After recently joining Vision Australia, paediatric occupational therapist Samantha can’t wait to start supporting children and young people who are blind or have low vision and their families.
A recent graduate, Samantha decided on a career in occupational therapy after seeing first-hand the benefit it can have for people.
“I decided to become an occupational therapist because my little sister needed an occupational therapist when she was younger,” Samantha said.
“I was really fascinated by how the occupational therapist was working with her and helped her develop her hand eye coordination and other skills,” she said.
Caption: Vision Australia's paediatric staff support children and young people who are blind or have low vision to learn vital skills and meet development goals.
As a paediatric occupational therapist, much of Samantha’s role involves hands-on work with children and young people, however she also supports the parents and guardians of her clients.
“A challenge for many of the parents and guardians I work with is that they don’t understand what living with blindness or low vision will mean for their child.
“A big part of my role is to first help children and their families to understand the impacts of their blindness or low vision. After that we then work together to develop particular skills and strategies to support them with their independence.
“Some of the sorts of things I’ll be helping clients with are learning to touch type and use predictive text, which are important skills when it comes to education and communication. I also use the 3B rule (bigger, bolder, brighter) a lot with clients.”
A key focus of Samantha’s work is to support her clients develop the skills they need to live independent lives and she gets satisfaction from seeing that development first-hand.
“I really like being able to help children and young people learn to advocate for themselves. It’s a really important skill to learn and huge part of being independent.”
Vision Australia provides a wide range of specialist paediatric blindness and low vision services. Find out how Samantha and the rest of the Vision Australia team can support you or child by contacting us on 1300 84 74 66 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.