Visually impaired young people in Highland find their voice
18th March 2021
A group of visually impaired young people in Highland are reaching out to other young people with sight loss to come together and speak out about their lives and experiences.
Supported by Highland Children and Young People's Forum, and under the umbrella of their youth participation project Inspire Highland, this group will provide a vital opportunity for young people with a visual impairment to share experiences, learn from each other and campaign on key issues affecting their lives.
The idea of the group came from Sarah Campbell, 21 from Inverness, who has been a key member of Inspire Highland since it was established in December 2018. Sarah feels it is critical that visually impaired young people take the lead in raising awareness and campaigning on sight-loss issues.
"I want to be part of a group where young people with a visual impairment can share experiences and provide peer support; where we can have fun but at the same time speak out about the barriers and challenges we face in our lives."
Erica, 10 years old, the youngest member of the group added:
"I want to live my life and not throw it away just because I have lost my sight. I want to carry on being me. I want to get off this little island I am on now and not be stuck in the mud any more. This group will show me I am not alone and I can learn from other young people how to adapt and cope."
Highland Children and Young People's Forum are also undertaking a consultation to listen to children and young people with a visual impairment to find out about their experience of support in and out of school. The consultation aims to find examples of good practice, gaps in support and suggestions for improvements. Young people will be able to choose how to share their views by phone, online or using other media.
There will also be an online survey to gather the views and experiences of parents and professionals. The survey questions will be developed with young Inspire Highland members who have visual impairment.
Highland Children and Young People's Forum
Highland Children and Young People's Forum promotes the active participation of children and young people with additional support needs in the development of policy and the evaluation of service provision.