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Armando Vias

A Blind Community Advocate


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Armando is standing in a room smiling at the camera.

About Me



ARMANDO VIAS

Armando standing in a room smiling at the camera. Copyright 2024 by Armando Vias. All Rights Reserved.
The picture shows a smiling man taking a selfie. He has a short buzz cut and is wearing a bright green t-shirt. The background is a simple room with beige walls and a white ceiling. There’s a door frame visible to his left. The lighting in the room is warm, and the man appears to be in a good mood. Copyright 2024 By Armando Vias.

Introduction

Hello everyone! My name is Armando. I am a community advocate, living in the United States, specifically Georgia.

I am also blind, but my blindness doesn’t stop me from achieving my dreams and goals in life!


Mission

My mission for this website is the following:

  1. To share my advocacy experiences with the world, whether it is
  2. To share my experiences as a blind individual to spread awareness and to educate others in my local community, city, and around Georgia, the United States, and even the world!
  3. To share guides, tips and tricks, and other ways on including me, making places accessible, and other helpful information that’s useful to you as a business owner, a Pastor/Priest, and/or an individual from the community and beyond.
  4. And, to post reactions, my thoughts, and other random things I can think of as well!

How I Became Blind

I was born with an eye condition called Retinopathy of Prematurity (also known as ROP). I was born in Augusta, Georgia, weighing at two pounds, 14 ounces.

I was suppose to be born in December, but I decided to come into this world in September.

Fast forward until now, I’ve graduated from the Georgia Academy for The Blind (GAB) (Class of 2021). I am currently working as an Independent Living Coordinator.


Hobbies And Interests

Here is what I enjoy doing in my free time when I am not working:

  1. Going on fun and relaxing car rides: I enjoy riding around the city/town!
  2. Blogging
    • I also enjoy building websites.
  3. Meeting and connecting with new people out in my community and/or online
  4. Going to church
  5. Traveling and exploring new places, such as hotels and different buildings, preferably ones with elevators
    • I don’t do the traveling/exploring very often due to the prices of using Uber/Lyft. Sometimes, a friend takes me to places so I can explore them.
    • When I explore new places, I also check to make sure that it complies with the Americans With Disabilities Act (ADA), for example, having braille signage for restrooms. Hopefully in the future, I will be able to travel more often.
  6. Filming videos to post on YouTube, specifically elevators. Also, I will live stream events now and then, and also premiere videos.
    • The streamed events are opened to the general public for anyone to view. Also, if someone wanted to attend that event, but if they can’t make it due to the costs of transportation, having a stream from the event will make them feel included.
    • I also stream pre-recorded videos, such as speeches, presentations, hotel tours, and other videos.
  7. Listening to music (Mostly Top 40/Pop)
  8. Learning about new assistive technology and technology in general
  9. Watching TV (Paramount+ mostly (the local CBS Channel)
    • Sometimes, if I am traveling out of town to visit somewhere, such as out of state or in another city in the state, I’ll try to subscribe to streaming services, such as YouTubeTV, depending on my budget at the time.
  10. Flying on airplanes (I don’t do this often)

Memberships

I am a current member of the following organizations:

Blindness Organizations

Grassroots Organizations

Political Organizations


Public Appearances

Here is some examples of me publicly appearing in the community.

13WMAZ (WMAZ-TV) and On Houston Home Journal

In may of 2022, I was involved in speaking up for me and all disabled citizens in my area on 13WMAZ and on Houston Home Journal. The result of speaking up is slowly starting the process of the city getting a public transit system. However, this is not mass-transit. This is a good start in the right direction, better than not having public transportation at all!

The best way to stay up-to-date on my public appearances is posted on my website, all in one place.


Personality

I am a friendly and outgoing individual who genuinely enjoys connecting with new people in my community. With a passion for inclusivity, I am committed to raising awareness and promoting the inclusion of people with disabilities in various events, places, and social settings.

In today’s world, creating a sense of belonging and fostering an inclusive environment is of utmost importance. It goes beyond simply accommodating individuals with disabilities; it requires a shift in mindset that embraces diversity and celebrates the unique talents and contributions that each person brings to the table.

In my interactions with others, I strive to educate and create awareness about the importance of inclusivity. By shedding light on the barriers that people with disabilities face and providing practical tips and suggestions, we can work towards breaking down these barriers and building a more inclusive society.

