Supporting Parents and Carers of children with a Visual Impairment
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Posts Tagged ‘VisuallyImpaired’

World Book Day: Finding out more about audiobooks

March 1st, 2018 / View in own page?

Today is #WorldBookDay, a day all about celebrating books and reading.
For many visually impaired people, one form of accessing books, is via audiobooks, also known as talking books. These are books that are read out by a narrator and are usually recorded.
Sam Obigbesan, our project Assistant, blogs about the history of audiobooks and how the internet has changed the way we listen to audiobooks today.

Talking books, as their alternately known, have been in existence for over 70 years. To begin with, those recordings of books, poems and plays were mainly aimed at the visually impaired and print disabled population.
They gained more popularity since the 1970’s when cassettes were introduced. This meant that books did not have to be abridged when recorded. This meant that more people could have access to them.
Though there were recording companies that soled recorded books on tapes for commercial use, such as Brilliance audio, Chiver’s and Clipper audiobooks; those organisations were mainly for profit. Charities such as Librivox in the US and Calibre audio library in the UK, provided people that were not able to read print for one reason or the other with audiobooks that could either be sent via post or through online streaming.
Public libraries had at their disposal a number of titles that had enjoyed some commercial success. Providing readers an alternative to purchasing the CD’s which could cost quite a bit, as both the recording process and the distribution was costly.
That changed with the introduction of online downloads. The costs of distributions dropped by at least 40% and the sales of hardware for instance CD’s and cassettes dropped at least by half. Online sales, with Audable; an Amazon Company, increased, occupying 50% of the sales in the entire audiobook industry.
Those are the cold facts, but what about the human related element?

Why do people listen to audiobooks?

For visually impaired people, audiobooks provide a way to access print titles. Additionally, people also listen to audiobooks while driving, or while doing house work and some listen when they want to go to sleep.

Get more involved with #WorldBookDay

RNIB and Guide Dogs are providing the £1 World Book Day books in braille, audio and large print. To find out more, visit the World Book Day website.

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Getting Great at the Everyday: Confidence & Wellbeing weekend

February 9th, 2018 / View in own page?

Two LOOK mentors walking along a country scene. One of them is using a long cane. November 2-4, New College Worcester.

Calling young visually impaired people and their parents/guardians.

Sign up to join LOOK staff and mentors for a fun weekend of activities designed to boost confidence, resilience and wellbeing.

Alongside practical, fun workshops, there’ll be the chance  to share experience with  VI young people and their parents  with a resilience coach who is also a Mum of a visually impaired teen. We have a team of  superb blind and partially sighted mentors, mobility and Independent life skills experts on hand to inform, entertain and support you.
Like all LOOK weekends, it’s an opportunity to relax and meet new friends, while sharing our experiences of life with sight loss.
Workshops include:

  • Confidence in the Kitchen – improve your cooking skills
  • Outdoor games to  boost  mobility
  • Forest school fun
  • Self esteem boosting workshops
  • Q&A with LOOK mentors
  • Daily tech  solutions – come and learn about the apps that have changed so many lives

Who can come?

Young blind and partially sighted people aged 11+ can come with a parent/guardian.

How much does it cost?

£60 per parent and young person.

How can I book my place?

For more information and to book email info@look-uk.org or call   01432 376314.

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Employable Me: How Marve got the confidence to find a job

December 5th, 2017 / View in own page?

Marve and guide dog Macy

Marve and guide dog Macy

Meet 29-year-old Marve King. He is visually impaired and was featured on the second series of the BBC 2’ programme ‘Employable Me.’ The show raises awareness of the challenges disabled people can face when looking for work.
We caught up with Marve to find out why he went on the show and to discover what he’s learned from taking part.

Why did you apply for Employable Me?

After I lost My job because of the recession around seven years ago, I’ve found it really difficult to find work. I tried volunteering and look for other sources of assistance, but I wasn’t getting very far. I felt that ‘Employable Me’ were offering something new and interesting that could really help me, so I applied and was lucky to get on the show.

When looking for work, what are some of the challenges you’ve faced?

Many of the application forms I’ve filled in have been inaccessible with my screen reader and magnifying software. I also felt that even though employers are not outwardly allowed to discriminate against you as a visually impaired person, they can find other ways around not giving you the chance. For example, I’ve simply been told that my application wasn’t good enough, or I didn’t give enough information when answering a question. These may have been valid reasons sometimes, but when the same answers kept coming back and I knew I was qualified for the jobs, I couldn’t help assuming that there must be other reasons why I was not being accepted.

How did Employable Me help you?

Being on ‘Employable Me’ helped me build confidence in myself and the employment skills I have. I also got confident doing tasks like cold calling and in meeting employers. This showed me in a way, how to blow my own trumpet, and say to employers ‘I can work for you and I’m a valuable employee’. The experience gave me the skills to go self-employed and I am now working for myself in online sales. Even though I’m not going out and doing a nine to five job, this is work I can do in my own time and I am still making a contribution to society. I’m working with people and hopefully I can be a great example for my son when he grows up.

What advice would you give to blind and partially sighted young people looking for work?

Figure out where your passions lie, look at your skillset and believe that you are employable. It is hard, but don’t let any setbacks knock your confidence.

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