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Friday Friends

guide  Spotlight on Maribel Steel
& Dialogue in the Dark

guideHow I know Maribel Steel
M
aribel Steele and I have been friends for 6 or 7 years. After she was featured on a well-known techy blog post where she explained how to use a software program called JAWS to enable her to use the computer even though she couldn’t see it. We’ve been friends ever since! In one way or another she has always been a guide to me. You may recall earlier posts about Maribel. 

Maribel’s Perspective on Living With Vision Loss
Maribel is in the advanced stages of Retinitis Pigmentosa (or RP for short) and has little to no vision. At age 17 she learned she had RP. Now, decades later, she calls herself “the positive vision educator”and works diligently to close the gap between the sighted and blind  She says dealing with vision loss creates opportunities to problem-solve. A blogger that includes a series on the “the art of being blind,” she  inspires her blog readers with touching stories … using touch .. and other sensory methods of experiencing the world. She holds a wide range of interests, from art and literature to travel and music. I haven’t ever heard her give up on any of her dreams. Instead, she pursues them with a rare gusto. Maribel is a fearless guide at the forefront of all she seeks out. 

International Correspondent for VisionAware
An international correspondent for VisionAware where we both volunteer, Maribel is a team player. She is quick to praise and enthusiastic in her efforts to use her experiences to guide others in becoming more independent with vision loss — through monthly articles to the site and advice to those who write in seeking help.  

Articulate with Diverse Outlets 
But even more than that, Maribel finds (or creates) unique ways to motivate herself and others. As part of a leadership course in Australia, Maribel devised a project called VisionQuest, pairing up sighted and blind partners to go through a kind of obstacle course with clues as a fun way to better bridge the gap between sighted and blind. If I recall, it took six months to prepare her project. Her roles as guide comes naturally.Learn more about Maribel Steel’s VisionQuest project. 

From there, Maribel went on to offer her home as a concert base–a small intimate setting–for various musicians to perform. She also designed an extensive memoir-writing course for those at a retirement community in her neighborhood! 

Maribel Steel Featured in Interview
Nowadays, Maribel serves as an actual guide in a program called Dialogue in the Dark, Melbourne. I’m so proud of her because to prepare herself for this task, she attended a rigorous training program  for more than two months. 

I hope you’ll find this interview insightful no matter where you are on the vision spectrum!
Please listen to Karen Hayes CEO of Guide Dogs Victoria and Maribel Steel talk with radio host, Patricia Karvelas in “The Drawing Room.”  

You have just read “Friday Friends: Spotlight on Maribel Steel”  Copyright July 21, 2017. Be sure to leave your comment about Dialogue in the Dark, Maribel Steel or any insights you gleaned! 

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Amy

Amy Bovaird is the author of two best-selling books Mobility Matters and Cane Confessions: The Lighter Side to Mobility.  An accomplished and inspirational speaker, she talks on a variety of topics based on her life experiences and continues to educate and inspire others through her writing and speaking. She lives with a dual disability—progressive vision and hearing loss due to Usher Syndrome. She blogs about the challenges she faces as she loses more vision and hearing and manages to find humor around almost every corner, AmyBovaird.com. Her books are available at Amazon. Follow her on social media at Amy Bovaird, Author.
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Friday Friends: Spotlight on Maribel Steel
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2 thoughts on “Friday Friends: Spotlight on Maribel Steel

  • July 22, 2017 at 7:11 am
    Permalink

    Wonderful, Amy!

    You are such a good friend of my daughter!

    Best wishes
    Brian

  • July 24, 2017 at 6:19 pm
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    Hi Brian,
    Thanks for taking time to read my post! Maribel is such a blessing to many people.
    Hope your are recovering well from your own eye surgery!
    Stop back again and visit my blog again! 🙂
    Amy

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