“Today and tomorrow: Living with vision impairment as a young person in the UK” project kicks off with climbing event
In June CAMERA Co-Is Karin Petrini (Principal Investigator for the project) and Michael Proulx (Co-investigator for the project), and Guide Dogs funded Research Associate Katrina Tavoulari held a climbing event for young people with vision impairment at the Chippenham Climbing Academy – The Arc. This fun event aimed to start collecting insights about the barriers these young people may experience when exercising and participating in sports such as climbing which are often perceived as out of reach, with the aim to ease such barriers and make real changes. This event is just one of a series of events as part of the Guide Dogs UK funded project entitled “Today and tomorrow: Living with vision impairment as a young person in the UK”.
One participant with vision impairment said “I really liked that I didn’t have to listen whilst climbing. I was completely in the zone, because I was scared of the height, but this felt so beneficial to my mental health as I was forced to focus on each step and could not think about anything else. I now wish to do this regularly!”
Because of this event changes are already starting to take place with The Climbing Academy aiming to change their website and information about accessibility following the feedback from the event participants. The participant quoted above is already exploring bouldering with their friends because of their experience during this event.
The project is looking for up to 20 people from all over the UK with vision impairment, aged between 16-24 years, to become part of a working group to create a tool that will help researchers understand and improve their key life transitions.
The next event planned for the project will be taking place at University of Bath on the 7th July offering a unique virtual reality experience as a young person (16-24 years) with vision impairment. Travel costs from around the UK can be covered up to £100.