Connecting blind and partially sighted people through exercise
A new fitness initiative is being launched in Northern Ireland that will provide a virtual workout like no other for people with sight loss.
ConneXercise has been created by the Royal National Institute of Blind People (RNIB) Connect in Northern Ireland in conjunction with Disability Sport NI’s Disability Sports Hub Project funded by Progressive Building Society. The initiative is a six-week exercise programme of live workout classes, specifically designed for blind and partially sighted people and will launch on Friday 31st July 2020.
This is the brainchild of RNIB Connect NI Facilitator Una Mulgrew, whose aim was to create workout videos that could be watched via YouTube and that would be accessible for anyone with sight loss.
Una said: “RNIB Connect NI has truly enjoyed working with Disability Sport NI, who have produced the series of six exercise sessions, aimed at and catered for blind and partially sighted people, but accessible to all.
“The classes will increase in pace and fun as the weeks progress, and I urge you all to tune into Disability Sport NI’s YouTube page for the countdown to Friday 31st July at 11.30am. Details will be also be available on the RNIB Connect NI Facebook page www.facebook.com/groups/RNIBConnectNI, along with other events and community connection.”
RNIB Connect NI member, former RNIB employee and blind volunteer Annmarie Houston has worked with Disability Sport NI from the ideation and development stages of the initiative, co-producing the content and approving the audio description as part of host, Rebecca Greenaway’s videos.
She said: “The audio description for the videos sets it apart as it is flawless, I cannot imagine that anyone would lose their way as Rebecca gives clear, detailed step-by-step guidance, spelling out exactly how to follow her body movements. It is an excellent example of audio description and I would highly recommend it to anyone with sight loss to keep them active at home.”
Danny Cooper from Disability Sport NI comments on the joint initiative with RNIB saying: “It is brilliant to work with the RNIB on the ConneXercise series, to provide tailored videos for people with sight loss across a 6-week period.
“This initiative fits perfectly with our ‘Stay Active. Stay Connected.’ Campaign to encourage everyone to continue connecting with us online and availing of our resources on our social media channels. We very much look forward to the first video being published in the coming week."
To find out more, visit: www.facebook.com/groups/RNIBConnectNI and view the live ConneXercise videos on You Tube on Friday 31st July and every Friday thereafter for six weeks.
Click here for the first video:
At the end of each session, the link for the following weeks video will be posted to the comments section on YouTube of the video that has just aired.
Thank you to Rebecca and Annemarie for all of their hard work.
You will need a chair and two objects to act as weights. The weights can be anything from socks to tins, whatever you feel comfortable with and have at hand.
We encourage you to engage with us in the comments section if you want to ask any questions or feedback for future sessions.
Before we get started please make sure that you are in a safe space to take part and follow your Doctors advice that you are allowed to take part in the activity. Only take part if you are feeling fit and healthy to do so. If at any stage you are unsure or do not feel comfortable in any of the movements, please don't continue.