Elin stands smiling on a path in the woods. It's fall - she's surrounded by fallen leaves and she's wearing a warm, puffy orange coat.

I’m Elin, a 20-year-old blogger and student from the UK. Some of my passions include helping others, writing, beauty, fashion and music, just to name a few. I’d consider myself to be your average 20-year-old since I like to do a lot of the things that others my age do, I just happen to be blind.

I was diagnosed with a degenerative condition called Retinitis Pigmentosa when I was six years old – three years after my parents noticed that I couldn’t see certain things, especially in the dark.

I attended mainstream school and I was lucky enough to gain really good support for the most part of my time in education – work was adapted for me in my preferred format (large print to begin with and then braille and audio further down the line). I also had a personal assistant who attended most classes with me, she would take notes, read documents to me and ensured that I could work as effectively as all the other pupils.

I was registered blind/severely sight impaired when I was twelve. This was in my first year of secondary school, and I can’t deny that this was a difficult time for me.

I was finding it difficult to fit in, in an environment where no one seemed to understand. I was quite shy and this made it harder for me to find the words to explain my condition to people and I was constantly fighting a battle in order to try to make others realize that I didn’t need to be treated differently.

This was one of the main reasons I started my blog, My Blurred World. I wanted to create a platform where I could hopefully raise awareness of the misconceptions surrounding disability and break down some of those barriers.

I also wanted it to be somewhere I could talk openly about my experiences in the hope that it could help others who might be in a similar situation. It sounds a little cheesy, but I didn’t find my voice until I started writing my blog – opening up about disability and how it affects your life can be tough, and I found that it became much more naturally to me through writing and, in time, that helped me to speak more openly about it in person as well.

The little remaining eyesight I have is deteriorating every day, but I try not to let that prevent me from achieving what I want in life.

I’ve always been a hard-working person who has dreams and aspirations that I always strive to achieve. Yes, my disability has brought a fresh set of challenges to my door on more than one occasion and whilst they can be difficult to overcome at times, it’s not impossible and I want to stress the fact that even though life with a vision impairment can be negative at times, it’s not all bad and it can contribute positively to your life in more ways than you realize. 

Even though this world wasn’t designed for those of us who can’t see, it doesn’t mean that we can’t redesign some aspects, by sharing our stories (if we’re comfortable in doing so, of course) we’re raising awareness, even if it’s just one person’s views we change, we can make a difference and I’m so glad that I’ve finally realized that.

Even though our disabilities are a part of who we are, it is not all that we are and I hope that one day, more non-disabled people start to realize that.

You can read more from Elin at her blog, My Blurred World and follow her on FacebookTwitter and Instagram.

How has blindness impacted your world?

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