We wanted to begin 2017 by sharing a good news story by Meg Tatton which we hope will inspire other parents and show that there should be no barriers in the classroom.
Meg’s ten year old daughter, Lily, has recently passed an entrance exam and won an academic scholarship thanks to the support she received from Nystagmus Network Trustee and Education Advocate, Frances Lilly and Rory Cobb of the RNIB.
When Meg first approached the school and the QTVI, there seemed to be little advice or information available about adaptations and support for Lily to take the test. Could it be that some teachers do not expect children with a visual impairment to have aspirations to become academic high flyers?
What began as a two paragraph note from the QTVI about, among other things, blowing up the test papers on to A3 paper, ended as a four page document of detailed instructions on how different parts of the examination, including a multiple choice test on the computer, could be adapted and made accessible for Lily, in particular being printed on manageable A4 pages, giving her an equal opportunity to succeed alongside her fully sighted class mates.
“The opportunity to discuss the exam with Frances and Rory was invaluable. I could voice my concerns and they helped me to identify issues and offer suggestions/solutions to the school. It also gave me the determination to make sure that Lily had an equal chance when sitting the exam.” – Megan
Lily is a confident girl and was not sure that she would need the 25% additional time she was entitled to. This is not uncommon among VI students who do not want to appear to their friends to have any kind of special need. Like many other parents, however, Meg managed to convince Lily that the time could be very useful to her and could be used to check her answers and make sure she had not missed out any questions.
On the day of the test Lily triumphed. There was a slight hitch with the computer screen and Lily admits that she may have had to guess the answers to a couple of the multiple choice questions, but she passed. This ambitious young lady is now set on a path of high academic achievement thanks to her Mum, the RNIB and the Nystagmus Network.
If you or your child have a similar experience to Lily and Megan, or would like to share a story with the nystagmus community please get in touch with us!