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LEAP 2022 Graduate Max Talks LEAP and Life

19 January 2023

Sam from Talking Vision, Vision Australia Radio’s flagship program, chats with Max McDonnell, a recent graduate of the LEAP program.

Hear Max's story 

LEAPing into the workplace: Madison is hired

18 October 2022

Over the last few weeks, our brave LEAPsters have been attending mock interviews with the Vision Australia leadership team.

One participant, Madison Alingcastre, 16, said the mock interviews proved very helpful.

Read about Madison's experience 

Ruby's planning to leap into the future

23 August 2022

Vision Australia’s LEAP (Learn, Engage, Act, Perform) program has returned for another year, and young people aged 14 to 18 living with blindness or low vision are encouraged to participate.

Ruby, 15, was a participant in the 2021 program, and she encourages anyone who is interested to get involved.

Read how the LEAP program supported Ruby 

LEAPing into employment and leadership: LEAP 2021 Graduation Ceremony

6 December 2021

Storytelling, speaking with confidence and clarity, emotion management, organisation, and timekeeping are just some of the skills LEAP (Learn, Engage, Act, Perform) 2021 participants have worked hard to learn and practice this year.

Wowing their audience and showing how far their public speaking skills have progressed, participants completed their final LEAP activity, a three-minute presentation on a topic of their choice.

“Discovering my bravery and confidence”, “A crash course on car engines”, and “All about the raspberry pi's” are some of the fascinating presentations participants shared with us.

Elated with their achievements, participants took to the (virtual) stage to celebrate their graduation from the LEAP 2021 program.

LEAP program coordinator, Claire Nolan, shared her experience with this year’s LEAP program.

“It has been my privilege to watch as each participant’s confidence grew during the program. Armed with new skills in how to get a job, be a leader, and take on responsibility, our LEAP 2021 graduates are ready to achieve their big goals,” Claire said.

“I am thrilled so many graduates have already started to apply for part-time jobs, put their hand up for public speaking opportunities, or have enrolled in tertiary studies.”

Prepared with new skills in public speaking, job searching, resume writing, interviewing, networking, and emotional intelligence, as well as new friends from all across Australia, LEAP 2021 graduates are ready to tackle their personal and professional goals with confidence.

The mock interview: Setting up LEAP participants for success

11 November 2021

“There is so much that blind and visually impaired people can do … You just have to show the best of you, don’t be nervous, and just be confident in yourself!”

That’s how Ruby, 14, feels after participating in Vision Australia’s LEAP (Learn, Engage, Act, Perform) program  in 2021.

The LEAP program is a pioneering employability and leadership program for young people, aged 14-18, who are preparing to tackle their personal and professional goals. 

Over the course of a year, LEAP participants expand their networking and social skills, as well as experience their first steps into the working world in a controlled environment.

Ruby recently completed her mock job interview as part of the program. In this scenario, Ruby interviewed for a sales assistant position at a cosmetics store, Sephora. The interview was conducted by Vision Australia CEO, Ron Hooton.

“This was my first [job interview] ever”, Ruby said.

“You need to go into the experience thinking, ‘I can get this and this can happen’. I applied for the job in real life after the mock interview. I wrote a cover letter as well [during my time in LEAP] that was already tailored to a job at Sephora.”

Ruby joined LEAP because she wanted to learn how to become employable and better at self-advocating. She’s now much more confident about disclosing her vision condition to potential employers.

 “It’s better to tell them when you’re in the interview. It’s good to talk about it in a positive way and give them ways that you are going to do [tasks].

“I use Seeing AI to read boxes and I use apps that help me see what colour things are and to help me navigate around.”

The full interview can be seen in the video below:

Do you know a young person who wants to take the first step on their employment journey?

Vision Australia’s LEAP program might be just what you are looking for.

Participants will gain real experience in areas such as creating a resume, preparing a job application and completing a mock interview for a job of their choosing.

“The skills you learn in LEAP will help you for the rest of your life!” says Ruby.

Talking Vision: Landing a part time job as a teenager

23 September 2021

When Caitiln’s peers started landing part time jobs outside of school, it was a milestone she wanted to reach too.

Unfortunately, her search wasn’t as easy.

“For me being visually impaired and being in a semi-rural place, it was extra hard for me to find jobs,” she told Vision Australia Radio’s Talking Vision.

The 16-year-old is one Vision Australia’s 2020 LEAP (Learn, Engage, Act, Perform) program graduates, and is now embarking on being a mentor to other teenagers who are blind or have low vision build their confidence.

LEAP is a nine-month program that offers employability and leadership training for young people, aged between 14 and 18 who are blind or have low vision.

“I learnt how to get a job, and learnt things like confidence building, self-branding, difficult conversations, all things to help me in the future.”

Cailtin’s favourite aspect of the program was the ever daunting but highly rewarding ‘mock interview’.

“I’d never been in an interview before, and so I got to hear what questions they would ask and so when I do go for a real interview I’m not so terrified.”

Thankfully, the hard work paid off and Caitlin landed her first job at her local McDonalds.

“I handed in the resume I had made in LEAP and it felt awesome.”

Caitlin is now passing on her wisdom to the 2021 and 2022 LEAP participants.

To hear more about Caitlin’s experiences, listen to the interview in the player below (interview begins at 7:55)

Talking Vision is a weekly discussion of issues relating to blindness and low vision, including stories of inspiration and achievement and information on services for the community. Tell us your story by emailing [email protected].

The day the LEAP participants were interviewed by a CEO

15 October 2020

As a young person, the world of applying for a job is like stepping into another universe. It is filled with job searching, cover letters, interviews, CVs and resumes.

This process is tricky to navigate but is a vital step in a young person’s journey towards independence and adulthood.

At Vision Australia, we want our young people prepared with the skills they need to embark on this journey confidently and with pride.

Read the full story: how this year's LEAP participants were given a unique step-up

Meet Chloe: a past LEAP program participant

Hear from Chloe, year 9, and her experience from Vision Australia's LEAP program.



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