Early support with association Contrast –

Contrast is an association for the early support of children with visual impairments, blindness and multiple disabilities. Anyone who wants to can involve the association in the first few weeks of the child’s life. You can get advice on upbringing or school selection, get further training as a parent or simply use the association’s music water bed. The association is also well networked with specialized doctors. For many, the association is also a place for networking with other parents of affected kids. They are prepared for life there: they learn to go through everyday life with their impairment, to remain independent and to try out their first aids. You can also learn Braille here. Early support usually ends when the child starts school.

Cooperation between the aid community and the Contrast association

We have also been working with the association for a number of years. Our cooperation mainly consists of social law advice (care allowance, disability pass, parking permit), the mediation of our children’s group Sehsternchen and the submission of aids. In concrete terms, it looks like this: The Contrast team is in close contact with the families, makes home visits and sees where concrete help is needed. We take on the families of Contrast and support them with filings and other administrative processes. Again and again families come without any experience. They start from scratch and often don’t know where to start and what support options there are for people with visual impairments. We therefore also offer social-legal help, where Contrast can no longer provide information: when does care allowance start? Is my child entitled to this? Also why a disability pass? What does the parking permit do?

Stress factors in families of disabled children

For many families, the financial situation changes massively when a disabled child is born. Many blind or partially sighted children have multiple disabilities. Aids are very expensive, the administrative channels for funding are often confusing, as is the overview of everything that has to be sent along. Sometimes relationships break up, parents are single parents. Especially for mothers, it is often impossible to work with the many appointments with authorities, offices, doctors and other therapy facilities. As a rule, children with disabilities simply need more time and more intensive care from the family, and from a social perspective, it is primarily the women in the family who take on this task. The counseling department tries to relieve these families.

Diverse range of topics in the consultation

In the past, for example, we have provided touch sticks for small children on the instructions of early support staff, financed a care bed for a child with severe multiple disabilities and took care of a car ramp. The range of topics is very broad and just as diverse as the children we look after. Our colleague from the consultation, Verena Mayrhofer, runs the Sehsternchen and remembers: “My very first Sehsternchen that came to us from Contrast is now 23 years old.”


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