Paddle board beach party for vision-impaired youth
Vision-impaired young people and their families held a stand-up paddle board beach party at Ettalong Beach on January 23.
The event was arranged by Guide Dogs NSW-ACT with support from local businesses and was open to young people and their siblings aged between five and 21.
The day started with basics lessons before moving into a paddle board yoga session, followed by a ball game and a water safety presentation from Surf Life Saving NSW.
The event was part of Guide Dogs NSW-ACT's youth program which was developed to give young people with vision impairment the chance to socialise and learn new skills.
Public relations officer Ms Casey Walton said the aim of the youth program was to develop confidence and the independent mobility skills of all participants in a fun and interactive way through challenging physical activities while developing self-efficacy, teamwork and communication skills.
"Along with being a great learning experience, activities like 'What's SUP' also allow young participants to meet other people who are blind or have low vision.
"The activities give young people the opportunity to socialise and share experiences with each other about having vision impairment and what works best for them," Ms Walton said.
Ms Walton said while training guide dogs was an important part of Guide Dogs NSW-ACT's work, the organisation's most common program was showing people who were blind or had low vision how to safely move through different environments.
"Guide Dogs NSW/ACT provides a wide range of services to assist children and young adults who are blind or have low vision to participate freely in everyday activities at school, at home and in the local community.
"Last year, the organisation assisted close to 500 children and continues to rely heavily on the support of the community to fund its services," Ms Walton said.
Media release, 23 Jan 2020
Casey Walton, Guide Dogs NSW-ACT