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Follow Friday With The Blinkie Chicks

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Happy Friday! What an exciting week it has been. Do any of you have plans on standing in line to purchase Apple’s new iPhone 5S? Not me! I am, however, excited that it is Friday because that means another edition of Fedora’s Follow Friday (#FF) interview series is available for you to read.

This week’s interview is with a very interesting group of women called the Blinkie Chicks. It is their goal to bridge the gap between the sighted and blind by providing empowerment, education, resources and their own personal experiences.

The collaboration of ideas and thought provoking topics the Blinkie Chicks bring to the blindness community through their web site and social media platforms is one reason why we at Fedora Outlier, LLC choose to follow them on Twitter. So grab that cup of coffee or tea and let’s get to know these ladies a bit better.

Brie Rumery: For those who may not know who the Blinkie Chicks are, would you please tell us a little bit about yourselves?

Blinkie Chicks: We are four visually impaired women who are dedicated to bridging the gap between the sighted and blind communities. We are very active on Twitter, where we tweet articles related to blindness and our community. We write a blog, which is now just one part of our new website: blinkiechicks.com. We do presentations about blindness and release the recordings online. Until now, this has been done through our Spreaker page. However, now that we are no longer using wordpress.com, we will host the recordings on our site. Additionally, it will become a fully-functional podcast, which will even be available in iTunes. Lastly, we intend to begin releasing YouTube videos to reach an even larger audience.
Individually, we are Jessica, Daria, Ashley, and Ania.
I, Jessica, am a 25-year-old student at the University of North Carolina at Pembroke. I oversee all our projects, assisting when I’m needed. In the future, I hope to focus more on our digital media. I love spending time with friends and family, traveling, listening to music, and tweeting.
Daria is a 24-year-old recent graduate of the University of North Carolina at Pembroke; she will actually begin work on obtaining her master’s degree in January. She majored in Creative Writing, so she helps with writing and editing blog entries. She loves to listen to music, read, write, and spend time with loved ones.
Ashley is a 25-year-old University of North Carolina at Pembroke student majoring in Special Education. She manages our Twitter account and email account. She loves spending time with friends, playing and working with her guide dog, Landon, and helping people.
Lastly, Ania is a 30-year-old woman who lives in Spain. She is our webmaster, so she has been hard at work getting our website up and running. She loves to travel, so she frequently travels to the United States to visit friends in North Carolina and New York. Additionally, she loves to read and cook.

BR: Who came up with the idea for Blinkie Chicks and why?

BC: The idea for Blinkie Chicks was born in November, 2012 when Ashley, Daria, and I were spending time together. We had done some presentations individually, and we wanted a way to share the presentations in one place; we wanted to be a resource and provide content for others.

BR: How difficult is it for all of you to collaborate together on a certain topic or idea?

BC: We rarely struggle with collaboration. Everyone has access to all accounts, which means anyone can post content as needed. When we do presentations, we split the content between whoever is presenting, so no one person talks the hold time. We keep in contact through Skype, twitter, and text messaging, so everyone always knows what’s going on. Lastly, we have a shared dropbox folder for collaborating on written content and sharing ideas.

BR: What criteria, if any, do you have for someone who might want to become a part of the Blinki Chicks team?

BC: We don’t have criteria for people to join the Blinkie Chicks, because we aren’t looking for additional members. The reason for this is it is easy for us to share the responsibilities between the four of us. If the group becomes too large, it will be more difficult to manage. We did allow Ania to join, but that was because we had a specific need for her skills. If people would like to assist us, they can do so by following us on Twitter, retweeting our content, and giving us ideas about things they’d like to see from us. This could include anything from different types of content we should provide, to topics we should talk about on the blog, to requests for collaboration on certain projects.

BR: When it comes to accessibility, is there anything you may think of that might never be accessible to the blind?

BC: It is hard to say things could never be accessible to the blind, with technology advancing the way it continues to do. However, I’m not sure totally blind individuals should ever be surgeons.

BR: How often do you record your podcasts and what type of content do you provide to the listener?

BC: Our podcast isn’t out yet, but we do provide audio recordings on our Spreaker page of our presentations. Stay tuned to our blog and twitter account to learn more as our site and podcast are developed.

BR: If you had to explain Blinkie Chicks with just one sentence, what would it be and why?

BC: We hope the fact that we take pride in our identity as visually impaired women and the resources we share will empower other visually impaired people to hold their heads high and educate the public by showing how awesome blind people can be.

BR: I know that Blinkie Chicks is very active with Twitter, why did you all feel the need to make it a part of your social media platform?

BC: Twitter is a unique social network, because it allows for constant access to great content as well as to members of our community. We wanted to do more than use twitter to share content. We wanted to use Twitter to interact with others, to make us more approachable.

Thank you so much to Jessica, Daria, Ashley and Ania otherwise known as the Blinkie Chicks for allowing me to interview them this week. Please make sure to visit their newly designed web site at http://www.blinkiechicks.com and to follow them on Twitter @blinkiechicks.

Did you know that the team at Fedora Outlier, LLC is either blind or visually impaired? Well, it’s true. That is one reason why Fedora Outlier, LLC is able to provide top quality Apple consulting, teaching and support to the blind, low vision and deaf-blind communities. Fedora Outlier, LLC also provides a wealth of information and resources such as weekly Tips and Tricks brought to you each and every Thursday. If you are not already receiving the weekly Tips and Tricks, then please visit our web site and sign up to get it delivered to your inbox. Who knows, you might just learn something new!

Have a wonderful weekend from the team at Fedora Outlier, LLC!