Supporting Parents and Carers of children with a Visual Impairment
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Unlocking the Fashion Industry for Visually Impaired Young People

September 6th, 2018 / View in own page?

Young people with John Lewis personal shopper who is holding a jacket.

LOOK UK recently held a fashion event at John Lewis Birmingham. Visually impaired young people were invited to come together to talk about fashion and to get fashion tips from blind beauty YouTuber Lucy Edwards and John Lewis Stylists.

“Fashion is very visual, but it doesn’t mean we can’t do it.”

The day began with a talk from blind YouTuber Lucy Edwards, who lost her sight five years ago. Lucy spoke candidly about her long personal journey to coming to terms with her sight loss. “It’s been a massive journey for me. When I started my YouTube channel I was very low. There wasn’t a lot online that proved to me that I could do it.” But as Lucy’s channel began to grow, she found a supportive community that she could talk about fashion with and learn from.

Lucy Edwards in conversation with Sam and Kevin of LOOK, being interviewed for podcast.

“Fashion is very visual, but it doesn’t mean we can’t do it. We can be able, we can be strong, we can be independent women and men.”

Lucy then took questions from the audience. In response to a question about who to believe when people comment on what you are wearing, Lucy advised only trusting the opinion of two or three close family and friends, as getting too many opinions can be confusing.  Lucy was also asked about the best ways to apply make-up. She advised learning how to apply foundation first, and using a sponge run under water, rather than a brush.

Event attendees being addressed by John Lewis staff and stylists

A session with the stylists

John Lewis stylists then talked to the group about the clothes sold at John Lewis; jeans from Oasis and French connection to name a few. They also spoke about fashion trends such as the ‘slogan t’ or T Shirts with slogans on and demonstrated a variety of skin care products.

12-year-old Malika said: “This has been really helpful for me, learning about all the trends, learning about the make-up techniques. I’m 12 years old and this is the time when I really want to be involved in all this. This day has given me tips and tricks and boosted my confidence.”

LOOK staff addressing event attendees

Competition time

Things then got a little bit interactive. John Lewis ran a quiz offering a snazzy pair of premium Ray-ban sung glasses as a prize for anyone who could guess how many sun glasses brands were in the store. The first guess of 99 brands was way off the mark, but it was only two guesses later, when Fiona correctly guessed 17!

Personal shopper

For the final session everyone was divided into two groups. One group stayed with the John Lewis personal stylists and Lucy Edwards, to get more personalised advice while the other group went downstairs to check out the John Lewis personal shopper service. This is where you can book an appointment and a John Lewis partner will take you into a room and help you choose clothes that you might like to buy. The benefit being that you can get one to one advice from your personal shopper. Many of the young people who attended were interested in this service, as a lot of the fashion trends are shared on visual magazines, and products aren’t labelled in an accessible format, leaving many visually impaired people feeling isolated from the fashion industry.  So, what can the industry do to become more accessible? Lucy Edwards thinks labelling more products in braille would be a great start and having an online advice service tailored for visually impaired people could bridge the gap for those who may not know routes to the high street.

Event attendees and LOOK staff with John Lewis personal shopper, examining a piece of clothing

In the meantime, Lucy hopes to work with LOOK to develop the fashion event further to help more visually impaired young people get more out of fashion.

“We can work together to really make it something that visually impaired people come to, maybe on the regular to learn tips and tricks. Having this community and making it stronger, is only going to make everyone happier.”

 

Lucy Edwards speaking to event attendees, standing before a clothing rack and the LOOK banner

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Look Roving Reporters Media Training

August 8th, 2018 / View in own page?

Look UK Media Training for Roving Reporters, Focus Birmingham

6 October 2018

Free event

Calling all visually impaired 11 – 25-year olds.
Interested in radio reporting? Come to our media training day and become a roving reporter for Look UK. Learn how to tell the stories that matter to you.

You will:

• receive training from top BBC radio broadcaster

• Learn how to spot a good story

• Learn communication and interview techniques

• Learn basic sound skills

• Have your work broadcast in the Look podcast

“I really wanted to get into radio broadcasting so working as a Look roving reporter gave me the opportunity to put those ambitions into practice. I learned how to plann the interviews, the questions I hoped to ask, but also to be ready if people said something I wasn’t quite expecting. I also learned aspects of post-production including editing skills. It was a great experience.” Ed, roving reporter.

To apply, send us a recording no longer than 90 seconds long introducing yourself and explaining why you would like to become a Look Roving Reporter.

