Extract from the "Vogue" Blog
Meet Vesper, who plays an important role helping Mandy to get to work. Not just any work, Mandy creates beauty products for the CLARITY factory in King's Cross which employs people with a visual impairment to create soaps and hand and body lotions.
"It can be isolating being blind – you can very easily fall into the cycle of just living at home and being reliant on the NHS,” says Mandy, who has been unable to see since birth. "CLARITY offers independence, gives us the ability to earn money, and you meet people from such different backgrounds.” She doesn't like the word "blind”. "But I can't use the words "visually impaired” because I have no vision. So if I'm talking about myself I say "unsighted” - it really is a question of preference.”
Desperate as we were to have a play with Vesper, there is an etiquette around guide dogs so we held back from making a fuss but Mandy taught us that when you see the guide dog harness (it looks a bit like a croquet hoop) in resting position, ie lying flat on the dog's back, it means the dog is off-duty and as long as the handler's fine with it, you can say hello. Just as well, because he likes to play. "This morning he wanted to take his toy with him. I said, "not today!” "