Smiles all round for Kim

Eleven-day-old Theodore (Theo) and new mum, Kim Waight have every reason to smile.

Together with partner Matthew, Kim is navigating life as a new mum with the help of family and friends and the specialist support from a dedicated team at Vision Australia.

Since Kim was officially diagnosed with a condition called Retinitis Pigmentosa 10 years ago, she has experienced a steady deterioration of her central, peripheral and night vision.

"I need to wear glasses to correct my central vision, use lighting modifications at home, and as my work in administration relies on accurate data entry, I also use large computer screens and a large magnifier."

Kim counts living interstate, travelling independently to Europe, her job in administration and having a wonderful relationship with a supportive partner, as personal achievements.

On becoming a parent, she says "Having a family is something I'd always wanted - I'd had experience caring for babies but as my vision deteriorated, I was worried I'd struggle too much."

Through NDIS, Kim sought help from Vision Australia's Orientation Therapist/Senior Practitioner, Carlia Rix - who was a relatively new mum herself.

"It was women like Carlia who helped me understand what to expect. Most importantly, she showed that it was possible for me to be a great mum, even with my condition.

"With Carlia's support, we worked on practical things like extra lighting, handy things like a sign to say I was vision impaired to place on the pram and dummy-clip so I wouldn't lose the dummy in the night.

"More than that though, I built the confidence I really needed." Kim says, "Despite the challenges of becoming a parent for the first time on top of my eye condition, everything is going really well!"

She encourages other women despite age or stage to think about greater accessibility and modifications, whether they're big or small, to be able to do what they want in life.

"I've met people struggling with vision loss and I tell them it's really okay to ask for help - it might be hard at first but it will be well worth it in the end!"

I've met people struggling with vision loss and I tell them it's really okay to ask for help - it might be hard at first but it will be well worth it in the end!

New mum Kim Waight
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