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Vision impaired youth leading the way

Three young residents of the City of Salisbury have taken initiative to raise awareness for vision impairment by working together with Council and See Differently to bring some important messaging to the community.

Sarah, Tatt and Jordy have been putting their minds together, with the insight of See Differently professionals, and the support of City of Salisbury’s media team, to come up with a series of videos for a new campaign that aims to teach sighted members of the community some helpful ways to be mindful around vision impaired and blind people.

Sarah said, ‘It has been a privilege working with the media team at the City of Salisbury to spread awareness to the community. As a person with a vision impairment, I want to navigate the community as inclusively and independently as possible. I hope this project reaches the community with its intended impact regarding insight into the preferred ways of safely interacting with individuals who are vision impaired.’

Sarah, Tatt and Jordy say that there are many ways to be mindful that don’t cause extra stress, some of these include:

  • Turning off your vehicle when you’re in your driveway. Blind and vision impaired people walking past your house may not be able to tell the difference between someone who has just arrived home and someone just leaving.
  • While running or cycling past a vision impaired or blind person, it’s helpful to call out to them to tell them where you are. Saying something like ‘I’m coming up on your right’ will help them know to keep left.
  • When you see someone with a guide dog, please do not touch the dog or try to engage with it. The guide dog has an important job to do, and they’re on duty!
  • Don’t assume a vision impaired or blind person needs you to physically guide them anywhere. Ask politely if they need a guide. They may like to take your arm, or follow behind as you speak.

The videos being created for this campaign feature such examples as real-life scenarios, and are available on City of Salisbury’s social media and website. Sarah, Tatt, and Jordy encourage the community to take a look, and try to apply some of these practices to your everyday life.

The main message they would like you to take away from this is:

If in doubt, it’s always okay to ask.