Over the last couple of month, VisAbility’s Children and Youth Services welcomed a friendly face into their team. Curtin University student Bonnie Hughes decided to spend the final placement of her Occupational Therapy degree here at VisAbility, an opportunity for her to learn more about the range of services we offer. We managed to catch up with Bonnie during her busy schedule and ask her how she found the experience!
Hi Bonnie! Could you tell us a little bit about your first experience coming to VisAbility?
When I first arrived at VisAbility I was welcomed by a friendly team of health professionals, and I became super excited to learn from them. I was introduced to two professions, Orthoptists and Orientation and Mobility Specialists which I didn’t realise existed before coming to VisAbility. I was excited at the prospects of learning from all sorts of professions, and not just Occupational Therapy. Early on, I was lucky enough to sit in on one of Vivienne’s Low Vision Assessments and had the opportunity to observe Carla at one of her home visits. This helped me understand both of their roles really well. I was overwhelmed by the friendly nature of the CAYS team and was really excited about the next seven weeks on placement!
That’s fantastic to hear. I’m sure we were just as excited to show you the ropes! Could you share with us a highlight of your time at VisAbility?
The CaYS Sleepover during the School Holiday Program is such a standout! It’s a wonderful program, and so unique to anything I’ve experienced throughout my studies. I don’t think it’s something I’ll come across anywhere else. The commitment of staff in planning and being there over the two days to help out is pretty special. It was so rewarding to see how much the children enjoyed it!
We’re glad you got the opportunity to share in one of our sleepovers! Did you have any big learning experiences while being here?
I learnt a lot about the diverse range of vision impairments that exist. Every child I met was a complete individual. While some had the same diagnoses their strengths were often quite unique, which was great because it meant I had to be creative and fit my practice around each individual.
Wow, it sounds like you enjoyed your experience with us! Would you encourage your peers to take on similar placements?
Yes! As a student it’s easy to find yourself being shy around qualified and experienced people, but I immediately felt a sense of belonging in the office space. I was given the opportunity to strive for greatness (in my case this was passing my placement). Observing my supervisors and the level of mutual trust they have with clients was inspiring for me. The qualities of the people I worked alongside helped me learn through experience, something I am grateful for.
On behalf of VisAbility, we’d like to say thank you for coming and spending time with us! We wish you all the best with your future, Bonnie!
Thank you, VisAbility! It has been an incredible experience having a placement at VisAbility in Children and Youth Services. I would like to give a special thank you to my supervisors, Jacinta and Paige, for guiding me through the past seven weeks, and to everyone in the VisAbility office for being so kind and welcoming. It will be sad to leave!