10 October 2017
The journey to adulthood presents many challenges – how to cook for yourself, tackling the cleaning, finding your own way about and paying bills.
Combine that with a visual impairment, and there are other challenges to embrace, at a time when peer support networks may be changing as you leave school and go onto a job or tertiary study while wanting to lead an independent life.
Guide Dogs SA is assisting young people with a vision impairment to bridge this life challenge with its school holiday camp at the Warradale Urban Camp School and a multitude of venues around Adelaide.
Guide Dogs SA/NT Vision Services Principal Clinician, Janelle Edmonds said the camp assisted young people with a vision impairment to build life skills in a fun, supportive and friendly environment.
The group of nine young people aged between 15 and 18 will be given guidance and skills to prepare for a life of independence, such as preparing their own meals, grooming and haircare, shopping, handling money, navigating the city and using public transport. There’s also fun activities such as a Goalball match and climbing the Mega Adventure structure at West Beach.
An important trip will be to Bunnings where camp participants will touch and smell herbs to buy for a home herb garden and then learn how to prepare nutritious meals using fresh herbs. Getting up close and personal with a Guide Dog, which they may wish to access in the future was a big hit.
“Just like any other young person, someone with vision loss wants to fit in, be independent and confident in living a life they want,” Janelle said.
“When students move from school to adult life – whether that’s work, study or other situations – we find that many of their peer support and other networks may be left behind.
“While that’s a natural part of life, it’s difficult enough moving from childhood to adulthood. Just like others, young people with vision impairment also want to fit in, make sure they look confident and know what to do.
“Also some parents and friends have little experience of what it’s like to have low vision and therefore can’t share their experiences or knowledge.
“Through this camp we aim to help build confidence and break down some of the potential isolation of living with a vision impairment. We also aim to give the young people the confidence to ask for help and assistance when they need it.”