The about me post

 Can be found here!

Monday, 23 February 2009

Crazy again

This post is therapy I will say that from the off set it is for my own benefit to get things out there so they are not just in my head.

After 8 ish months of being on antidepressants but psychologically well, I'm depressed and ill again.

If I am honest it snuck up on me covering my world with a big black blanket, removing the colour from my thoughts, I saw it coming so tried to take action, but nothing is immediate and now the situation is deteriorating. Whatever action I take has a waiting list, I have to carry on in the dark and Wait for my turn to get help.

I'm back in a place I thought I had left behind, with behaviours I thought I have left behind.

I am now already struggling with the day to day of university life, my insomnia has got so bad, that when I eventually fall asleep (usually sometime between 4 and 5 am) I literally cannot wake up in time for my 9am lectures. My body says that it is tired and I turn every alarm clock off in my sleep, sometimes walking across my room to accomplish the task.

Assignments seem impossible.

The evaluation assignment we have just been set is terrifying, at a time like this when I am not well I can't see the things that I am good at, I see every mistake I have ever made, I think I am crap at everything although that is possibly not the case.

In a way its good that I have at least recognised that I am unwell again, that's part of the battle isn't it admitting that you have a problem.

How did I get here? Is another part of the battle, I think I have been warn down by stress and recent events reminding me of past negative experiences.

So that it then I'm back to crazy depressed anxious Jemma, waiting for help.

Friday, 20 February 2009

That Blind Girl...

One of my mates from uni has been putting together some posters of her friends and I am honoured to have been included. Mine is fabulous! I'm sensing a new catchphrase, to run along side 'Brave special different'!

Image Description: The background of the image has a gradient focused around the top right corner of the image, the top right corner is deep purple, with a gradient going to bright green on the left. Top left are the words 'Jemma Brown" in capitals in a bold black font that stands out from the page. On the bottom left corner in slightly smaller white lettering it reads '...And that blind girl will take over the world'.  The majority of the rest of the picture is taken up by a photograph of my head, the colour has been removed and it forms a black outline, the gradient can still be viewed through it.

Tuesday, 17 February 2009

...And that blind girl will take over the world!

I have made a massive achievement, a huge leap in the steps of visually impaired people everywhere... I have beaten a fully sighted person at darts! I will add right now that the person I was playing was in no way drunk and I did not impede them in any way.

So yes you read correctly 'that blind girl' (as I  am often affectionately known)  played darts for the first time in her life and BEAT TOM!

Furthermore on this dangerous (for everyone in a pub sized perimeter) journey of immense discovery no one was harmed, I did not hit anyone with a dart, including myself and we all lived to tell the tale. In truth the fact that everyone in the surrounding area survived is possibly more impressive than the fact that I beat Tom at darts.

This is obviously a huge step forward for all the visually impaired people out there who ever considered playing darts, I had never played darts before in my life so here are my top tips on how to insure success.

1) Safety first- check you are facing the dart board, a little shout that you are about to throw the dart before you actually do will remind people that there is a game in progress and that if they do walk in front of you they will get a face full of dart.

2) Ask someone to hold your guide dog as far away from you as possible, Gus (my guide dog) was a bit fascinated by the throwing of objects, and was keen to intercept

3) If you can't see the dart board- Ask someone to stand in front of the board and shout, clap or stomp... insure they have moved before you throw the dart.

4) If you can see the dart board- Don't bother trying to aim, this was a fantastic failure in my attempts. I could not see the dart board with my right eye, but I could with my left so I attempted to throw the darts left handed, this was also a mistake as it was even less accurate and I think I pulled something!

5) The actual act of throwing  As long as you throw the dart pointy end first anything goes!

6) Scoring- Get someone with eyes that work to do the scoring, dart boards are tactile and colour coded but quite frankly have a rather confusing layout. 

So anyway darts lesson over I now know that I can do anything if I try hard enough, lets all have a hug and go and dance in the sunlight!

Saturday, 14 February 2009

when to give up

Its a question I am asking myself, when do I give up trying to help members of the course team understand me?

I have been studying the universities student complaints procedure, I don't want to use it, but I am seriously running out of options.

It would be true to say that right now things have reached a crisis point, things should not have got to the stage where a lecturer and myself are shouting at each other across a lecture theater. I am sure many of you reading this are fully aware of the situation I was put in on Wednesday, I am not an aggressive person, but when I am shouted at because a so-called lecturer does not possess any understanding of my disability I have to defend myself.

The access issues I have faced since being at university have somewhat surprised me, I always knew that I would face challenges and access issues but I  hoped that lecturers would work with me not against me to smooth any issues.

I am having one final attempt at solving these issues informally. Next week I will be having a number of meetings with members of the course team, if things cannot be sorted out then it will be time to start the formal stage of the official complaints procedure.

I am going to end this blog entry with a somewhat desperate plea, I consider myself to be an independent person but I cannot continue the way things are at the moment, I would  ask others to speak out about the way I am forgotten if they witness what is going on.

I do this in understanding that many of you do not feel able to speak out on my behalf for fear of being patronising, I promise you I will not take that view point, if you feel able to act please do. I need as many people to hammer the message home, if lecturers will not listen to me or the disability support people then my only hope is to irritate them into compliance.

Wednesday, 11 February 2009


Oh joy of joys, I'm having another access issue with the course content.

I am required to attend a photography workshop in a studio, its presenting me will all kinds of access issues, and right now I am incredibly angry!

I have some health and safety concerns about working in the studios, I'm thinking, trip hazards, I'm thinking dodgy lighting and camera flashes, all of which would present me with issues.

The guy running the workshop has just said in so many words that there are no specific things for me to worry about other than the standard studio health and safety stuff. He knows I'm partially sighted and that's it, but it isn't he is unaware of my photophobia or anything else. It's not 100% this guys fault but still I am angry that in the correspondence he has not even hinted at the effect my disability will have on my health and safety or that of anyone else working in the area with me!

Furthermore another member of the course team has got the wrong end of the stick, and has stated that I instructed other students to take photographs for my project on my behalf. This is completely wrong, I have taken all of my own pictures, I simply asked at the begging of the year in a worst case scenario situation whether it would be OK to instruct someone else to take a picture for me, as a last resort, I have not done this at all!

Tuesday, 3 February 2009

Snow: brings the UK to a halt

I am amazed the UK has the largest amount of snow fall for nearly 2 decades, and it has brought out large scale lazyness! evertything is affected, planes are grounded,  trains have  not been able to run due to frozern signals, schools, and businesses have closed.

In addtion university closed yesterday, for the majority of students we found out when we got there, and yesterday it reopened the vast majority of students turnd out to attend lectures only to arrive and in the case of journalsim discover that there lecturere had failed to make it in and that the lecture was infact cancelled. 

This was infuriating as at this point yesterday the internet was working, so all it would have taken was an email to the group telling us not to bother getting up. 

The other sessions where still on but did not have a great turn out, I think at the highest there was a grand total of 5 people attending.

This brings me on to my next point, the snow brought out lethargy, so many people could have come to university and decided not to because of the snow, people who where physically able to go out and go to uni didn't.

I hate throwing my disability out as some kind of look how great I am card, but I am about to.

I made it in, despite the fact that I have balance problems, that my vision is significantly reduced by the glare caused by snow and the fact that I damaged the ligaments in my hip a few weeks ago and walking is still painful, walking on snow and ice was agony, yet I made it, well good for me!

Surely if you are paying £1500 to attend university, then you would want to turn up, and would commit, to have some dedication?

Its snow yet some people treat it like it is the end of the world!

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