Kids at GDQ
Kids Programs at Guide Dogs a big hit
Scaling an indoor rock-climbing wall, enjoying a picnic by Moreton Bay and hanging out with new friends not only looks like fun but it’s a great way to teach orientation and mobility skills to kids who are vision impaired.
Though Guide Dogs Queensland is best known for its Guide Dogs, the association proudly offers a wide range of services that are designed to suit the lifestyle and skill level of individuals of all ages.
These free services include White Cane training for the beginner right up to the more experienced mobility training; Electronic Travel Aid programs; counselling for clients and families and our Children’s Programs.
GDQ’s Children’s Services will usually begin with experienced Rehabilitation Services staff liaising with the families and carers of young vision impaired or blind children from an early age – providing counselling, resource and support information.
Early mobility training and orientation skills can start as early as pre-school. The activities are often based on play and exploration and encourage kids to learn how to use their remaining senses and concept development.
Guide Dogs Queensland also hosts holiday camps, for different ages and with a range of activities. Depending on the age groups, camps last between three to five days, can be with or without parents and everyone stays onsite at GDQ’s Client Residence at its Breeding and Training Centre, in Bald Hills.
Rehabilitation Services Manager Bashir Ebrahim said the kids’ programs were designed to build confidence, promote social interaction, create new friendships and develop necessary orientation and mobility skills.
“Recently we hosted a camp for 8 to 10-year-olds and their mums. It was great hit, with the mums finding it as helpful as the kids,” he said.
“As well as developing the kids’ skills, we hosted a range of sessions for the mums to discuss issues such as new mobility aids and tips on how to help their children grow to be confident and mobile young adults.”
A “parent-free” camp for 16 to 17-year-olds was also held recently, and incorporated training sessions with visits to the local shopping centre; tertiary and TAFE campuses; ten-pin bowling; and trips on public transport.
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Guide Dogs Queensland
Breeding and Training Centre
1978 Gympie Rd
Bald Hills, Qld, 4036