Guide Dogs Blog

Congratulations to Chelsea - Adelaide's Young Citizen of the Year

January 25th, 2018

Congratulations to Chelsea Bartlett who is the City of Adelaide’s Young Citizen of the Year for 2018.

Chelsea, who has low vision, has travelled into Guide Dogs SA/NT once a week for almost two years to volunteer and help the organisation in its mission to enhance the quality of life of people living with disability.

The award was presented today by the Right Honourable The Lord Mayor of Adelaide, Martin Haese at a ceremony at the Adelaide Town Hall, where the Citizen of the Year and the Community Event of the Year were also announced.

“The City of Adelaide is delighted to congratulate Chelsea on her positive professionalism and achievements, which exemplify inclusion, determination and opportunity for all young people,” Mr Haese said.

Chelsea, began volunteering at Guide Dogs, hosting tours for school groups, the public and businesses. With interactive activities, she shared the experience of significant vision loss in a person’s life. She also educated people on how to interact and engage with people with vision loss in the community.

She then volunteered in the Guide Dogs SA/NT office working independently on quality documents for the organisation, using a JAWS screen reader and Magic magnifying software to work on a computer. She also converted files to audio for the Guide Dogs SA/NT website.

Chelsea said it was a privilege to be acknowledged for her volunteer work.

“It means a lot for me to be able to give back to the organisation that has provided several services to me for many years and to share my experiences of living with vision loss,” she said.

The Chief Executive Officer of Guide Dogs SA/NT, Aaron Chia, said Chelsea’s contribution and role was all the more meaningful and significant as she has lived with deteriorating vision since the age of three.

“Guide Dogs SA/NT is proud to have been part of Chelsea’s life journey through providing white cane training and independent living skills and witnessed her achievements,” Mr Chia said. “We are all touched by her generosity of spirit in wanting to give back to others. She is truly a role model to all staff, clients and the community.

“She inspires others to share, contribute and work towards a connected, respectful and inclusive world for people of all abilities and talents.

“Chelsea was also generous in telling her story as part of the Christmas Appeal and also shared her story on the Guide Dogs SA/NT web blog to highlight our independent living skills programs.”

Chelsea is a representative voice of Blind and Vision Impaired people across Australia and has a national role as Board Director for Blind Citizens Australia.

She studied a Bachelor of Disability and Development Education at Flinders University and recently left her volunteering role at Guide Dogs SA/NT, taking up full time employment as a National Disability Insurance Scheme planner.

“Chelsea brings her life experience, understanding of the vision impaired community and learnings from volunteering with Guide Dogs SA/NT to her new role,” Mr Chia said. “I’m sure she will make a profound difference to the lives of people living with disability in South Australia.”

Congratulations Chelsea from all at Guide Dogs!

 

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