Over the next two months, Mary Parsons will be helping local people with learning disabilities and visual impairment live more independently and gain access to vital services in the community. This is through a new project with the Swindon Advocacy Movement (SAM).
Mary has set up SAM Vision with the aim of raising the quality of life for Swindon residents with both learning disabilities and visual impairment. She runs her own visual impairment consultancy in Swindon and previously worked with RNIB and Guide Dogs,
She has been able to work with SAM after winning a place on this year’s Vodafone World of Difference programme. Delivered by the Vodafone Foundation, World of Difference lets 500 people from across the UK work for a charity of their choice for two months and get paid for it. This year more than 11,000 people registered their interest in getting involved.
Mary is now calling on Swindon residents with learning disabilities and visual impairment to get in contact with her. She is also keen to work with local organisations to raise awareness.
At least one in three people who have a learning disability will also have serious sight loss, according to recent research. Many people with learning disabilities often go without glasses, which increases their risk of being involved in accidents and reduces their quality of life. Glasses are useful even if people can’t read.
The SAM Vision project is designed to give people with learning disabilities and visual impairment:
– Better quality of life through access to information about support, services and equipment.
– Increased awareness of the importance of eye tests (including the fact that reading skills are not necessary for a check-up)
– New skills and raised confidence that can help prevent mental health problems.
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