I'm going out tonight, it's New Years Eve and I, like most want to be out and to welcome the new year with my friends.
Being out on one of the busiest nights of the year is quite a challenge, it's dark and it's crowded, two of the worse nightmares for anybody with Usher Syndrome and I can only do it because I have the most amazing friends who know my challenges, know my weaknesses and my vulnerabilities.
They also know how to make me feel indifferent and we have a great time.
I am fortunate to live in a small town where I know quite a lot of people and even more people know me. What is nice about this is not only my friends but people who have seen me around with my guide dog Unis or in the media know who I am but more importantly look out for me.
Even though I cannot see very much when I'm out at night I feel fairly safe. Most know to say give me a little tap and say hello as there's little chance I'll see anybody properly at night.
I'd definitely say I'm a party girl I love to get dressed up, I love music and I love to dance.
This year is a little different to previous years as I have two life enhancing pieces of assistive technology which enable me to do a few things I've never been able to do before.
In previous years I have been ushered (excuse the pun) to the dance floor and been dancing to music I couldn't hear properly but enjoyed the beat, this year I will be able to not just hear the music properly but also to hear the lyrics, maybe sing, ok maybe not sing!
Last year I was on the dance floor when it became obvious my friends were not there, I carried on dancing, what else could I do?
I could not see a thing, I felt anxious, disorientated, but I knew they'd be back for me, it seemed like a lifetime they were gone and what more could be worse, I needed the ladies!
My friend had been distracted by an old friend she hadn't seen for a long time, when she did come back to find me she was more embarrassed than me, we both laugh about it now but it wasn't funny at the time.
This won't happen again as I am very fortunate to be benefitting from the most amazing assistive technology.
I can communicate with her or any of my other friends via my Applewatch which gives me independence and also reassurance that I am never isolated.
Not only have we developed our own communication code on Applewatch I can actually have a successful phone conversation in a dark and busy nightclub thanks to my Linx2 hearing aids.
This most up to date assistive technology has given me a new confidence and a desire to somehow make this technology available to others.
If you'd like to help make a real difference please click the link below:
2015 has been a good year for me personally, It has been a year of making big decisions and choices of meeting some amazing people, of making a difference, of raising awareness of Usher Syndrome, of technology and accessibility needs, raising funds to help others with Usher Syndrome and I've only just begun.
Before I head out I want to raise a glass and wish everybody involved in my life, everybody I have met this year and all who support my work and who encourage me to be the person I am a very Happy New Year and Thank You.