Over the time that VI talk has been up and running, there have been a whole variety of experiences and discussions shared; mostly within the Facebook group. It has been great to share and be a part of this. One of the great positives to come from the group has been the contributions from so many people from a variety of backgrounds. Wether new to sight loss or have had experience for a long time, everyone can and does bring huge value to the group and the community.

As you know, sight loss affects us all in different ways; it is difficult to really generalise on any aspect because circumstances can vary. For instance, education has been a topic within my blogs over the last few weeks and our experiences of schools will differ depending on the levels of support and opportunities given. This in turn can and quite often does affect and influence self-confidence. Whereas one local authroity may provide an extremely comprehensive service of support, another one may just give a basic level of coverage and hence someone may not be able to have the opportunities that others do.

Employment is another subject that can provide a huge rang eof experiences for people; spreading from those who approach it with confidence because of their experiences to ones where confidence has been severely knocked because doors seem to be constantly slammed in their faces. It is important to stress that everybodys experience and situation is real and as valid and important as each other. In this, like other instances, we all can learn from each other in the sense that those with confidence can listen openly to those who have experienced harder knocks to gain a greater sense of reality. Additionally, the latter group could gain great insight into how and why those who have had different opportunities have managed to successfully slip through those doors before they slam shut.

VI talk, as an online community, gives us all the opportunity to achieve this and to share our own and to learn from others experiences. A great deal of respect and empathy is shown between contributers for the vast majority of the time and this is great to be a part of. When, on the very rare occasion, slips are made, it must always be remembered that when joining in on discussions, although opinions may differ and life experiences will vary, everyones contributions must be respected; even if they do not always produce agreement.

The online comunity of VI talk is a fantastic place to share and support each other on the many sight loss experiences that we have. Additionally, it is a great opportunity for supporting and helping others to find ways of managing day to day tasks and choices.