is the most difficult thing for you about having a disability?
Being taken seriously in the job market is rough, especially when migraines due to my Ocular Albinism hinder me useless and I have to call out of work or be limited in tasks. People often assume my nystagmus makes me constantly drunk, my face blindness and ability to distinguish others makes me stupid, and my anxiety makes me weak. I’m thankful for working at a place that sees me as a typical person despite my shortcomings, but I often wish when it comes to moving up I am not judged by diagnosis or looks, but of my character and skill set.
4. What is the biggest positive about having a disability?
The city of Orlando has a free bus pass system for the legally blind. Although the bus system isn’t the best, it’s free transportation to pretty much anywhere I need to go down here without shedding money on an Uber each time. Yay independence, my hometown near Philly was seriously lacking such a program.
5. If you could only eat one food for the rest of your life what would it be?
Chicken Bacon Ranch Pizza from Hungry Howie’s.
6. An apocalypse is imminent, you have 30 minutes to prepare, what 3 items do you pack?
My phone so I can photograph everything around me, the cat carrier with both my boys inside (yeah, I know that’s cheating) and a hoodie.
7. When making tea would you pour the milk or water in first?
Never heard of putting milk in tea before. Guess I’m a weird American that way. But I usually mix Splenda or Sugar at the end and the water in the beginning.
8. What is your favourite way to relax?
Aside from a typical stay in bed and play Animal Crossing Pocket Camp all day (since its been cold here in Florida lately) I like taking advantage of the free admission I get at work and go park hopping. I like to grab myself a butterbeer or popcorn, park my butt on a bench and watch the Blues Brothers perform or float away on the lazy river in Volcano Bay.
9. If you could interview any human, dead or alive, who would it be and what would you ask?
I would love to interview Walt Disney and find out what he thinks of what his empire has become and what would he do if he still ran it.
10. What would be your dream job?
I would love to live in New York or LA writing random blogs for Buzzfeed or working for Facebook. I want to work somewhere that will embrace my creativity.
11. You’ve just won 10 million pounds (congratulations!), what 3 things would you do with the money?
I would pay off my debts and fix my credit, go back to college just so I can apply for internships at work doing the things I love, and move into a nice condo close to everything I need.
12. Where in the world would you most like to visit and why?
I would love to go to Japan and explore everything theme park wise it has to offer and take a nice tour around the hot springs.
13. What one thing would you change about yourself?
I know I would get a lot of flack from many, but I would say my disability. I feel as if life would be easier if I wasn’t tied down to the limitations I have.
14. If you could play any part in a film, past or future, real or fiction, who would you be?
I want to be one of the kids from Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory, pre-punishment stage of course. I was memorized at the fact that you can go into a room full of giant marshmallow mushrooms and lollipop trees and just go crazy in there. But becoming a blueberry or being shrunk down to the size of a chocolate bar would be the downfall of it all, so is life.
15. If there was a pill that would freeze you at your current age and you could live forever as you are now, would you take it? And why?
I would honestly hold off a bit for now until I know I have my stuff together. Right now I am going through a few transitions with my boyfriend RJ moving in as well as some potential things going on with work, so I want to see how all this plays out first.
16. If you could trade lives with one person for an entire day who would it be and why?
I would have to go with Donald Trump, deplete his bank account and give to the needy, undo all the executive orders he has done with provisions that don’t allow him to executive order anything that would hurt minorities or the poor and middle class, and have myself a giant Big Mac and two scoops of chocolate ice cream on a golden platter, because I deserve it, damn it. 🙂
17. If you could time travel, where would you go?
I would travel back in time to my college days and do things the right way. I sort of slacked off a bit towards the end and never finished.
18. If you were made Queen and allowed to pass one new law, what would it be, and why?
Given my current situation with the lack of affordable housing in the states, I would set up rent control apartments so that homelessness, living in motels, and grown adults in their 30’s forced to room with others isn’t a reality anymore. This will also give the disabled the opportunity to gain housing without the need for long waitlists or group homes, as many of my friends back home in Philly are currently still experiencing.
19. What personal trait has gotten you in the most trouble?
I’m mouthy and speak my mind. I don’t take too kindly to bullshit.
20. As a child, what did you wish to become when you grew up?
I wanted to be a special ed teacher. I did get that wish when I became a paraprofessional and a PCA for three years. But after Hurricane Sandy put a damper on that and closed my schools down, my childhood plan B came into play and I worked for Disney World afterwards.
Thank you to Amanda at Legally Blind Bagged for some very insightful answers.
I think working at Disneyland/Universal is my dream and nightmare at the same time. I’d love to have that experience though and am off to Disneyland Paris for the 5th time this summer!
I hope you’ve enjoyed this months Twenty Questions. I love finding out more about my fellow bloggers.
If you’d be interested in taking part be sure to get in touch!