We had the good fortune of connecting with Carrie Morales and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Carrie, what’s the most important lesson your business/career has taught you?
I have been faced with the challenge of legal blindness for all my life. With stubborn determination, I have faced society’s stigma against those with disabilities and struggled with my own perception of insufficiency. Yet, that has never stopped me. With support, technology, and creative solutions, one can succeed and break through barriers. Over the years, I have learned and discovered the methods to help me on the road to success.
However, it was not until I created Live Accessible that I learned the real power of community. When I first began, Live Accessible was where I could share what I knew to others with a visual impairment through videos on YouTube and a website. The more I created content though, the more I realized how little I really knew and how much information, resources, and ideas were out there. My growing audience had their own experiences and techniques for dealing with life with vision loss, which they shared. Soon enough, I had a thriving community learning not only from me, but from each other. This helped my own growth and understanding of what is possible. It humbled me, teaching that there is always more insight to glean, and the most knowledgeable person can still have so much to learn.
Alone, one can accomplish so much. Nevertheless, the more that we work together, the more we can do. The more heads work in tandem, the more innovation, accommodations, and accessibility can we, not only strive for, but achieve.
Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
From a young age, I was captivated by technology and what it could do, but what’s more, how I could use it to make my life easier. I turned technology from a mere interest into a creative career. Much of my content promotes how to harness technology, especially the power of a smartphone, to increase one’s quality of life.
Though many would label me as a social media influencer, I like to consider myself as someone who empowers others to empower themselves. I don’t create to make money. I don’t create to show off my knowledge or skills. I don’t create to be known or famous. And I don’t create for the applause.
I create because I am passionate about what I make and the people in the blindness community. I believe that every person, whatever their disability, has not only the right, but the ability to reach for success. That success may look different to each person, but they can live their best life, and more importantly, the life they choose. That goal is what drives me forward and what continues to fuel Live Accessible.
There are many other blind and visually impaired creators who are on YouTube, Instagram, TikTok, and other varying social media platforms. One thing that sets Live Accessible apart is that I fervently believe in complete honesty when it comes to reviews and opinions to products, yet I maintain respect for brands and organizations. I present information on multiple perspectives and bring guests to speak on topics that I may not be as well-versed in or have different opinions about.
But above all, the community and the individuals who make up that community is what is most important to me and makes Live Accessible unique. To the best of my ability, I respond to every comment and message. I have no hesitation to support others, even if some may see them as my competition. No one person can serve and help the millions of blind people around the world. It is only working together that we can make enough of a difference to stretch boundaries and banish limits. My belief and hope is that Live Accessible will help individuals help themselves, then turn around to help those around them.
Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
However tied to technology and the internet I am, I can’t resist the lure of nature. Somewhat near, Hanging Rock state park is one of those places I enjoy. Both the exertion of climbing up the mountain and the astounding and wonderous view along the way leads to the top. There, it’s an incredible view that though I have little vision to fully appreciate the visual beauty, I take in the sound, the feel, the scents of all things around me. It is a stark reminder of how beautiful our world is.
I would also take them through the trails at Horizon, the Reynolda house and surroundings and Old Salem. I think the history of Winston Salem, though a smaller city, is fascinating. Stories of the past help us understand where we are today and can help us pave a better future.
Yet, there is nothing like the friendly intimacy of home, drinking coffee and chatting over nothing. Recipes tried, modified, or created, experiments are always both messy and amusing. I come from the generation of “chilling” and after so much confinement because of the pandemic, it would be wonderous to be amongst friends in person.
The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
There are so many who have supported me throughout my life and creative journey. First thanks always goes to my family. My parents, who grounded me with a firm foundation of the world, my husband, who led me to aspire to more, and my sister who helps me keep my sanity.
I also appreciate every single person who is part of my audience. They are not just a number to me, but each is a special human being that has their own struggles and triumphs. Live Accessible isn’t just about me, but about us, together.
However, one of the most inspirational influences I have had is my aunt, Christina Mabalot. One of 5 siblings, 4 of them blind, my aunt grappled with life and not only overcame, but flourished. She lived in the Philippines, a third world country, which had little to no assistance for those with sight loss. Moreover, the culture is such that those with disabilities are looked down on at best.
She received her master’s despite all odds. When faced with discrimination in the job hunt, she turned it to her advantage. Christina started her own school for those of all abilities and performed early intervention, leading to Helen Keller International taking part. She also founded ATRIEVE, a one of a kind non-profit organization in Philippines that trains and empowers the blind with Assistive Technology and more. Christina produced and starred her own TV show in Philippines and was featured in newspapers and magazines.
All these are merely a few examples of Christina’s accomplishments. But the same theme runs through all of them. She turned what people would see as insurmountable obstacles to opportunities. That is what I endeavor to do as well and I am so thankful to have such an example.