First Steps – Getting Children With Visual Impairment Active

First Steps is a project conceived by British Blind Sport to empower and encourage children with a visual impairment between the ages of 3 – 11 years old to develop their early developmental movement skills and to become physically active.

While many schools offer PE to encourage children to engage in the recommended daily 60 minutes of moderate to vigorous intensity physical activity, First Steps know that many children with a visual impairment have additional challenges to overcome. They are uniquely placed in the disability and sport sectors to solve this problem.

First Steps have designed an innovative pack to give to families which contains all the tools their children need to take their first steps towards leading a more active life, build confidence, develop skills, and most importantly, have fun.

The First Steps pack is completely free to those that register and is delivered straight to the child’s door.

The pack includes:

  • Audible ball: A bright and bouncy ball called Jangles with ball-bearings inside to allow the child to hear the ball.
  • Activity booklet: Simple and enjoyable games that encourage the entire family to play together and learn new skills.
  • Progress poster: Tracking each child’s achievements to encourage habitual behaviour with a fun sticker chart
  •  An audio copy of the activity booklet and some VI-inclusive audio-guided fitness workouts on a USB, that children/young people can participate in at home.

In addition to receiving the pack, the young person and their family will receive ongoing support from the First Steps Officer, Jane Jacobs, and will be invited to family days (depending on current Covid-19 situation) organised by BBS, that will not only bring the young people together, but introduce them to new activities and signpost those interested to inclusive community clubs. All they ask from families is that they commit to the 1-1 support offered and provide  feedback about their child’s activity journey, through a series of short online surveys.

For more information about First Steps please visit the British Blind Sport website

Having trialled the project in Yorkshire, West Midlands and the North West with huge success, the project has now gone national. They have the resources to help 450 families over 3 years.

You can contact Jane directly via email firststeps@britishblindsport.org.uk or via mobile 07957719251

Please note Jane’s working days are Monday to Thursday only.