Seeing the Unseen: in it’s truest sense
As long term readers of this journal and my exclusive RSS / Email updates will know I spent a lot of time making this travel journal accessible to those with sight impairments. Not only is there a high contrast sight impaired version of this travel blog here. But at the top of each post here there’s also a “listen now” button.
Also, each entry in my travel stories page comes with a podcast version.
“Why all this extra effort?”
I’ve spent my life fighting to survive one way or another. To get this far is still quite unfathomable in my own mind sometimes. I am now on my own on a search that’s leading me around the world. If I don’t make it, then I most certainly gave my life to a cause I believe in.
This does not make me special, for there are thousands of others around the world who have to fight everyday to survive. More so to get out.
Being blind or sight impaired in the developed world is tough enough. Now imagine it in a place that tourists with guidebooks and gps systems have a problem getting around. Yes, that’s a terrible example, but there are many other underlying problems the blind and others of disadvantage in the Philippines face everyday.
“Nonacceptance, lack of independence, freedom and social inequality to name but a few.”
To spend some time in opening the accessibility of my travel journals to a section of world society who may not get to experience travel like I do, has always been a pleasure. People have emailed me telling me my story and journey is turning into one of their favorite weekly reads … it’s good to know.
What does it deliver?
The audio and high contrast version of my journal hopefully provides some entertainment, interest, and maybe, just maybe some inspiration or happiness for those that don’t have access to such material else where.
So imagine my delight when I met the Blind Masseurs of Cagayan de oro city in Mindanao. For the first time I was able to look, and listen on as I brought their names, faces and story to a travel article I wrote.
“Where are the talking pictures?” Gracia would ask as I passed through the following week from Iligan.
“Right here, ” I said pulling my internet enabled phone out from my pocket.
Right then and there I watched some faces smile as they heard their names and stories come in from the world wide internet. A concept they are all too knowledgeable about. It was an honor and a privilege to bring their stories to the world.
I also know that Lu, Grace, Andy, Ne-ne, Joel and the rest of the guys are going to listen to this as well. I can also imagine them smiling as they listen on to this message –
“Mabuhay guys! Glad to have you listening along to my talking pictures! I hope the rains come for you soon. Anyone meet a new boyfriend or girlfriend yet? ha ha ha. Keep safe, study, be what you want.
And, remember your message – Treat us like normal people!!! But to me, you guys are very very EXTRAordinary in a very good way! Well done for accomplishing so much. You deserve to be proud of yourselves!”
If you’d like to read the full story about these guys, then you can right here on my travel stories page read more …
Small note: It doesn’t take much to put a free audio button on your website or blog. And, in doing so you could be opening up your story, travels, and world to whole new audience that will love every minute of it.
Put aesthetics, page load, and the other ‘web’ oriented thoughts aside. And just deliver something good to people out there that might not otherwise get an opportunity. This is especially true of travel blogs, or other blogs that tell a story that people can listen too.
You bring your stories to the world, but there’s also a whole group of people who’d like to hear about it too!
You could also just create a separate page with an audio version, or offer an audio rss feed. Check out odiogo.com which can offer an audio feed within 5 minutes. Yet, give years of enjoyment to a lot of people.
If you do any of the above, let me know and I’ll be happy to link to your website and give you a mention.
More great food from the Philippines