Blind Sports & Recreation Victoria developed a range of alternative in-home health, wellness and social programs, using accessible technology, including Zoom video conferencing for those who are vision impaired and audio for those who are blind. This included:
• full body workouts
• guided relaxation
• cultural dance and music making
• personal training
• virtual morning teas
• weekly music quizzes
• armchair travel.
Using detailed verbal descriptions and demonstrating the physical moves via Zoom, trained coaches instruct and engage participants – including those who have never taken part in the physical activity previously. An important component of the program is the mentoring and training of people who are vision impaired in the use of Zoom, so they can participate from the safety of their own homes, together with sighted family members, if they wish.
Through this new program, participants with vision loss across Victoria are benefiting from:
• opportunities to increase their physical activity during COVID-19 restrictions and beyond
• regular social engagement with others; preventing isolation and depression
• direct interaction with and improved connection and inclusion by participating in group activities – with people who are sighted, blind and vision impaired
• developing new skills in using assistive technology, including Zoom, supported by BSRV’s Technology team and also peer mentors, building confidence in technology generally
• opportunities for people with vision loss to lead the activities and be peer mentors in technology and video conferencing, improving employability skills and confidence of people with vision loss.