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“ChildVision has given me the confidence to use assistive technology in school.”

Grainne's personal story image

Each time you give to ChildVision your kindness and generosity multiply like magic, from newfound abilities and soaring confidence in our children and young people with sight loss, to the way they share the gift you’ve given them, to help others. And 18-year-old Gráinne Norton is living proof…

ChildVision has given me the confidence to use assistive technology in school. I use something called CCTV [closed circuit television, or video magnifier] which magnifies my books and the board. Since online schooling we are using technology a lot more, my eyes are constantly sore. I’m waiting to get a special piece of technology called a Mercury 12, which is like mobile CCTV.”

On horses, dreams, and equine therapy: “Horses mean everything to me. I started it for my physical activity, since I can’t drive. The horse therapy helps me – I feel so independent on the horse – but then I can also volunteer and make it easier for the kids. My dream is to work with horses, exercising them.”

On giving back: “This little girl, she used rollers [a therapeutic device over the saddle to help with core strength]. She got better because I kept telling her to trot. One day we were able to take away the rollers, then it was just her on her own, with me. It made me feel really happy for her. I don’t do it for myself, I do it for the smaller kids.”

On sight loss: “I used to have full vision up till I was eleven, it was such freedom, and before I came to ChildVision I wouldn’t even use my cane. I didn’t want people saying, ‘Oh, she’s visually impaired. You have to treat her differently. At ChildVision I have the space to be me and my brain injury and sight loss doesn’t make me scared anymore. What I would say to any young person who loses their sight is, don’t let your fears get in the way.”

Afterword: Since lockdown Gráinne has been living back at home. But thanks to your caring and steady support, the ChildVision therapy team are still working with her – including providing Gráinne with British Horse Society Stage 1 Stable Management videos, with the hope of allowing her to work towards these exams in the near future! Go, Gráinne!

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