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 up 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 Germany 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 email@example.com.
Happy reading, and please excuse the mess! 😉
- 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
- „Borta bra men hemma bäst!“ (4/14/2020) - It’s a Swedish proverb, basically saying: “It is nice to be away for a while, but home is always the best place to stay”. What did you expect? We are in a crisis situation and in a quarantine lockdown; so in my case, it is the first time I am spending my entire holidays at … Continue reading „Borta bra men hemma bäst!“
- Episode 4 – Demonstration of MOIA (4/1/2020) - Pawel tried out the MOIA app and booked a ride… In this episode we’ll explain how it works… I know it might be a bad time to post this, now that COVID-19 is giving us a bad time, but I hope you enjoy listening anyway and, perhaps, be able to take advantage of MOIA … Continue reading Episode 4 – Demonstration of MOIA
- ICC-Weekend#2 in Antwerp, Belgium (3/6/2020) - With this post, I am finally finished catching up with stories from events which happened last year! Sorry that it took me so long… ICC Belgium came up with a 2nd successful edition of their ICC weekend and I was glad to be part of it once again! Not that I want to spoil anything … Continue reading ICC-Weekend#2 in Antwerp, Belgium
- So what have we done in Luxembourg? (3/6/2020) - Touring the city and its surrounding areas, visiting casstles and museums, joining meet-ups and helping Pawel to fix his broken bed… Most of the time – especially during my first visit – we were accompanied by Pawel’s flat-mate and some of his friends. Some of the highlights during my stay were a guided tour through … Continue reading So what have we done in Luxembourg?
- Scandinavia Trip 2018 video (2/23/2020) - I know, it’s been a long time I posted something Scandinavia trip specific, but better late than never… Obviously, no good trip is complete without at least a few photos, videos and/or audio recordings! We presumed it would have been a bad idea to put Julien, Moritz or me in charge of the filming. 😉 … Continue reading Scandinavia Trip 2018 video
- Benelux complete (2/21/2020) - Indeed, I added Luxembourg to my list of countries I’ve already visited, thanks to Pawel, who lived there for an internship at the European parliament and who invited me to come over, so I visited him twice last Summer. In the first part, I’ll talk about the rides to- and from Luxembourg and in a … Continue reading Benelux complete
- NYE #2 in Belgium (1/10/2020) - Actually, this was supposed to be my 3rd new year’s eve in Belgium if I wouldn’t have got sick last year. Anyway, just as in 2017-2018, we celebrated NYE in a camping house in Roeselare and, together with some friends from Germany and the UK, spent a few more days in Gent… I already went … Continue reading NYE #2 in Belgium
- Internship Conclusion (12/30/2019) - During the course of my internship, a lot of friends asked me one question in particular: “Do you miss Marburg?” Well, the honest answer is “Not as much as I thought”. Although I know Marburg longer and better than Hamburg, it astonished me how quickly I got familiar to my new surroundings and how confident … Continue reading Internship Conclusion
- Some remarks about Hamburg (11/29/2019) - Since August 13th, I have been living in Hamburg and started to familiarize myself with the new surroundings and people. Although Hamburg is not known to be “the city of the blind” like Marburg, I discovered a lot of ways that make life easier, some of which do not yet exist in Marburg… Public transport … Continue reading Some remarks about Hamburg
- The website of FlixBus in practise test (11/27/2019) - This is the English version of an article for the Team-Usability project about the accessibility of the FlixBus booking process. Hier gehts zur deutschen Version… Especially for people who cannot or are not allowed to drive their own vehicle due to their impairment, public transport is usually an indispensable part of their everyday life. In … Continue reading The website of FlixBus in practise test
- Couchsurfing and Meetups in Hamburg (11/25/2019) - Of course, I also take advantage of the Couchsurfing and the Meet Up community, which is very huge in Hamburg; sometimes events are advertised on both platforms. I met most of the new people and friends at a weekly Couchsurfing meeting taking place at Kosmos, a cozy bar in St. Pauli. On that day, the … Continue reading Couchsurfing and Meetups in Hamburg
- My first FlixTrain experiences (10/18/2019) - Last weekend, I took advantage of FlixTrain for the first time together with a companion which booking process is a little different in comparison to bookings of Deutsche Bahn tickets. For those who don’t know: FlixMobility GmbH first introduced FlixBus with a large fleet of long-distance buses operating on plenty of national and international routes. … Continue reading My first FlixTrain experiences
- MOIA accessibility improvements (10/2/2019) - Hey everyone! A little while ago, I posted an article in which I compared 3 ridesharing-services, one of which was MOIA. Back then, a lot of MOIA’s features in their app were inaccessible for both VoiceOver and TalkBack users. Booking a ride, for instance, was only possible by suspending VoiceOver/TalkBack and doing a swipe-gesture somewhere … Continue reading MOIA accessibility improvements
- I wrote an article for the HORUS magazine (10/1/2019) - Hello travelers! the HORUS, a magazine by the German association for blind and visually impaired people in studies and occupation (DVBS) covers different topics and is published four times a year. One of their main topics in this year’s 2nd edition was the media mix in the 21st century and it features an article of … Continue reading I wrote an article for the HORUS magazine
- Moved to Hamburg successfully! (8/18/2019) - On Tuesday, August 13th, I successfully moved into my room in Hamburg! Fortunately, because although the first day of my internship went very smooth, the departure back to Stade was exhausting… as if God wanted to tell me “You see? That’s why you should move to Hamburg as soon as possible”! Due to technical issues … Continue reading Moved to Hamburg successfully!
- Making progress… (8/13/2019) - With this post, I try to catch up with what happened in the past few weeks before my internship which, from yesterday on, has already begun. I started writing this post a little earlier, long before my internship started, so here we go, better late than never… My internship is getting closer and closer and … Continue reading Making progress…
- Comparison of ridesharing services (7/29/2019) - This is a top 3 comparison of some of the most popular taxi and ridesharing services I came across so far… #1: FREE NOW (MYTAXI) According to the website, Mytaxi (now “FREE NOW”) is available in over 100 cities in 9 European countries. However, although certain cities might not be listed, you might still be … Continue reading Comparison of ridesharing services
- Holidays in Canada 2019 (7/24/2019) - I‘m Luana, a friend of Patrick‘s. (...) In February, I got back in touch with a former classmate of mine, Luca, who is spending a year working in Canada and invited me to visit him. Catching up with an old friend and doing my first overseas journey was a combination I certainly couldn‘t miss out on.
- Visiting the Sightcity on may 10th, 2019 (6/14/2019) - Vibrating belts, a pair of vibrating shoes… good lord, even our clothes become more and more multifunctional! Together with some colleagues from work, I visited the Sightcity on May 10th and there are a couple of technology improvements and companies I came across. KAPSYS is a company specialized in accessible cellphones for blind and … Continue reading Visiting the Sightcity on may 10th, 2019