Jun 11, 2013 2:20 AM

Day camp for the visually impaired

TUCSON - Right here in Pima County hundreds of kids suffer some sort of visual impairment.

Some are born with conditions while others develop problems as they grow. Either way these kids have to adapt so The Southern Arizona Association for the Visually Impaired, or SAAVI, is offering help with a day camp.

"I have a retinal detachment which means my retina didn't rip nor tear, it just detached a little bit," says Jamie Yu who is 10.

There are a variety of conditions which contribute to visual impairment. One of the most common problems for children is Optic Nerve Hypoplasia where optic nerve is not fully developed.

And rare conditions like Peter's Anomaly where the iris is ruptured.

Each day brings new challenges but camp SAAVI kids, 5-to-14 years old are learning.

"We do P.E. We cook. We do technology. Oh, and we learn how to use our canes," says 10-year-old Flor Moreno. This is her second time at camp.

Flor says P.E. is her favorite because, "I don't go to P.E. in my regular school. I have to go some other class."

Being left out is often a problem but not at camp SAAVI. Here camps are racing on carts and playing goal ball...

"Just to be up and active and understand that there's space around you that you can move and you need to go explore and understand what the world has to offer to you," says Amy Lewis, Orientation Mobility Specialist.

In the Life Skills class the kids learn how to clean and make food; fruit smoothies and pizza rolls the day Kristi's Kids was there.

There's also a popular technology class.

Parents are encouraged to see their kids getting more independent and more social.

But that's not all.

"And also making connections with other parents and seeing how they solve problems," says Robert Medeiros. His 8-year-old daughter Samantha is making new friends at camp.

Flor is not only solving problems she hopes to raise your expectation.

"That they can't do much or they can't do anything and this camp proves that the visually impaired people are funnest yet."

Click here to learn more about SAAVI.


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