Visually-impaired keynote speaker, workshop facilitator and author Lois Strachan has been awarded the highest accolade of Toastmasters International: Its International Presidential Citation.The Muizenberg resident was given this citation for “her tireless work and dedication to helping her fellow members in the Toastmasters organisation to develop their leadership and communication skills”. Strachan says: “I was overwhelmed and honoured to have received this prestigious award. Volunteer organisations don’t always receive the appropriate appreciation that they deserve.”Strachan lost her eyesight at the age of 21 after many operations as a result of diabetes. Strachan has committed to de-mystifying blindness and facilitating integration into communities and the workplace.“I never want to be treated differently and have found a platform in Toastmasters that allows me to be just me. The supportive environment that Toastmasters offers all its members allows us to try new things, experiment with different techniques before taking them into the ‘real world’. If it wasn’t for Toastmasters I don’t believe I would be doing any of the activities that I am currently involved in.”Toastmasters International is a non-profit educational organisation that aims to foster and facilitate communication, public speaking and leadership skills. Each club has members of different cultures all coming together to improve these skills.“Sometimes all people need is a small amount of recognition to feel as though the work that they are doing is being heard and appreciated,” says Strachan.