“Role models can teach you to love and respect yourself” – Tionne Watkins.
Role models inspire us, ground us and encourage us. Family, friends, teachers, leaders. As a child, role models play an important role. They help you navigate paths that may be shrouded in fear, doubt or insecurity.
Now imagine if you’re living with a disability. Often these vital role models aren’t on billboards or TV screens. Sometimes they have to be a little bit closer to home.
But that’s not always easy to find. So we wanted to bring the role models to you.
This was our vision for Visionaries.
For children with vision impairment, the expectations of their parents and educators can be a big predictor of their grit, determination and perseverance in life.
Vision impairment is a low incidence disability, and it is likely that a child or parent won’t know of any other children with vision impairment in their neighbourhood.
And it’s so important children, regardless of ability, to dream big. Feel empowered and set goals for the future.
This is why Visionaries is bringing the role models to you. The local role models who are living with vision impairment, who have overcome and achieved.
These 3 brave individuals, who put their hand up to share their stories, have given children, their parents, caregivers and the wider community the opportunities to connect. To have deeper understanding and to feel inspired.
We’d like to introduce you to Sinead, Josh and Zel. You’ll learn of their struggles, triumphs, dreams and experiences as we release their stories one by one. Online, so you can enjoy them wherever you are.
We’d like to acknowledge and thank the funding grant from the Non-Government Centre Support. The wonderful, world-class film production company, Barking Wolf who deeply understood our vision for independence.
And lastly to Sinead, Josh and Zel. Thank you for sharing your stories, opening your hearts and sharing your experiences as someone living with vision impairment.
Their stories are about people who are forging a life where they are seen first for who they are, not for their disability.
You can view these inspiring stories on our Facebook Page or website.
Our first instalment is the video on Sinead. Happy watching!
If you have your own story to share, we’d love to hear it. Visit our Empathy Library page here to send us your story or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.