Nikki has Retinitis Pigmentosa (RP), which means her sight has been deteriorating significantly over the last 10 years, and she has very limited vision.
While Nikki’s friends and family were incredibly supportive with her sight loss, they weren’t able to give her advice the way another visually impaired person could, and it left Nikki feeling like she was the only visually impaired person in the city. A friend recommended getting in touch with Marc, one of Vision West of England’s Sight Loss Advisors, to find out what was going on in Bristol for the visually impaired. Nikki came to a sport taster day, where she could try all sorts of sports specifically adapted for visually impaired people, and Marc encouraged her to get stuck in.
Nikki has since gone on to attend many of Vision West of England’s social events, where she’s found out about guitar lessons and a project with the Peco Theatre at the Arnolfini that is all about how navigating the city affects wellbeing, and how visually impaired people see and navigate the city differently. She has enjoyed making new friends, sharing stories, tips and advice with other visually impaired people, so much so that Nikki is now volunteering regularly with us, leading a new monthly social group in Bristol.
When we asked Nikki what advice she’d give to someone who has recently been diagnosed with RP, she said, “Don’t focus on what you’re not able to do, instead focus on what you can do and have to learn to do in a new way. Don’t be afraid to reach out to get new ideas of how to do these things.”
If like Nikki you are looking for social events and sporting activities to spend with visually impaired peers, then drop us an email to [email protected], or call us on 0117 322 4885.