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Jane and Sarah, EYECAN: Five things we would change about Jersey

Jane and Sarah, EYECAN: Five things we would change about Jersey

Friday 12 October 2018

Jane and Sarah, EYECAN: Five things we would change about Jersey

As one of Jersey's oldest charities, EYECAN has been working with islanders with sight impairments for over 130 years to help them to live independent lives.

Formerly known as the Jersey Blind Society, the charity believes that sight impairment shouldn't stand in the way of someone achieving their goals.

For yesterday's World Sight Day, they shared five top tips for making working life easier for people with visual impairments.

Today, Jane Vincent, EYECAN's Operations Director, and Sarah Shaw, their Advocacy and Welfare Worker, shared the five things they would change about Jersey if it was up to them...

1. Inclusivity, inclusivity, inclusivity!

There should be a seamless and natural inclusion of islanders with disability into all aspects of the community. Necessary adaptations need to be made as a matter of course, with an understanding that we all gain by inclusion.


Pictured: Sight impairment charity, EYECAN, is an ambassador for the ethos that "we all gain by inclusion".

Any one of us could become disabled tomorrow, but we will still have things to offer and the right to participate.

2. More awareness, fewer assumptions

We need greater public awareness of hidden disability and fewer assumptions made. For instance, some EYECAN clients have been criticised by members of the public for not using a cane. What isn't understood is that the process of accepting and adjusting to sight loss can take years.


Pictured: EYECAN workers, Jane Vincent and Sarah Shaw, say that not all disabilities are visible and those that are shouldn't be subject to so many assumptions.

Others are criticised for using a cane whilst also being seen to undertake tasks which might appear (to those without knowledge of the different types of sight loss) to be beyond their capability, but which their remaining useful sight or technology enables. Damned if you do and damned if you don't!

3. Support for those who support us

Let's have greater recruitment to and better pay and conditions in social work, the Mental Health Service and Jersey Police.


Pictured: Jane and Sarah want more support for those who work tirelessly to support islanders.

Vulnerable islanders should be able to expect to receive the support they need promptly and thoroughly, however those expected to provide that support should not be overstretched or at risk of having their own mental health compromised by an unmanageable workload.

4. Volunteering for the vulnerable

Greater investment in Parish Volunteer Schemes would allow people with time to spare to take on a fulfilling role which enables vulnerable and isolated parishioners to maintain their independence whilst also receiving valuable social contact.

care nurse social worker old person vulnerable

Pictured: Jane and Sarah think more investment in Parish Volunteer Schemes could help protect the most vulnerable members of the Jersey community.

5. Peruvian asparagus? No thanks!

Jersey produces asparagus and so does the UK.


Pictured: Sarah and Jane think there's no need to import produce which we can source locally.

Being offered produce which can't be sourced here is one thing, but having Peruvian asparagus in local stores is absurd and faintly obscene.

The views expressed in this piece are those of the author and not those of Bailiwick Express.

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