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Simple ways to ask for help

Self-advocacy is about having the strength and belief in yourself to ask for support when you need it. To be able to voice your thoughts and opinions, and not let other people make decisions for you.

Reading a specials board at a cafe can be hard for someone who is blind or has low vision. The lighting is often low, and the noise can be distracting, making it difficult to order food when you can’t read what’s on offer.

Although it might seem obvious that the simple fix is to just ask the waiter for some help, doing so can be harder than it appears. You can also tell your friends or loved ones the types of venues you find challenging from the beginning, so it can be considered when planning outings.

Maybe you see yourself in this example, or one like it. Asking for help is a life skill that we can continue to work on throughout our lives, and it’s okay to do so if you find yourself in an uncomfortable situation.

When you are ready, some general tips on where to start can include:

  • Think about the goals you want to achieve.
  • Be prepared with what you want to say.
  • Decide who the best person or professional to speak to is.
  • Communicate the specific help you need once you decide what that is.
  • Present yourself assertively and ask your questions simply.
  • Remember to congratulate yourself and celebrate the wins, no matter how small a step you have taken.
  • Don't be concerned about how people see you .

"There are strategies available for you to get that little bit of help you need to get the right support for you...to begin to think about how to do things differently".
Megan, Vision Australia Wellbeing Senior Practitioner and Team Lead.

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Over years of conversations with our clients, we have found that 55% of blind or low vision adults do not attempt difficult tasks*.

When you find yourself questioning your approaches and decisions, take a minute and think it through. Then you can begin to understand how you see the world, so you can make these kinds of decisions with confidence. It's important that you:

  • Acknowledge all the feelings you are experiencing with your vision loss.
  • Know your feelings are valid.
  • Allow yourself the space to express your thoughts and emotions.
  • Remember it takes time and patience to practice speaking up so be kind to yourself.

When you are ready, Healthcare Professionals can refer you to Vision Australia, or you can contact us directly to learn about the supports and services we offer that can help you continue to do the things you love.

Being open about asking for help can demonstrate we all struggle sometimes, and we can all benefit from seeking support.

*Vision Australia Segmentation Qualitative and Quantitative Report, 2020.