Vision Australia’s Quality Living Group help Susie regain her confidence

08 August 2012
Susie and her dog guide Haly

Susie Barrington and her dog guide Haly.

Susie Barrington, from Caringbah, is totally blind due to a benign meningioma that is wrapped around her optic nerve.

Recently, while on her way to work, Susie and her dog guide Haly were hit by a taxi pulling out into the road.

"I was thrown into the air and ended up lying on the road. It was really frightening. At first I didn't know where Haly was and that made me panic. It was a relief when I realised that she was alright," says Susie.

Susie made contact with Vision Australia and, through the support of a Quality Living Group she regained her confidence and effervescent personality.

"At first I thought it wasn't really for me but, once I started with the group I found that I got a lot out of it. In addition to rebuilding my confidence I was able to offer other members of the group advice and support."

Vision Australia's Quality Living Groups provide a forum in which people who are blind or have low vision are able to share experiences, strategies and information in a friendly and confidential environment.

The groups are run via teleconference and led by trained facilitators who encourage the participants to discuss a range of issues such as living independently, adaptive technology and relationships. They generally run over an eight week period.

"Vision Australia's Quality Living Group has had a dramatic impact on my life. It is important that people are aware that this service is available for them to access. I hope that by sharing my story it will encourage others to get involved, because it really does make a difference," said Susie.

To find out more about Quality Living Groups call Vision Australia on 1300 84 74 66.