Houstonians with disabilities are learning to be more independent

Being independent is a freedom most of us want to enjoy but when you live with a disability some believe there are things you can't do. 

Well, in this Positively Houston meet one Houston woman says "can't" should be eliminated from everyone's vocabulary.

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Who says a blind person can't put on their own makeup, can't curl, or even cut their own hair? Chelsea Nguyen certainly isn't saying that and she's teaching the blind and others with disabilities those things and more.

It’s pretty impressive when someone who isn’t a pro can cut their own hair and when you add this. 

"I was born blind," explains 38-year-old Herbie Allen while cutting his own hair. "I was like ok I shouldn’t be impressed because I know as blind people we can do practically everything but I am." 

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It’s a skill Herbie learned from Chelsea Nguyen the founder of CN Vision Image Consulting last year when everything closed due to COVID and all of us developed a new respect for barbers and stylists. 

"I work with individuals of all abilities," Nguyen explains. "I teach techniques to help when they’re looking to get a job, to help them feel their best, look their best, be confident, and feel more independent."

"You can still do your make-up and your hair and look really professional and really pretty," adds 63-year-old Gayle Metoyer who lost her vision to Glaucoma in her 30’s. "You have to learn how to do things a different way," Gayle explains as she demonstrates what she learned from Chelsea, including a few beauty tricks. "How to put on mascara, eyeshadow, lipstick. This is a beeping curling iron and you just kind of feed your hair in there and it’ll beep when it’s a curl."

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"I was born with Glaucoma. So I did have very little sight up until I was maybe six or seven. I’ve always done my own shaving but the tip that Chelsea taught me was make sure you do not go against the hair because that’s how you eliminate having so many razor bumps," explains 55-year-old George Battiste. 

"As long as they’re a customer of Texas Workforce Solutions and have a disability then they are able to receive and request my services complimentary," says Chelsea. 

Battiste also previously colored his own hair to blend the gray. How did that turn out? 

"I didn’t hear anybody say anything messed up so (laugh) I guess it turned out pretty good," Battiste smiled. "Chelsea’s an awesome teacher."

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The exceptional educator teaches in-person and virtual classes and even Zoom etiquette. "How your body language is portraying across to a sighted viewer on the other side of the screen," Chelsea explains.  

"To make sure you’re in focus and you’re not upside down," adds Gayle. 

"Knowing how to angle your camera," says Herbie who like most his age is big into selfies and social media and enjoys showing off his new skill. "I’m so grateful Chelsea showed us how we can be independent."

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