Different Way of Seeing – Lois Strachan

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A Different Way of Seeing

A Blind Woman’s Journey of Living an “Ordinary” Life in an Extraordinary Way.

Lois went blind in her early 20s as a result of diabetes. What for many of us would literally be our worst fear, was a reality she had to face. And not only did she face it, but she decided to embrace it. Here is a short extract about her decision.

“I could either go home and give up, and feel angry and depressed for there best of my life, or I could try to work out what I could still accomplish now that I was blind. I used to refer to the first choice as going home to sit in a corner and knit, until I realised that knitting is a really productive and useful thing to do and pretty challenging. So my entire metaphor fell apart in my hands, not unlike most of the knitting tasks I battled through back when I was at school. I made a conscious decision to focus, not on the things I could no longer do because I was blind, but rather on the many thanks that were still possible for me.”

The wonderful thing about this book, is that Lois’s humour and practical nature gently shine through on every page. (Every chapter break has a little silhouette of a guide dog.)

So often when sighted people encounter blind people, they become awkward and do foolish things in response to a situation that they deem to be embarrassing. But Lois hasn’t just overcome the limitations of her situation to lead an extraordinary life; she now teaches how to do the same.
Lois speaks to corporates and organisations about how they can become more aware of the value of working with disabled people as well as how to consider the working environment to facilitate their requirements.

Her book is so simple and practical that readers are left laughing along with her, at her mishaps, and have lost the awkwardness of their first real encounter with someone who has a challenge that we do not.

In her book, Lois explains how she does day to day tasks as well as pursues her interests. She is an accomplished musician, along with her husband Craig. She is also a Toastmasters, and served for a term as the District 74 District Governor - a position which makes her responsible for the Toastmasters mission in Southern Africa and Zimbabwe. She has also written a series of books for children based on the adventures of Missy Mouse, a blind mouse working her way through her life.

I highly admire Lois as a speaker. She has a phenomenal memory, engages incredibly with a large audience and is a courageous speaker. And I would recommend this book, and her speaking to - well to everyone.

Lois is a member of my Women’s Speaker Mastermind group and has been invaluable in her feedback to me about my speaking and in challenging and supporting my growth as a professional speaker.
 

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