Speaking at the #Latism13 conference! Should I bring my cane?

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I’m speaking at the #LATISM national conference for the second year in a row- very excited about this opportunity. LATISM stands for Latinos in Social Media and it’s a wonderful group of people who are engaged in supporting each other and having an impact. I’ll be speaking on a panel about Latinos and obesity that will focus on the generation of solutions. Our families and children need healthier outcomes, and they need them NOW. I really hope that many people will attend both the conference and this panel. Register here and get 15% off with EARLYBIRD code until August 1st. Yay!

Now on to my other question! Should I bring my cane? Conferences are huge and confusing and you’re constantly navigating in unfamiliar spaces. Since I have been embracing being open about Usher Syndrome, it might be a good personal challenge for me to bring my cane with me. It would open some dialogue and connections with others in a new way. This will be my third time attending the conference, so there will be that awkward moment of “hey, you’ve seen me before but without a blind cane.” There are many repeat attendees who I already know.

One young woman is very inspirational in being open about her disability. Her name is Laurita Tellado and she has spina bifida. She’s an advocate for awareness and has a great blog. Sometimes, she’ll attend an event in a wheelchair and sometimes she won’t. Everyone loves her and interacts with her comfortably, no matter what. It’s a great example to see.

I wonder what it would be like to attend with a cane. It would be easier to navigate the space and the crowds. I don’t have enough experience with it at the moment to feel confident using it, but I am due for more training this summer. I think it takes courage to use the cane as well, since you will appear different and not everyone understands that there are degrees of vision loss other than complete blindness. I will definitely continue to think about this.

What do you think I should do?

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4 thoughts on “Speaking at the #Latism13 conference! Should I bring my cane?

  1. Chica, you should do what you are COMFORTABLE doing. Take it from me. During Hispanicize 2 years ago, I joked briefly about *AHEM*, bodily functions, and 2 years later, “the girls” on my panel are still joking about it and using the hashtag! LOL!

    Do what works for YOU. We won’t care. We’ll be way too busy bailando. ;)

  2. Hi yes I do think you should take your cane and use it with pride!!!! Very pleased to hear you are going to have more training so people will need to get used to seeing you with it anyway. I don’t know how much vision you have but some people find it easier to describe themselves as partially sighted – to the less informed!!!! Lol
    Conferences changing lighting and lots of people are a challenge but if you are with someone who is guiding you you can think about folding your cane in half to just use as a symbol?
    Bet have a fab time and I should confess my bias as I am a mobility intructor !!

  3. Thank you all so much for your kind words. Your support is inspiring and I definitely agree that everyone should make decisions that work for them. I am still waiting for a new cane so I was not able to bring it this year. But I had an absolutely amazing time at the conference!

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