Independence is about being able to make and exercise choices in our lives. It is a relative term which means different things to different people at different times. Although we expect most children to grow up into independent adults, all of us continue to depend on our families and friends throughout our lives.
According to the extent of their visual impairment and other needs, many blind and partially sighted children may develop the skills to manage their adult lives at an equivalent level of independence to their sighted peers. For those whose needs mean they will never achieve this level of independence, it is nevertheless important to help them to develop skills that minimise their dependence on others.
Mobility is a key issue for all visually impaired people. The amount of independence that a person can achieve is closely related to how independently mobile they are. It is possible to learn skills that will increase mobility within a person’s immediate surroundings and for wider travel.