About: Helen McFadyen (aka Lablady)

  1. Need Wise Advice? Not too concerned that it makes sense? Talk to me! Helen is my name and crisis is my game. Cooking fiasco? dog problems? Can’t see? Can’t dance? Your life’s a mess, eh? (see! I’m Canadian!) Whatever the disaster, I can help. It’s winter spring summer fall winter spring in Nova Scotia, so I’ve got time on my hands…with a touch of psoriasis. Have dog, will travel, though I might send a ‘special crisis team’…just for you! Don’t be shy. We have helped millions, thousands ok, so maybe just a few people, desperately seeking advice. We will get on your case pronto. (INSERT BIG DISCLAIMER HERE) But seriously folks, In a real and past life, I worked as a chef. I know my way around a kitchen. Now I cook in the dark…piece of cake! and my guide dog, Opal enjoys my work too! I’m game to talk about cooking, guide dogs, vision loss, accessibility or any combination of these. I may get off track and rant a bit, but I aim to inform. Read on!



28 responses to “About: Helen McFadyen (aka Lablady)

  1. Hi. I’ve enjoyed reading your blog and I wanted to share information about Laura Fogg’s book, “Traveling Blind; Life Lessons from Unlikely Teachers.” She is an Orientation and Mobility Instructor in Northern California, USA, and has worked with blind children for 35 years. My own daughter is one of her students. The book is now available from Bookshare.org for those who need an accessible version. I apologize if this looks like “spam,” but I do believe you would enjoy her book. I should mention I am her publisher.

    Thanks again for your enjoyable blog. Have a great day,

  2. Helen McFadyen

    I have not read it yet. I will try to get an audio copy from the CNIB library, if they have it. Helen

  3. Angel Anderson

    Its Angel! I am doing this research paper on service dogs and one of the questions is to explore your topic. So I was wondering if you could tell me 2-3 things about what’s like to have one. thanks
    Nice blog by the way.
    Keep up the good work.

  4. Hey Angel!!! That’s great. I am so excited that you asked…I could spit! (in a ladylike way). Check tomorrow’s blog for your answer.

  5. Hi Helen,

    I wrote to you before as an urban planner and mom to a daughter (she’s a very busy toddler!) with a congenital eye condition. But, I am also a part-time student working on my dissertation in cultural geography in the UK. I started out researching about eyes on the web about a year ago and I stumbled on your website this past winter. Anyway, I really enjoy reading your blog and would love to converse with you further on blogging, the internet, accessibility issues – you name – it if you would be interested.



  6. Hi Annie,
    I’m so sorry I have not been in touch with you yet. To be honest, I had forgotten your original request. I would be delighted to chat with you. Urban planning, accessibility… I can chat up a storm. You have been cautioned! I will e-mail directly very soon. Thanks for your interest. Hi to your daughter. Helen

  7. Hello Helen and Opal,

    Just wanted to comment to let you know that I have updated my site and changed the URL to puppyguru.com. I will link back to you and just ask that you correct the link on your site and title it “Puppy Guru” πŸ™‚ Thank you!


  8. Hi Helen and Opal,

    I just wanted to say that I love your blog and writing style. You are so honest, funny and genuine.

    I came across your blog by accident (while looking for opal blogs) but because you were in Halifax, Nova Scotia, I ended up hanging around. I am in Australia and did one semester of overseas study, guess where? yep, you guessed it, Halifax, Nova Scotia, (Dalhousie University) so it brought back memories of trudging through the snow as I walked to uni.

    Anyway I was looking for blog sites that had advertising spots for my jewelry store but I don’t see that you have any advertising spots on your blog. Opal would have made such a good mascot do you think? hehe

    Anyway, goodbye and goodluck, will come back and read your blog every now and then.

  9. Hey Denise, I don’t think I’m allowed to pimp Opal out as a sales gimmick, but I REALLY want to buy …you guessed it…a black opal one day. Thanks for reading. Do you think you’d buy a book by the same author? (grin)

  10. Hi I wanna see if this works, Will write more later

  11. just thought I would let you know that I bumped into your blog. Hope you will still be willing to be nominated for the board next year.

