Maribel Steel wears many creative hats; she is an author, freelance writer, international speaker, podcaster and positive vision educator. She has been on the journey towards blindness since her teen years and has learned many strategies in managing her eye condition, Retinitis Pigmentosa (RP).
She is the mother of four grown-up children, is always open for travel and adventure, and enjoys inspiring others to see how losing sight is not the end of the world, but a door to a new way of being. She has been a peer advisor contributing articles for VisionAware since 2014 and has presented two webinars for Hadley Institute for the Blind and Visually Impaired.
Blindness for Beginners
Maribel’s most recent publication, “Blindness for Beginners: a renewed vision of the possible” is a book which is part memoir, part guide. She demystifies what it means to be blind by sharing her insights and life-strategies for people who would like a practical view into life with low vision. An audio version is coming out soon in 2019.
“I was struck by Maribel’s ability to weave uplifting words together in such a fashion that I believed I could do anything. I see this book as a beacon of hope, inspiration and motivation.” – Stephanae McCoy, Founder-CEO, Bold, Blind, Beauty
Maribel has worked as a teaching artist leading children’s choirs as a music program facilitator. Her weekly sessions were devoted to helping students from non-English speaking families gain better literacy through the appreciation of fun songs. She continues to play her role as “Big Ears” when working with her partner at Spring Studio in Melbourne, a professional recording studio to ensure quality control of sound recordings for musicians and book narrators alike.
Maribel has delivered a variety of training presentations in her home city of Melbourne, Australia and in 2018, was invited to speak at the American Foundation for the Blind Leadership Conference in California to give an overview of the funding model for people with disabilities in Australia known as the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS).
As an award-winning Toastmaster, Maribel has developed an engaging speaking style and was invited by Vision Australia in 2019 to create and produce a series of podcasts called “Living with Possibility”.
“The journey into blindness has given me a clearer vision, a sense of purpose and an unexpected positive experience of a life-challenge with a visual disability.”
The Dynamic Duo
Maribel understands the challenges and rewards of working with both a long white cane and a guide dog, and has begun a new chapter in her life with Dindi, as the “dynamic duo” who took a flight to Sydney recently to appear on national TV. Many more ventures are in the pipeline…
Articles by Maribel on VisionAwareBlog posts on the Visually Impaired: Now What? Blog
Interviews: International Agencies Serving People Who Are Blind or Visually Impaired
Feature Article: Tilly Aston: Australia’s First Blind Teacher, Poet & Visionary
Audio Story: “Many Different Hats”