When she was just 29 years old, Claire Sisk suffered two strokes, an ordeal that ultimately resulted in her losing sight in both eyes.
Despite this difficult hurdle, determined Claire, who describes herself as ‘very blind, a little clumsy’ and ‘extremely funny’, has figured out how to do all the things she used to do back when she still had her sight, sharing her helpful tips and hints on her popular TikTok page.
The clips range from fun to insightful, with Claire inspiring people far and wide with her positivity and great sense of humour.
Videos show Claire heading out for a run in Hertford, filling up her hot water bottle and flying out to New York. She also answers any questions people might have about those in the blind community.
This includes queries such as ‘I’m blind, do I take my white cane out on a night out drinking?’ and ‘I’m blind, how do I watch TV?’
In other vids, Claire explains how she dreams, reads menus, and shops for groceries.
In one video, Claire demonstrates how she pours herself a glass of milk using a liquid indicator which she first hooks over the rim of a glass.
Claire then brings the edge of the milk to the glass and pours until the indicator starts beeping, alerting her to the glass being almost filled to the brim.
In another instructive clip, Claire shows “a little hack” she uses when contouring her face, whereby she positions a make-up brush alongside her cheekbone and glides her contour wand above the brush.
She then blends the make-up in with a sponge counting “roughly seven or eight times” before assuming that ‘”it’s probably blended”.
In a third vid, Claire explains how she is able to ‘look’ at images. By hovering her phone over a pic while using her ‘Seeing AI’ app, Claire is given an audio description of what she is ‘seeing’ – for example “a box of food” – giving her a rough idea of what’s being shown.
With 147.5k followers at the time of writing, Claire receives plenty of praise from other TikTok users for her interesting, accessible approach to educating others, with many describing her as an “amazing person”.
One person commented that they ‘adore’ her openness, while another wrote: “I can’t imagine what it’s like but total respect for all blind people who cope so well”.
Claire said: “I’m hoping it will help break down barriers, show we are capable, and eventually show despite our disability we would still make good employees. The saddest thing I’ve come across within the sight-loss community is the struggle to find employment, and this isn’t just in the UK, this is everywhere”.
According to statistics published by the Royal National Institute of Blind People (RNIBP), just one out of four people who are registered blind and partially sighted are in employment, a figure which sadly hasn’t changed all that significantly in a generation.
As per the RNIBP: “People with sight loss can face considerable barriers to finding and retaining employment and in recent research, blind and partially sighted people rated employment as the second biggest barrier they face in living their lives”.