  12. Hmm. something to think about. See you in Vancouver, I hope.

  13. Jonathan Perkins

    Hi Helen,

    My names Jonathan Perkins, I’m a film student at the University of Illinois at Chicago and I recently stumbled across your blog about “art for the blind day”. Put simply you’ve intrigued me. For the past year I have been working on a project that studies perception and the scenes. Recently I have been examining sight and blindness. I have been thinking about how I can better understand and then better represent blindness to the sighted. I also wondered if there could be away of introducing video in some form (possibly using the other four scenes) to he visually impaired. I guess, I would love to discover a way to come up with tactical and audible video for the blind.
    That said I was wondering if you would be willing to give some input on the idea.
    Is there anything in video, film or narrative based stories that you already find interesting?
    would you be willing to tell me about some of your experiences with film?

    Once again I would love to get your input, and look forward to hearing any ideas you might have.


  14. Hey J. I will e-mail you directly when I have a moment…some videos are descriptive. That is to say that they have a voice over track to describe some of the key visuals in the movie. Frankly, I don’t like them. They annoy the hell out of me! Imagine: Humphrey Bogart is smooching with Ingrid Bergman and some dweeb says over the violins, “the air is thick with smoke and passion”…but that’s just me. some blind people like them. ditto descriptive tv. There is a big legal fracas going on with CRTC regarding a ‘descriptive channel’ in Canada. I think that good film stands alone. I would be annoyed by smell-a-movie or the like. I also accept that part of blindness is that I will not have the same experience at a movie, but I am ok with that. I’m ok with not having my sweetie describe every sunset, cause I don’t expect or want her too. Just because I can’t see the movie (or the sunset or the clouds) does not make me an incomplete person. If you make videos, then make them for sighted people. Make good films period. As for better understanding blindness, just hang around blind people. But do something useful if you are using them to get “understanding”…like help someone shop or read mail….and by the way, you should edit your comments before you post them. Kids! sheesh…

  15. Jonathan Perkins

    Sorry about the poor editing, and thanks for the quick reply. I look forward to emailing you.

  16. Hi Helen and Opal!

    It’s Katelin again (from your blog roll). I was just wondering if you could change the title from “Katelin’s Blog” to Puppy Guru since that’s the name of my blog. Also if you could change it from puppyguru.blogspot.com to just puppyguru.com I’d really appreciate it. Thanks!


  17. Dec.6/08
    Was disappoined not to see any mention of the significance of the Day that left so many killed, injured, disabled but more relative to this Blog ……..Blind.
    But to be fair, being a PFA you might not be familiar with
    the hundreds of children & adults left blind and the assistance provided for them.

  18. Thank you George,
    You are correct and I am sorry not to have touched on this yet.
    I will alolutely research and write on this topic soon.

  19. your snowing Braille theme is cool. Or my monitor is broken. Either way, it’s cool.

  20. Very interesting interpretation…but that would be tough to read Braille…sheesh! I struggle with it when it’s stationary.

  21. Good evening,

    I ran across your site this afternoon while looking for information about the Jim Sanders apology, lucky you for getting a response, my complaint about his less than eloquent statement was an empty void, perhaps the Internet ate it.

    I just wanted to say that I love your site and commentary, sinical yet somehow positive. Keep up the great work.

  22. I love your site. Keep it up !

  23. Just found your blog – can see I will enjoy reading and contributing to the dialogue! Thanks … mine is cruisinwithcricket.blogspot.com

    Currently have my second guide – Cricket

  24. Hi! I was surfing and found your blog post… nice! I love your blog. πŸ™‚ Cheers! Sandra. R.

  25. Hi,
    I’m writing a paper about universal design/inclusive design. I want to know if it’d be alright to reference your article concerning ATM’s. Thanks!

  26. Hi! I ran across your blog while researching some art project ideas for my students. I help run an afterschool program for blind and visually impaired youth and am always looking for new ways to incorporate art into our activities. I would love to hear of any other ideas you have! Thanks

  27. jenille Cheney

    Hi I love your blog and my question is about service dogs I was recently told that I should look into getting one but I have no idea where to start! I’m 20 live in Halifax and are they really available to people like me with bi polar?

  28. Hi Helen
    I am not sure if you are checking this blog still, but we wanted to say well done on your success in getting a dog park for service dogs in Halifax. We just saw the link posted by CGDB on Facebook.

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