The round icon is drawn in a comic-like style and shows a young, fair-skinned man with an orange shirt and short brown hair holding a cane in his right hand. He has a brown shoulder bag and wears a [blind badge] on his neckline. In the background are two skyscrapers and a fir on a green field in front of a blue sky. Around the circle is written "The Way to my Personal Independence"
Logo designed by Sibe Vander Massen and Rebekka Kynsilehto, alternative text description by Juliane Taubner

Welcome, and thank you for stopping by at my blog!

My name is Patrick Dembinski, and – especially after attending ICC2014 (more on that later) – I like to travel around, enjoying my independence! My original location is Stade, a small city near Hamburg in the north of Germany. Since 2007, I have been attending the BLISTA, a special school for blind and visually impaired students in Marburg. However, I tried to travel home for the weekend at least once or twice in a month to visit my family and perhaps some of my friends.

In this blog, I want to talk step-by-step about the development of my personal independence, as well as possible obstacles I had to face and get clear of. I decided to write down my experiences because I heard a lot about other blind and partially sighted people (even older than I am) who always got told by their parents or other close people that they just can’t do that because they are worried something could happen to them or due to other reasons.

Being worried of people is totally okay. At some point, however, it’s a wrong approach to just tell them that they are not capable of doing it, just to keep them home safe and sound; but that’s not all. A lot of people – visually handicapped or not – can’t imagine how it is possible to become independent as a visually handicapped person in general. Therefore, I do also hope that this blog will reach some of you guys, so you can get a better point of view about what we are capable of.

I plan to keep you posted as often as possible, depending on how busy I am with other things, such as work. Of course, it also depends on how often I am traveling around in the future and if there is something interesting to let you know about. I managed to catch up with all the past stories and the blog is now fully up to date! Anyway, it might still take some time to write up future activities before I can share them with you, depending on the free time available to me.

The reason why I am writing this in English is because I want to reach as many people as possible on an international basis. Should you plan to travel abroad, English is a must-have; you cannot expect that everybody – no matter where you are – speaks your native language. Anyway, for all the Germans: You can find a couple of links to German articles and reports I wrote. An international approach, however, was more important to me in first place.


In any case, if you have any questions for me or something else you’d like to talk about, do not hesitate to contact me via E-Mail at contact@patrickdembinski.org.

