Vision Australia has launched a new online social community aimed at keeping young people who are blind or have low vision informed and engaged.
Zest aims to provide Vision Australia clients aged 18 to 35 a place to ask questions, share stories and get the latest news that’s relevant to blindness and low vision in their age group.
Vision Australia client insights graduate Conor Smith says Zest has six sections: travelling (local, national or overseas travel), socialising (including dating), lifestyle (covering books, video games and any other recreational pursuit), health, study and jobs.
“We have gone online because it’s more friendly for that 18 to 35 age group, and it can be a two-way conversation. We can put up information and they can ask questions of Vision Australia and also of each other,” he says.
A member of the Zest working group, Jane Britt, says young people can use Zest to connect with each other and socialise.
As a young woman who is blind, Jane says it was hard to find stories and experiences to which she could relate.
“There were a lot of stories written by parents of children who had a disability and then there was a dearth of information until you got into older adults,” she says.
“It seemed like services were targeted for older people as well. There was a gap in the market. I’m thrilled we now have this platform.”
Conor says online offers young and often busy participants flexibility.
“You don’t all have to be in one place or on at the same time, and people in regional Australia can take part,” he says.
For more information, or to register, go to the Zest web page here.