Empowering Visually Impaired Children and Young People to Access Equal Education

20 May 2021

EqualEyes, a new collaborative project by the charity Angel Eyes NI, in partnership with the Children’s Law Centre, will empower visually impaired children and young people to access equal education, advocate for their rights and influence decision makers.

The project, which will provide expert led workshops to 125 children and young people, as well as their parents and carers, is being funded by The National Lottery Community Fund.

Speaking after the new funding was announced, Sara McCracken, CEO of Angel Eyes, said:

“We are excited about this partnership project bringing together expertise on the impact of visual impairment in education and knowledge of the legislation that protects the rights of children.

“The EqualEyes project will provide expert led support, education and information to ensure children with a visual impairment get the help they need to access the curriculum and give a platform to those with lived experience, so they can influence decisions.”

Children’s Law Centre Director, Paddy Kelly, added:

“The United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child establishes the right for every child to freely express their views in all matters affecting them, including education. For this to be meaningful, children and young people must be aware of the rights and resources available to them.

“They must also have the tools and opportunities to influence people making the decisions at all levels, from classroom assistants to politicians.”

The dad of a visually impaired 11 year old boy, Jake, who has been receiving help and support through the charity Angel Eyes said:

“Charities like this have such a positive impact on children and parents struggling to cope. They make such a huge difference to families dealing with the daily challenges placed upon children with sight loss.

“Through the Angel Eyes events I have learnt so much. The information shared by parents and children who face similar challenges has been extremely valuable.

“The stories have been inspirational. Hearing those shared experiences and the issues many visually impaired children face in education, as well as the social interaction, has been very important. “There are so many areas I would have not considered until I spoke to other parents and children through Angel Eyes.”