4 April 2019.
Able’s annual Deafblind Camp gives Deafblind people from around the country a time and place to come together in a safe environment with 24/7 support. Over the years, the camp has run in a number of venues and areas, but campers agree that as long as they are able to meet every year to share their experiences, the location doesn’t matter.
Every year the camp takes a lot of planning and consideration. As well as an opportunity for socialising and fun, it is also seen as an opportunity to share information and training in areas that improve communication and independence. At the camps, it is not unusual to see campers using assistive technology for the first time, or learning about tactile sign.
It’s for these reasons the camp is hugely important to Able clients, and anyone with dual sensory impairment or loss that attends. “It’s the only time we can truly be ourselves. No barriers whatsoever,” one camper said.
At this year’s camp in Phillip Island, campers, volunteers and staff met, reconnected and got to know each other over two days of sensory games, a disco night and off-site activities. The planning committee works to put together a schedule that is accessible and engaging – ensuring people with dual sensory loss or impairment are consulted and involved every step of the way.
The camp gets better each year, and the feedback from everyone who attends is the same – every year is a ‘must’.