Send your submissions to info@look-uk.org before Monday 17th September 2018.
To speak to one of the Look team or if you have any questions, please call the office on 01432 376314.

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The Importance of Mentoring: Attending a LOOK Mentor Training Weekend

July 24th, 2018 / View in own page?

 

On 13 July, a group of trainee and current LOOK mentors gathered for our mentor training weekend.  Our online mentor scheme matches visually impaired mentors with blind and partially sighted mentees aged 11-29. Mentors use their experiences of living with a visual impairment to give support and advice through a structured programme of conversations.

Sam is our Project Assistant, who also trained to become a LOOK mentor. He writes about what the training involves and why he wanted to become a mentor.

If I could sum up the whole weekend in terms of questions answered, those questions would be:

“What is mentoring”? “Why is it important”? and “Why is it needed”?

After the orientation and the icebreakers, which in hindsight we might not have needed, as the ice had already melted the moment we started interacting with each other; we began our training journey.

Through a succession of workshops designed to give a greater understanding of the responsibilities of a mentor. We covered communication skills and safe guarding, where we looked at some case studies. We also talked about mentoring in regards to scheduling a conversation and creating a boundary agreement with the mentee.

The sessions felt more like seminars/discussions, both relaxed and intense, informal yet informative, locating the problems as well as directing the attention to solving them.

The group discussions served as a reminder of the reasons why I wanted to be a mentor and help another VI young person struggling to find someone to relate to.

One of my highlights of the weekend was definitely during the safeguarding session with the case studies. I found that session quite challenging as we were asked to respond as a mentor to the different scenarios. Some of the tips sounded quite simple for example asking open questions etc.

Another of the highlights was the speed mentoring activity, which I found also challenging, as it required us to be able to respond in real time to our partner/mentee, as well as taking on the role of the mentee.

As I was leaving the venue what stayed with me was the importance of mentoring and it’s role in bridging and in some cases removing those barriers that VI people encounter in their daily lives.

If you want to find out more about our mentoring scheme, email Megan on mentor@look-uk.org or call 01432 376314.

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LOOK Fashion Event

July 24th, 2018 / View in own page?

Come to the LOOK Fashion Event!

 

28August 2018

John Lewis Birmingham

12-4pm

Free event

Are you visually impaired and 11-29? Interested in getting fashion tips from fashion experts and VI vloggers? Always wanted to sport the latest look, or wear a new outfit, but don’t know where to start? Then our fashion day is definitely for you.

What’s happening on the day

We’re hosting our fashion day in John Lewis Birmingham on 28 August. Blind beauty YouTuber Lucy Edwards, featured by Buzzfeed in 2015, will join stylists and fashion experts to give fashion tips and advice.

You’ll become a dab hand at doing your own make-up, you’ll get tips to identify and match clothes and you’ll also learn the best ways to pick the look that’s right for you.  Gentlemen, think this event isn’t for you? Wrong. Cristiano Ronaldo is a pretty stylish player, wouldn’t you say?

Places are limited so make sure you book your place fast.

To sign up please email events@look-uk.org or call 01432376314.

Fashion matters. Being blind doesn’t mean you have to miss out.

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Fancy doing some sailing in June 2019?

July 24th, 2018 / View in own page?

 

Lord Nelson undersail

Look has teamed up with VICTA and the Jubilee Trust for a voyage on the Tall Ship, STS Lord Nelson.

When is it happening?

17-23rd June 2019

Round trip: Oban (Scotland) to Oban.

Taking in the wild excitement of the Scottish isles.

Who can take part?

We’re looking for 5 x visually impaired and 5 x sighted participants to take part in this exciting adventure. You need to be 18-29. No previous sailing experience is necessary, but you must be willing to learn and take an active role in being part of the crew of the ship.

What’s the cost?

This is a heavily subsidised opportunity! Each participant will need to pay £900.00 for their place with Look. This works out at a rate of £128.50 per day of the voyage, to include your berth on the ship, meals and the experience of a lifetime. We are more than happy to give you support with fundraising ideas to make this possible.

To apply, or if you have any further questions, please contact mentor@look-uk.org or call the office on 01432 376314.

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Access Tech Parent Conference Call

July 9th, 2018 / View in own page?

a display of three different models of Iphone

Parents do you want to learn more about accessible tech for your visually impaired child?

We’re holding a parents Access Tech Conference call on Thursday 12 July, at 7PM. Learn about screen readers on computers and smartphones and find out about handy apps from some of our VI mentors, who are happy to answer any questions you may have.

Spaces are limited, so make sure to book fast. To register your interest in joining the call, please email: youth@look-uk.org

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