As Vision Impaired people working on a young adults project with Wales Council of the blind and of course being keen performers as a part of UCAN Productions Mared and I were once again asked to perform at Wales EyeCare Conference. For the 3rd year running we were asked to create 2 separate 10 minute informative, thought provoking and of course entertaining theatre style sketches around the themes of Accessibility during the morning and Outcomes in the afternoon.
When we were given the theme of Accessibility it was a little bit like deja vu. Mared and I as a part of UCAN Productions have devised sketches and performed at previous EyeCare Conference’s. During this time we’ve been asked to cover topics such as Certification and Registration, accessibility within the Clinic, Benefits, Rehabilitation and Employment, which align with the conference themes. We felt like creating something new around the theme of Accessibility would be quite difficult as we’ve already covered this topics. Therefore Mared suggested we take short pieces that are the most relevant and thought provoking from sketches we’ve already created and combine them together. This created a script which we felt still highlighted all the issues around accessibility whilst making the point that they are still very much relevant. As usual the morning sketch aims to be deliberately provocative in order to challenge all of our thoughts and never to critises the great services provided by the NHS. We hope people realise how important it is that collect and share the voices and opinions of Vision Impaired people.
Our second performance in the afternoon at the end of the conference was centred around Outcomes. For this we wanted real stories from real people . We used the style of Verbatim to deliver 4 pieces around patient experiences in the Eye Clinc. Verbatim means we could deliver these stories in their authentic form but keeping the identity of the storyteller anonymous. This is achieved by the actor or actors wearing headphones and telling the story as they hear it. Although these stories highlighted some challenges they all spoke very positively about their individual experiences .
We were really pleased with the reaction we had from both performances. Several people came up to us during the conference and thanked us for raising the issues or thought that the points we made were very important and agreed there are changes that need to be made.
We’d like to thank everyone who contributed and shared their stories with us. It wouldn’t have been possible without you. We look forward to next year’s conference and the celebration of the NHS turning 70 years old. See you there.