Alicia Were recently joined the Vision Australia team to support young children who are blind or have low vision living between the Sunshine Coast and Bundaberg.
She was drawn to the role as she believes it is critical to help children with vision impairment understand the world around them at an early age so they have the best chance of successfully transitioning to adulthood in the future.
“I really wanted to be part of the work Vision Australia does in enabling children and their families to learn and develop. To assist children with vision loss be children and to play, discover and interact with the world around them is why I do, what I do,” Ms Were said.
“Working with children is my passion. Helping them reach their goals is the most rewarding part of my job. It could be learning to dress independently, wash the dog, play a game with their friends or go to school, just like their friends. I love it when parents have an ‘aha’ moment when they understand what their child can do. Sometimes, it’s about helping parents see their children being children.”
Alicia graduated from The University of the Sunshine Coast as one of the first cohorts in her field in 2011. Since then, she has worked with teenagers and adults with significant physical and intellectual disabilities at the Department of Communities in Rockhampton and in the Department of Health’s inpatient rehabilitation facility on the Sunshine Coast. She has also worked in other rehabilitation roles with people who have suffered strokes and those returning to work following a workplace injury.
The biggest lessons Alicia has learnt from working with children are that they can teach adults to look at doing things in new ways and to never underestimate what they can do.
“Children are amazing and can do wonderful things when they are given the chance. It’s great to see their determination and sometimes have them prove people wrong.”
If you have a child who is blind or has low vision and would like to discuss your family’s support needs, please contact Alicia on 07 5409 2200.