Parents and carers of children who are blind or have low vision have been encouraged to take part in a new playgroup offered by Vision Australia.
The playgroup is for children who are blind or have low vision, from birth up to school age, and is designed to be a social outlet and an opportunity to connect with specialist support services.
Cate McHugh, Vision Australia regional business manager, said general playgroups can unfortunately sometimes be off-limits to children with a disability such as blindness or low vision.
“Playgroups are an important opportunity for children to develop things like their social and communication skills, but blindness or low vision can be a challenge to children participating in them,” Ms McHugh said.
“Our playgroup is run by our paediatric team and it’s a safe and supportive place where the children can interact with each other and be exposed to new things,” she said.
Ms McHugh said the playgroup will also help parents and carers, who are sometimes unsure about what support services are available and how to access them.
“Being told your child is blind or has low vision can come as a shock and often we find that people don’t really know what to do next and that can be isolating,” she said.
“The playgroup lets parents and carers connect with others who are going through similar experiences, but it’s also a great chance to learn about our paediatric services and how we can support children working towards their development goals and prepare school and those other important milestones.
“Our team can also provide advice around equipment and technology for home and school, as well as help people navigate funding options like the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS).
The Vision Australia playgroup will be held on the last Monday of every month from 10am-11:30am beginning Monday, April 29 and will be held at Vision Australia Robina, Suite one, Level One, Easy T Centre, 510 - 514 Christine Avenue, Robina.
Registrations are essential. To register, contact Lorna Savage, Early Intervention Occupational Therapist, on firstname.lastname@example.org or 07 5503 6400.