WHO IS THAT BLIND WOMAN?
Known by her family and friends as Julie Woods, one day Julie realised that to others she came in contact with she was remembered as something different. “Returning to a shop one week later” told Julie, “the man behind the counter turned to his wife and said ‘this is that blind girl’ I was telling you about!”
WHO IS JULIE WOODS?
Born in the “Edinburgh of the south,” Dunedin, New Zealand, (http://www.dunedinnz.com) Julie gained a Bachelor of Commerce degree from Otago University in 1987.
After returning home from overseas travel in the early 90’s, Julie discovered she was pregnant with her first son Zachary. 18 months after the birth of her second son Sebastian, Julie noticed the vinyl in her bathroom floor was shimmering. Already partially sighted she visited Dunedin Hospital where three months later, on March 27, 1997, she was declared legally blind. Faced with learning a host of adaptive skills, Julie got on with learning to live life as a blind person. “I felt I had two choices” says Julie, “I could either be pitied or admired and the first simply wasn’t an option to me”.
JULIE’S BLINDNESS FAQ’S
Julie gets asked loads of questions all the time about being blind. Here’s just some of the most frequently asked, along with some of her most common answers.
THINGS THAT BLIND WOMAN NO LONGER HAS TO WORRY ABOUT:
“When people think about blindness” says Julie “they are often thinking about the loss and seldom the gains.” “I thought writing a list of all the things I know longer have to worry about because I can’t see would be a great way of focusing on the positive aspects of blindness” she continued.
SHE’S EVEN BEEN TO LOUIS BRAILLE’S 200TH BIRTHDAY
200 in 2009!
Louis Braille was born on January 4, 1809.
On January 4, 2009, the braille world commemorated the 200th anniversary of Louis Braille’s birth by hosting an international conference in Paris.
SHE’S INSPIRED BRAILLE ART
Julie’s husband, Ron Esplin, is an artist who has created a collection of “braille art” pieces inspired from Julie.
SHE HAS EVEN REFFED NUDE TOUCH RUGBY!
What would you say if you were asked to ref a game of nude touch rugby!? That’s what happened to Julie one day in 2004, when she picked up the phone at work, find out how she got on refereeing blind at middle beach in Dunedin!