Fostering positivity and confidence in your blind child – By Holly Scott Gardner

I didn’t realise that blind people weren’t supposed to do things for a very long time. I grew up playing football, fighting my sister and reading all the books I could get my hands on. My childhood, although not perfect, was painfully ordinary in many ways. My blindness was never viewed by my parents as a tragedy, or something to worry about, it was simply another part of who I was. As far as I knew, blind adults went to university, got jobs and raised families. I had no idea that society didn’t have those kinds of expectations of us. … Read more

The Unexpected Life of our Trampoline

Trampolines are great for children; they are great for blind children in particular. Many people had told us that. Charlotte has already posted a useful blog introducing Rebound therapy on a trampoline. What I had not quite appreciated were the ways in which the trampoline would become central to Ronan’s development over the past 6 months. We first came across a full-size trampoline in a park when visiting friends in a different part of the country. At just over 2 years old, Ronan wasn’t heavy enough to make the trampoline spring on its own. I took him in my arms … Read more

What a lovely smile- a creative writing piece by Megan Paul

  In the Shop I Come forward, the counter’s just in front of you. Thanks a lot. You have a lovely smile.   On the Bus I Would your dog like some biscuits? That’s very kind, but no thank you. But they’re cat biscuits.   On the Street I You’re doing really well, walking along on your own. Thanks. You too.   On My First Day At Secondary School Do you have other disabled students here? Disabled students? Of course not, we’re a grammar school.   On the Street II Do you want any help? Can you see if I’ve … Read more

Making Fred’s reading challenge accessible!

Fred finished his first year at school being able to read his phonic alphabet and his Braille alphabet. Needless to say I was a very proud mum and he was very keen to embark on his first reading challenge…. By himself! Our local library in Haxby, York has been really helpful in sourcing the BOOKTRUST book star packs when he was younger and have been so supportive with our reading needs. I was more than pleased when we arrived to collect our Reading challenge when they brought out the oversized version for Fred, complete with over sized smelly stickers! Yuk! … Read more

House as therapy toy

Ronan, like many blind children, needs the world made available to him to encourage normal development. Children at play develop mobility, hand grasp, and cognitive skills. As blind children have a different development path because of how the environment becomes available to them, they often need extra encouragement to engage in development activities. The various professionals involved in Ronan’s development have set us many tasks throughout the last year: opening and closing lids, twisting off tops, putting a single puzzle piece into a form, or matching textures. Ronan has never been one for playing with toys and he certainly does … Read more

Attending Swimming Lessons

Swimming is good for all children, but came particularly recommended by our physiotherapist for developing strength and posture.We had hoped to take Ronan swimming from six weeks old, but the multiple surgeries he had made this not possible. We started taking Ronan to the pool around 16 months. He loved jumping up and down and playing row row row your boat. We did not do much more than that. In September, we started proper swimming lessons. Niki was taught the swim position and from there things moved quickly. They practiced jumping into the pool and swimming around to hold onto … Read more

Fe, Fi, Fo, Fum, I smell a doctor!

  Of the amazing number of things that Ronan is able to sense, the most uncanny for me, is a doctor or other health professional. From as early as 6 months, he started screaming when we entered the door of the hospital. Now at 18 months, even going to the Vision clinic, held in a school and for which he is only required to play at his leisure while I speak to the doctors, makes him nervous. All he wanted to do was rock and breast feed (two of his favourite activities). When prompted to play some of our normal … Read more

Ahhh…He’s sleeping: Dealing with public perception

Ronan has very limited light perception and therefore rarely opens his eye very much. It is a common occurrence that when people see him snuggled on my back, they say, “Ahhh…He’s sleeping. How sweet.” Some people poke their heads this way and that to try and get a good look at his face so that they can reassure me that he is asleep. While I can’t see his face in this position, I know that he is not asleep because he wiggles his toes against my side and runs his hand along my arm inside our shared coat. Others say, … Read more

Young Visually impaired man sets up a consultancy business to help others

A young man from Cardiff has used his personal experience of living with a visual impairment to start his own business which aims to support organisations to cater for the needs of visually impaired customers. From May 2014 Daniel aged 22 from Roath intends to provide training and consultancy services to businesses across the UK to help them improve their knowledge and understanding in order to improve the experience of their customers with a visual impairment. Daniel was diagnosed with Retinitis Pigmentosa, a hereditary condition causing a gradual loss of vision, at the age of eight. During his school years … Read more

Touch Library @ Perkins

Several weeks ago we had the pleasure to visit Perkins School for the Blind. Just outside Boston USA, it is the oldest school for the Blind in America opening in 1829. It is famous for its education of Helen Keller, and its subsequent deaf-blind programme, but it is also an institution that trains teachers and develops new technologies. The Perkins campus – and indeed it was a campus – was a blind child’s dream. There were the careful consideration of the stone floor tiling, to enable easy navigation throughout the building. There was the gym whose floor boards changes to … Read more