Hi. My name is Niamh. I am 20 years old and I am in my first year at university studying Criminology and Sociology at Royal Holloway. I love to sail and travel.
In year 11, I was registered as blind due to a genetic condition called Retinitis Pigmentosa (RP). It causes tunnel vision, along with night blindness. RP is a genetic degenerative condition which means that I will continue to lose my remaining vision. This affected my learning as my eyes become tired easily causing them to struggle to focus; I get migraines when I stress my eyes and I struggle to complete visual tasks, for example creating a mind map.
It was collectively decided by myself and professionals that I needed to go to a college that was able to accommodate my needs. I ended up attending a sixth form with a Specialist Centre for the Visually Impaired (VI centre). An EHCP was created so I was able to get the support and equipment that I needed. Some of my accommodations in exams included the use of a computer, 50% extra time, documents adapted into a bigger font, use of a reader and a scribe, rest breaks and a room on my own.
The EHCP also allowed me to borrow equipment from the council so that I could learn effectively. This equipment included a computer, a voice recorder, an electronic magnifier, touch typing teaching software and a braillenote. Many of my teachers did not adapt resources that I needed and this equipment allowed me to access it.
Assistive technology has allowed me to access both my education and everyday life! I am now able to make the most of the opportunities I have.