Happy reading, and please excuse the mess! 😉

Recent Posts

  1. Meeting the ICC bar team (or “Belgium is the best!”) (2/14/2023) - Once again, I traveled to Belgium. And once again, on the train-side, it was a mess; but the time we spent together – as usual – made up for it!
  2. Some thoughts about Darmstadt (8/26/2022) - “Where’s the tram?” “it’s this way… no, it’s there!” Confused? Well so was I… For the sake of my job at Reinecker Vision I moved to Darmstadt, and for a long time I just thought “What a strange place”, and partially my point still stands. What I discovered though is that Darmstadt can show itself … Continue reading Some thoughts about Darmstadt
  3. Episode 12 – Independent living recap part 2 (Apps, gadgets, home-sickness) (4/17/2022) - In the 2nd part of this recap with Maschenka and Pawel, we exchange interesting apps and gadgets we came across that come in handy in household. Last but not least, we had a quite emotional talk about home-sickness, meeting up in times of COVID19 and methods to remain positive.
  4. Episode 11 – Independent living recap (part 1) (4/14/2022) - Finally, I managed to work on my podcast again! Join Maschenka, Pawel and me reflecting the passed year in times of COVID19 and how we got on in our new surroundings.
  5. Highway to Halle (or the 4th ICC Weekend in Belgium) (1/26/2022) - Some synthetic TTS voices pronounce „halle“ similar to the word “hell”, and it certainly was a HELL of a trip. Nevertheless, it was definitely worth it! The current Corona situation once again made it possible for ICC Belgium to organize one of their legendary weekends live and in presence in Dworp (a small place near … Continue reading Highway to Halle (or the 4th ICC Weekend in Belgium)
  6. ICC World Event #3 (11/15/2021) - No plans on Saturday night? Fancy spending the evening in the comfort of your own home and meeting people from anywhere in the world? Then we have that sorted for you! That’s right; the virtual ship “ICC World Bar” set sail again, so stay at home, and come aboard for another virtual world bar, taking … Continue reading ICC World Event #3
  7. Struggling through (10/31/2021) - Months have passed, and I got more and more familiar with my new surroundings, although I cannot say that it was fairly easy after all. Bloody COVID was just one of the reasons that made me feel miserable from time to time. As I got other bigger worries on my mind I could not always … Continue reading Struggling through
  8. ICC Belgium Word Event #2 – last order… (6/24/2021) - Hey folks! A bit late, but still in time, I’d like to announce the 2nd edition of the online ICC Belgium World Event! Feel free to join us on Saturday, June 26th at 9PM CET. Besides the bar, we also have an escape room event; however, places are limited here. In any case, feel free … Continue reading ICC Belgium Word Event #2 – last order…
  9. Join the first online world event by ICC Belgium! (4/10/2021) - Are you looking for a challenge? Do you want to be social? Or do you just want to party? Join our next event.The very first online world event of ICC Belgium has an offer that combines all the lovely things mentioned above, and alll of that in one evening, afternoon or morning, depending on where … Continue reading Join the first online world event by ICC Belgium!
  10. “The most miserable time of the year!” (2/5/2021) - There are many reasons why this time of the year can be considered as “the most miserable time of the year”; one of which is the still ongoing lockdown caused by the pandemic. Whether we shall especially blame the 5th of February for all that or not, this silly little tune cheered me up anyway. … Continue reading “The most miserable time of the year!”
  11. Mind the gap! (2/3/2021) - This is not only a well-known announcement in the London underground, but also the name of a new radio series on Freirad, where Pawel Masarczyk talks about different obstacles or “gaps” handicapped individuals need to get clear of Every third Thursday in a month, Pawel talks about different topics with different individuals. In episode #1, … Continue reading Mind the gap!
  12. Episode 9 – a talk about independent living (1/3/2021) - This episode features the voices of Maschenka and Pawel, good friends of mine who both went abroad due to their work and together we share our experiences about job- and flat-seeking, as well as getting settled in a new place.
  13. “It’s December, the 27th!” (12/27/2020) - Happy 27th everyone! A lot has happened during the past few months. To start off, I am back in Hessen. This time even more southern than Marburg, close to Frankfurt, as I got a job as a sales assistant near Darmstadt. I found a flat way quicker than I thought, which gave me enough time … Continue reading “It’s December, the 27th!”
  14. Episode 8 – A talk about the online ICC weekend, session 2 (12/10/2020) - This is the 2nd interview session about the ICC online weekend.
  15. Episode 7 – A talk about the online ICC weekend, session 1 (12/7/2020) - Thanks to COVID19, a lot of activities couldn’t take place. However, some activities went online instead, and so did this year’s ICC weekend organized by ICC Belgium! After the ICC weekend, I recorded two interview sessions with participants and staff members of this weekend to talk about how we experienced ICC Belgium’s online approach.
  16. Episode 6 – The FeelSpace App (12/4/2020) - This is a demonstration of the FeelSpace app on iOS and shall give you an overview of what the belt and the app together are capable of.
  17. New assistance request form by Deutsche Bahn (12/3/2020) - Deutsche Bahn has recently introduced a new form to request assistance which is not only easier to handle; you can additionally generate a service code to save your personal data for future requests. The following is an overview and a comparison of the features in the old- and the new form: Firstly, you are asked … Continue reading New assistance request form by Deutsche Bahn
  18. Episode 5 – NaviBelt Demonstration Part 1 (10/8/2020) - Welcome to this 3-part demonstration of the FeelSpace NaviBelt! In this episode, I will demonstrate the features of the NaviBelt mainly available in the offline-mode. If you are interested in putting your hands on the NaviBelt, feel free to visit their website: episode5 – NaviBelt Demonstration Part 1
  19. Status update September 2020 (9/28/2020) - Well, I guess it’s time to post an update once again, after a longer silence. First of all, I completed my IT salesman traineeship and moved out of my place in Marburg and eventually left the BLISTA after 13 years! As a result, I am currently looking for a job. Thanks to COVID though, it … Continue reading Status update September 2020
  20. Lockdown was yesterday (7/13/2020) - Hey folks, I hope you are all well! After 1.5 months of quarantine lockdown mostly staying at home, classes once again started to take place at the end of April, one day after the mask obligations were introduced; so time to go back to Marburg. When I arrived by train in the afternoon, it sounded … Continue reading Lockdown was yesterday