Whether it’s organizing inclusive events, advocating for accessible infrastructure, or providing resources and support for accessibility initiatives, I am dedicated to being an advocate for positive change. Together, we can cultivate an environment that embraces and celebrates everyone, regardless of their abilities.

Remember, inclusivity is not just a buzzword; it’s a mindset that should guide our actions and interactions every day. Let’s join forces in creating an inclusive society where everyone feels valued, respected, and included.


The Burning Questions

I always tell everyone that I am blind. I completely understand how this revelation can be unexpected and even perplexing. Society tends to associate blindness with limitations, but I want to assure you that it doesn’t define me or my capabilities. In order to help bridge any gaps in understanding, I’ve compiled a list of questions along with some brief answers below. Please feel free to reach out to me if you have any further inquiries or would like to have a more in-depth conversation. I welcome the opportunity to enlighten others and foster a more inclusive and empathetic environment.

Q: How do you type, even though that you are blind?

A: Here is how I type as a blind person.

Q: How Do You Navigate As A Blind Person?

I use a device, called a White Cane (not a stick). Let me say this again. This is not a stick. It detects objects, such as the following:

  • Polls
  • People
  • Cars
  • Storm drains
  • And so on.

The National Federation of The Blind (NFB) provides a free white cane program for blind people to obtain a white cane free of cost to them.

Q: Can You See Color?

A: No. I cannot see color. However, I can smell color, such as orange. An example is the smelly markers.

Q: How Do You Read?

A: For printed materials, I read using Braille, a code consisted of six-dots. The Braille Code was developed by Louis Braille in 1821 when he was just eleven-years-old.

Printed materials can be translated into braille, making work more easier for a blind employee like me. A braille embosser makes this task more easier, instead of a blind person having to type using a braille writer, called a Perkins Brailler.

Some blind people use a Slate And Stylus to take notes. I am not one of them though

Q: How Do You Cook?

a: I use the following to help me cook:

  • A microwave: I mostly use a microwave to cook my food, such as sandwiches and/or leftovers, or even heating up food from DoorDash or UberEats.
  • Oven: I don’t use the oven often due to it not being accessible at the moment. However, I get assistance using AIRA or Be My Eyes, but it is so frustrating due to the layout of the oven.
  • Air Frier: A video to my YouTube Channel will be coming soon.

Remember, the questions above are just starting points, and I encourage genuine curiosity and open conversations, whether it is via email, text message, a phone call, or even when you see me out and about in the community! You are also free to message me on social media with your questions as well.


Contacting Me

I would like to hear from you! You can send me any suggestions, ask questions, and so much more! Here is how you can reach out to me.

Phone (Call)

You can call me at anytime. However, please note that depending on what I am doing, I am not able to answer you right away.

Send Me An Email

You are also free to email me at anytime as well! Please note that I receive a lot of emails since I am on mailing lists. I promise that I will see your message and respond to it as soon as possible. Please wait 24-72 hours for an appropriate response from me.

Connect With Me Across Social Media

In addition to reaching out to me by calling or emailing me, you also have the option to stay connected with me through my social media channels. I understand that social media can sometimes have negative content, like people venting about personal issues. However, I try my best to maintain a positive presence on social media platforms.

I believe in spreading positivity, raising awareness about disabilities, and promoting inclusion for everyone. On my social media channels, you can expect to find updates about my advocacy work, posts about my experiences as a blind individual, helpful tips and resources, reactions to current events, behind the scenes content (vacation pictures/videos, events, and so on,), and other random things that come to my mind. I’ll also share posts about what’s going on in my local community.

By following me on social media, you’ll have the opportunity to engage with me on a personal level and stay up-to-date with what I’m working on. It’s a great way to connect, share ideas, and join the conversation.

Here are my social media channels, as of April 2024:

Feel free to follow me on any of these platforms, and together, let’s spread positivity and create a more inclusive online community!

Remember, please do not hesitate to contact me at any time. I’m looking forward to hearing from you! You can also find updated contact information on the Contact Me Page.


Events in May 2024

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Sunday, June 2nd, 2024


This page or post was last updated on Saturday, April 27th, 2024 @ 10:34 pm Eastern Time.