LOOK Parent Support Group is a peer-led, fortnightly online session for parent carers of children with vision impairment. Click here for upcoming dates and themes.
LOOK: Family Resources is our free online bank of resources for parent carers, available to view, download and print.
Our free, online bank of resources for parent carers, QTVIs and others who support visually impaired children and young people to thrive, is now live! Click here to download. or print it, or scroll down to view it on this page.
Our Parent Support Group meets via Zoom on Monday evenings, every other week, and we are planning lots of great sessions this year.
To register for these free, online events (and to see all the dates for the rest of 2023) go to: www.look-uk.org/PSGdates
As well as our themed panel sessions, we have Parent Support Group chat sessions where parent carers can meet to talk about your experiences of supporting your visually impaired children and helping them navigate the very visual world we live in. Share your feelings, frustrations, ideas and coping strategies. You don’t have to feel stuck or on your own, our growing community of parent carers want to listen, support, offer advice and reassurance.
- Let us know what questions you may have and what topics you’d like to discuss.
- Tell us what information or advice you need – we will get it for you!
- Or just come and have a listen and a friendly chat with people who are in the same boat as you.
Be a part of LOOK’s supportive community.
Please email any topics and questions that you’d like covered to Jane and Jo at email@example.com.
To all professionals or organisations who would like to take part in these chats and offer support to our community of parents, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org
We hope to see you!
Parent Support Group sessions coming up
Since August 2023 the evening we meet is every other Monday.
We have listed all the dates for 2023 with the focus for each session for 2023 here. Please save the dates and the booking forms will be added to this page closer to the dates.
Bank of resources for families living with VI
We are delighted to be able to share our bank of resources for parent carers, QTVIs and others who support visually impaired children and young people to thrive.
Click here to view the bank of resources, all in an accessible, easy-to-download, easy-to-print format.
Our fortnightly Parent Support Group alternate between chat sessions, where our parent community can share and listen, and panel sessions and workshops. The information and learning sessions are recorded and shared on You Tube / our website so you can catch up late and pass on to others. Notes and top tips from chat sessions are shared in text-only format.
Testimonies from the Parent Support Group
“It’s knowing how to get round the brick walls some Local Authorities build up. Together we’re finding routes to get round the barriers.”
“We are all warriors.”
“I have been so worried about my son [17 years old with sudden sight loss due to a genetic condition], but he is showing me that he is going to be fine and I am letting him go. Listening to all your stories helps me know he will be alright.”
“The support from this group has been the strength I needed to get through this last year of fighting. All your wisdom and knowledge help.”
How to join our Parent Support Group
All participants are required to register for each individual session they would like to attend. New members should choose a ‘new member’ ticket. Returning members should choose a ‘returning member’ ticket for a faster registration.
Registration for these events closes 2 hours before the start time, at 17:30 GMT on the day of the event.
This event will be recorded to comply with the LOOK safeguarding policy. This recording will not be shared without your consent.
All LOOK online events are hosted on the Zoom platform. Zoom meeting details are provided by email to those who have registered to attend. You can read our guide on using Zoom to join LOOK online events here.
Resources for families
Welcome to our bank of free resources for parent carers, QTVIs and others who support visually impaired children to thrive
Many of the resources feature recordings and notes from our peer-led Parent Support Group. Contributors include expert parents, LOOK Mentors (trained VI young people) and professionals. Thank you to the panel members, partners and friends of LOOK who have given their time and energy to deliver these resources.
The Parent Support Group is led by Jane Ring, Parent Support Officer at LOOK who has a daughter who was born with a severe visual impairment. The themes are chosen by a Steering Group of parent carers of children living with VI.
Resources marked with * are forthcoming Parent Support Group sessions. Click on the link to see the date and book your place. After the event, the recording and notes will be added to the link.
You can watch the full list of videos on this playlist. Each video has detailed show notes and links to additional notes and resources. To access specific resources use the list below. The link contains a link to the video and all the notes and additional resources related to the session.
Photo description: Children on the disco dance floor at LOOKFest, dressed in costumes and with their canes on the floor
LOOK: Family Resources
Click here to view, download or print the free bank of resources for parent carers, QTVIs and others who support visually impaired young people to thrive.
Early years, education and beyond
- Early Years
- Education rights
- Back to school
- Transition to secondary school
- Exam provision
- Ways into work
Wellbeing and relationships
- Forming friendships
- Relationships and sex
- Mental health and anxiety
- Mental health and isolation
- Positive participation in sport
- Access to music*
- Making the most of the holidays
- Getting tech ready for the future
- Understanding and supporting CVI*
- Buddy dogs
- Self-advocacy for your VI child
- Preparing your child to leave home
here to view, download or print this free bank of resources.
Thank you to our friends and partners who support us in delivering the Parent Support Group sessions and these resources.
Thanks to our LOOK Mentors and Parent Support Group members who share their lived experiences and life hacks. Thank you also to the team at VICTA who have co-hosted sessions with us including on Early Years, Mental Health and Anxiety, and Mental Health and Isolation. We could not deliver these resources without you.
