Blind and vision impaired scale 10m wall on Northbridge

Kyile Forth (Crawley), Vision Australia hosted community members who are blind or low vision for a day of indoor rock climbing at Rockface in Northbridge
Kyile Forth (Crawley), Vision Australia hosted community members who are blind or low vision for a day of indoor rock climbing at Rockface in Northbridge
Nikora Robinson (32) Mandurah, Vision Australia hosted community members who are blind or low vision for a day of indoor rock climbing at Rockface in Northbridge
Emma Vardy (23) Melville, Vision Australia hosted community members who are blind or low vision for a day of indoor rock climbing at Rockface in Northbridge
Kyile Forth (Crawley), Vision Australia hosted community members who are blind or low vision for a day of indoor rock climbing at Rockface in Northbridge Kyile Forth (Crawley), Vision Australia hosted community members who are blind or low vision for a day of indoor rock climbing at Rockface in Northbridge Nikora Robinson (32) Mandurah, Vision Australia hosted community members who are blind or low vision for a day of indoor rock climbing at Rockface in Northbridge Emma Vardy (23) Melville, Vision Australia hosted community members who are blind or low vision for a day of indoor rock climbing at Rockface in Northbridge

KYLIE Forth loves a challenge.

The 32-year-old Crawley resident lost both her eyes before she was three years old to a form of cancer called Retinoblastoma then her right leg at nine when the cancer returned.

Ms Forth never let it get in her way; she started sailing in 2004 and this week scaled a 10m wall for the first time in five years.

She joined 15 other people who are blind or vision impaired, including Emma Vardy (23) from Melville and Nikora Robinson (32) from Mandurah on the indoor rock climbing adventure at Rockface in Northbridge organised by Vision Australia.

“I like the challenge,” Ms Forth said.

“It’s always good to figure out; if I get stuck halfway up and think ‘I can’t do it’, it gives me that extra oomph to keep going.

“I prefer to start with the hard ones because I have the most energy then and as I get less energy I go with the easier ones.”

Vision Australia Perth regional business manager Donna Fahie said activities like rock climbing helped build confidence in those whose vision is impaired.

“It also challenges perceptions within the sighted community about what people who are blind or have low vision can be capable of doing,” she said.

Six months ago, a group went indoor sky diving.

Key Vision Australia figures:

  • Vision Australia estimates there are 384,000 people in Australia who are blind or have low vision.
  • The blind and low vision population in Australia (refractive error not included) grew by 7.6 per cent to 384,000 (2016 population estimate) from 357,000 (2013 population data).
  • Vision Australia predicts there will be 564,000 blind and low vision people in Australia by 2030.