Studying abroad being visually impaired needs more preparation, but it is also worth it: Since October Tina Paulick is living in Ireland and blogging about her experience. She wants more accessibility in the internet and explains that life is not defined by a disability. Why she would like to be her dog and what is important for her, she tells us at REHACARE.com.
Tina Paulick: Last weekend I went on a walk on the beach with my friend. He also is visually impaired. And of all the people who were there a couple asked us to take a picture of them. Of course we did it and tried our best to get their faces in the picture. In the end we laughed about so much coincidence.
What have you always been wanting to do and why have you never done this so far?
Tina Paulick: Going somewhere on my own without a lot preparation, and may it just be a trip to another city. I may be studying abroad but beforehand I did a lot of research and networking. I would like to be more spontaneous and adventurous.
Which person has influenced you most?
Tina Paulick: Since I started blogging I found many great websites of people with disabilities that impress and encourage me. Women and men of all ages who write frankly about their disabilities but also about their special interests like photography, arts, travelling, cooking, fashion and much more. I’m not going to name them all because I don´t want to forget anyone. It is important to show the public that our lives are not only defined by the specific disability.
You have the chance to become the German Federal Commissioner for the Disabled. What would you do first?
Tina Paulick: I would campaign for more accessibility in the internet. Especially websites of governmental and non-governmental organizations aimed at people with disabilities should be designed accessible. For people with visual impairments for example that means adjustable colour contrasts and font sizes, text captions of buttons and images and clear structures which can be navigated by keyboard. In the next step online shopping providers and media should start.
Your life is made into a film: Who would represent you?
Tina Paulick: I enjoy going to the movies, especially since there are more offers with audio description. But often I don’t recognize the actors. I’m more interested in the film characters. In general, I would like to see more disabled actors also in huge productions – so why not somebody with a visual impairment. That would be authentic. But the role should not be reduced to the disability.
I would like to be ...
Tina Paulick: ...Mixer, my Jack Russell. Since we got him from the shelter he has a worry-free life: Every day walks, good food and loving care. What do you want more?
Which questions would you like answered the most?
Tina Paulick: I don’t think that I would be happier if I had answers to the big questions of life. Especially not about misfortune and injustice. What does a reply offer when you cannot change the fact?! I don’t try to think about the big picture, but I try to change all those little things which annoy me. And I enjoy the beautiful things. This is often easier said than done. But it’s a good start.