When Lois Strachan became blind at the age of 21 as a result of Type 1 (childhood onset) diabetes she realized she had a choice –to go home and give up and be angry, bitter, dependent and depressed for the rest of her life… or she could take back control of her destiny and actively choose to move forward as a blind person in a sighted world.
As an inspirational speaker and author Lois is passionate about two things:
- Helping people to see their own lives, and their challenges, in a different way
- De-mystifying the abilities of those who are blind and low vision to facilitate increased integration into society and the workplace
Lois is the author of “A Different Way of Seeing: A Blind Woman’s Journey of Living an ‘Ordinary’ Life in an Extraordinary Way, allowing readers to gain greater understanding of how Lois accomplishes simple, everyday tasks without sight, including personal stories to back up her explanations. She is also the author of the illustrated children’s series “the Adventures of Missy Mouse” which help children understand how blind people lead normal lives.
In 2015 Lois was awarded the prestigious Tributes Excellence award, which honour women with disabilities who have exceled in their fields, in the category of education and literature. In the same year she was appointed as a Goodwill Ambassador for Casual Day, South Africa’s largest fund-raiser for persons living with disabilities.
Since losing her sight Lois has achieved a Bachelor of Arts, majoring in English Literature and Classical Civilisations, and an Honours degree in Classical Civilisations from the University of KwaZulu Natal, a diploma in practitioner Coaching Skills, a Certificate in Human Resource Management from UNISA, and is a Distinguished Toastmaster.
She has worked as an office manager in a marine engineering company, has been a singer/songwriter in a rock band, and has served as District Director of Toastmasters International (Southern Africa), a non-profit volunteer organisation focusing on communication and leadership development. She is an avid reader, enjoys music, cooking, and spending time with family and friends. She lives in Cape Town, South Africa with her husband and a houseful of dogs, one of whom is her guide dog, Fiji.