The LOOK Parent Support Group is peer-led, organised by Jane and Jo, both of whom are parents to visually impaired teenagers.
Photo description: Jane Ring (centre) with the PSG Steering Group at LOOKFest. Jane is wearing her LOOK t-shirt and they have arms around each other and are cheering.
The PSG Steering Group, made up of parent carers of VI young people, suggest ideas for themes and contributors to the sessions. They feed back on the format and how each session goes and we respond to this. Based on feedback from the Steering Group we are changing the evening we meet from Tuesdays to Mondays, effective from August 2023. We are so thankful to these parents for their support and input.
Find out more about the Parent Support Group at www.look-uk.org/parentsupportgroup
Our panel sessions have been delivered with support from professional organisations. Thanks to:
- Blind in Business
- British Blind Sport
- Great Ormond Street Hospital (GOSH)
- Guide Dogs for the Blind
- Manchester Sensory Support Service
- New College Worcester (NCW)
- Norfolk Virtual School
- York Sensory Services
We value the input of parents with expertise and lived experience with their visually impaired children.
Thank you to: Dawn Amber, Anthea Aggus, Elin Johnson, Heinke Kunst, Kathy Lamb, Charlotte Mellor, Sarah Murray, Karen Newell, Melanie Payne, Nicky Ralls, Anna Walker, Vicky Whittle, and Gwenann Young.
Photo description: Julie from the Parent Support Group Steering Group enjoying woodland crafts with her daughter Jessica at LOOKFest 2023
Would you like to join the Parent Support Group? Or do you have questions or comments about these resources?
Contact Jane and Jo at LOOK:
LOOK is a small but mighty charity that supports visually impaired young people to thrive.
We are based in Hereford but we work nationally. Our CEO, Charlotte Carson, began losing her sight at the age of seven. The majority of our staff are visually impaired themselves or are parent carers to VI children.
Please follow us on social media and like and share our posts. It all helps other families living with visual impairment to find us.
Meet Jane, Parent Support Officer at LOOK
Jane is the Parent Support Officer at LOOK. Jane’s daughter, Chloe, was born profoundly deaf and severely sight impaired. Jane says, “If I stop and remember that time I still can feel echoes of the shock and sadness. I knew I could not go back to work as my job now was to help Chloe learn everything she needed to with such limited sight and no hearing.” Jane had worked in theatre in communities, prisons, and education settings, before moving into working in disability arts development. Throughout her working life, Jane’s drive has been to give marginalised people a voice.
Chloe is now 14 years old and is now a residential student at New College Worcester. Chloe has a Buddy Dog called Sapphire. “Chloe is a wonderful girl with a unique attitude and sense of humour that comes from how she experiences life.”
Jane’s husband, Neil, has hearing loss and a degenerative eye condition. Jane is a determined, open, compassionate person with a strong understanding of the social model of disability. She runs the fortnightly LOOK Parent Support Group, a free online space for parents and carers of VI children and young people.
“Our voices and those of our amazing children and young people should grow louder and make the change that is desperately needed for true inclusion in our world. If our support makes a difference then I know I have done a good job.”
Guidelines for our Parent Support Group
As we often get new parent carers to the group and want everyone to feel safe and included, our team have come up with a few guidelines to ensure the best experience possible.
The LOOK Parent Support Group meets fortnightly on Mondays. Chat sessions are 7.30pm-9pm, and Panel Sessions are 7.30-9.30pm so we can fit more in. The sessions start at 7.30pm.
1. While we understand that family life can get in the way we will be ‘closing the door’ at 8pm. This is to ensure each person gets the most out of the group and that everyone gets time together with as little disruption as possible.
2. We encourage a place where you can share whatever is happening but please be mindful of the feelings of parent carers who are new to the group and just starting out on this rocky journey.
3. Each family’s experience is different and there will always be space for different perspectives and solutions.
4. Bring all your difficult feelings to the group and know you will be heard. LOOK will ensure at the same time that we remember the positives that our children bring as well as ways around the barriers.
5. Everyone who attends will get the chance to speak if they want to within the limits of the time slot of the session. There will be an equitable system worked out among LOOK staff and participants.
6. Please register each time you would like to attend before 5.30pm on the day. This helps us prepare for the session, consider everyone’s needs and makes administration far easier for the LOOK team. We will make allowances when necessary as we do not want anyone to miss out.
7. Important request: the group is confidential. We ask that the conversations we have within the group are not shared.
8. Important request: we ask that schools and services that are identifiable are not named in conversation. For specific individual advice and experience, members can contact each other privately if need be.
9. The Parent Carer Support Group Chats are not open to professionals or anyone beyond immediate family members who support blind and partially sighted children and young people.
10. Panel Events are open to anyone working with families of Vision Impaired Children. Please note we have a limit on numbers for our zoom meetings so parent carers will always have priority.