Getting ‘Life Ready’ with our new Children and Young People Progr...
Introducing the Life Ready Program
Over the past two years, Vision Australia has been updating and re-working its children and young people offerings in our partnerships with families.
Our aim is to give them the skills they need to take advantage of choices they are faced with that could lead to a better future and the confidence they need to believe they can live the life they choose.
At the heart of our program sits the ambition to improve our services and desire to help tackle the high unemployment and low participation rate of those young people with blindness or low vision in the workplace.
Did you know that 58% of people who are blind or have low vision want to work, yet are still unemployed? Designing a program that starts building life skills early and consistently is critical to making a real, tangible change to aid children in reaching their goals.
And so it is with great pleasure we are introducing Vision Australia’s new Life Ready Program!
What is the Life Ready Program?
Vision Australia’s Life Ready Program gives children who are blind or have low vision a ‘toolkit to tackle life’ so they are better equipped with the confidence, skills and desires they need to form strong foundations for life, engage in true meaningful participation and approach opportunities for lifelong employment.
The program creates a safe, supportive environment to connect children and young people (aged 0-25), as well as their families with their peers so they can grow and learn together. Understanding that there is help and support out there with people who are living this journey too can in itself be a great support. All while a team of experts helps all involved to develop their skills across the nine critical life skills areas.
Introducing the Nine Life Skill areas
The Nine Life Skill areas that sit at the heart of this new program are based on decades of international research and experience. You may have heard of these described as the Expanded Core Curriculum (ECC). We think that’s a mouthful to say and believe and that at its heart, the ECC they are all simply life skills.
Compensatory Access: Understanding strategies and equipment that can be used to compensate for not having full vision.
Orientation and Mobility: A focus on the strategies and equipment to problem solve, navigate and move through the world, and problem solve in the moment to aid true independence. Explore Orientation and Mobility.
Assistive Technology: Understanding how to use technology to empower those who are blind or have low vision to read, write and achieve the same life outcomes as those with full sight.
Independent Living Skills: A focus upon the tasks people do frequently, even daily, to take care of themselves and others, and to meet the demands of everyday life. Explore Independing Living Skills.
Sensory Efficiency: Developing a personal, individual understanding of how you utilise all your senses to interact well in everyday life, no matter the situation.
Social Interaction: Understanding the skills needed to interact with others, to build and maintain relationships when you cannot rely on non-verbal visual communication. Explore Social Interaction.
Career Education: Building knowledge and skills needed to take on all life roles and duties in the future such as being a friend, an employee or a parent. Explore Career Education.
Self Determination: Instilling the skills, knowledge and necessary self-confidence to make good choices and inspire children who are blind or have low vision to believe they can live the life they choose. Explore Self Determination.
Recreation and Leisure Skills: Encouraging enabled active participation in healthy physical activity, hobbies and creative pursuits to relax and enjoy free time by themselves or with others.
We have developed our new program around these Nine Life Skill areas to ensure our program compliments the Australian School Curriculum, a purposeful cross-over that has many benefits, notable among them:
Ensuring our program builds upon the skills being learnt in the classroom,
To make it easier to engage and work closely with teachers, who are a key member of your broader support team,
Align with the methods used by broader support services used to assist children with complex needs, and
At its heart, we can all simply and easily work together to deliver the best benefits for your child.
We are committed to building strong foundations for life.
We remain committed to support families with both the big and simple steps in life, by finding ways to develop strong foundations for the future. Whatever stage your family is at, whatever is most important to you and your child, we are always here with specialised services to help.
Download our new Life Ready Program brochure or visit our website to learn more.