Eyes and Independence
“We’ve bought a new house”…..”We’re thinking of moving”…..”We are going to look for a bigger place”….. “We are looking at something close to the bus stop”….. “My child is really upset and gone backwards since we moved house, not wanting to come out of his room”…”can’t wait till we move”…”this house will be air-conditioned”
Moving house creates stress – some positive, some not so positive. As stated by Koraly Dimitriadis, a freelance writer (sbs.com.au/topics) “People dread the idea as they know that it involves a major disruption to their lives”.
Over the past year, I have had several clients (children and adults) who have moved house – which has meant:
Ask your Orientation and Mobility Specialist to assist in orientating you to the new home. It’s always a great time to learn of the new place when there is no furniture in there yet. I remember supporting a 10 year old girl who had a couple of visits to the new home before they moved in but only in the daytime. As her vision was more affected at nightime, we worked on a few strategies in the evening for managing when it’s dark, and locating the staircase at the bottom, noticing the change of surfaces between rooms,
When the furniture has arrived, you can be a part of the process of putting things in their place and creating new areas for personal items with sentimental value. The child can be a big part of setting up their own bedroom so they also know where those things have been placed. They won’t have to rely on other family members to locate them when needed. Ownership and independence especially with your personal belongings, gives you that comfort and familiarity and demonstrates your ability to learn and build on the knowledge as you are securing those skills in organising, sorting, discriminating and identification.
Researching the new area as soon as possible will empower the person with a vision impairment with the knowledge they gain and assist in making plans once in the home.
Orientation and Mobility is “not all about the cane”. There’s a lot of time put into people feeling confident to travel from one place to another, go to work safely and within a timeframe. Did you know that a student hoping to attend Uni the following year requires intense training long before starting so that they can walk in the first day and feel like they know where they are, how they got there and the pathway out at the end of the day.
Other pointers to consider (in the move) if you have or haven’t done so yet…
If you want assistance in any of these changes, an Orientation and Mobility specialist can be part of your journey! And they too, enjoy a cuppa as well !
Kerri Weaver is a passionate and caring service provider. She loves sharing her knowledge and skills to supporting those with vision impairment and additional disabilities. Kerri has worked in the field of disability for over 30 years. Her experience includes working in Tonga with a specialist team on multiple occasions.
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