Sammy has technologies in her sight
Geelong teenager, Sammy McCombe has Albinism. With it comes vision loss but thanks to a range of technologies she can now purchase with her self-managed National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) funds, her entire world has opened and it may lead to a stellar modelling career.
With an Instagram account she created with friend, Lucy, who also has Albinism, and another independent one herself, combined Sammy has over 13,200 followers. Through her accounts, she posts photos of her and Lucy, advocating greater awareness, understanding and equality for everybody, regardless of difference.
The use of technologies has enabled Sammy to enlarge images and font sizes, view her Instagram responses and increase her footprint in the world.
The use of bigger phone screens, navigation and voice recognition also means Sammy can safely travel independently, like any other young person her age.
Mum Kelli said since Sammy got into technology it's brightened her future and given her a greater sense of direction.
"She's received so much positive attention with her Instagram accounts, and it's really helped to build her confidence," she said.
"At first, she was just doing it for fun. People would supply her clothes and do her make-up, and in return, we would get copies of their photos.
"Then, with her vision impairment, it became a bit exhausting, travelling around to various places so we got savvy and asked people to come to us. It worked out well.
"Now, if we think the photoshoot is going to take a lot of time, we ask for $25 an hour, capped at $50. Realistically, it could turn out to be some sort of employment for Sammy," Kelli said. "Like any other teenager, she wants a job because it means extra pocket money.
"The experience and exposure has been so good for Sammy; it has encouraged her to put in an effort; to become a leader and an educator. Her confidence is also growing, to the point she's now looking to travel to places on her own."
"Being able to have the NDIS funds to purchase new technologies to improve Sammy's life has been "a real life changer," Kelli said.
"We have two boys who play all this sport. We watch their cricket, their football but we always wondered what we could do with Sammy.
"Now helping her with new technologies is something we can do. You never know, she could become Instagram famous and make a career out of it," Kelli added.