Kathleen Donnelly from Thurles and her friend Deirdre Fogarty from last years Women’s Mini Marathon
The National Council for the Blind or Ireland’s (NCBI) is the national charity working for the rising number of people affected by sight loss in Ireland. Every day we help people to change their lives by giving them the tools they need to either regain or maintain their independence. The majority of people using NCBI services have some remaining vision. There are currently 54,810 people with impaired vision in Ireland with 2,091 in Tipperary.
NCBI’s services include emotional support and counselling for people struggling to come to terms with sight loss. Rehabilitation training, which includes independent living skills and mobility training (using a long cane). Advice and information services, employment advice and low vision solutions, such as magnifiers and other aids to help people to read standard print. Assistive technology advice and training to either magnify or read aloud what is on screen. NCBI also has a Library which produces large-print and audio books and Braille.
Kathleen Donnelly is from Thurles and is the mother of Annie who has an eye condition called Achromatopsia, which is a combination of night astigmatism and a sever sensitivity to light. Annie uses NCBI services and she has gained a huge amount from them, Kathleen says, “Caroline Lane from NCBI has been fantastic for Annie but also for me. I was able to meet other parents through NCBI and we share experiences and advice.”
Annie has attended numerous NCBI workshops, including a technology workshop in University of Limerick and a two day independent living skills workshop. Kathleen said, “Annie’s technology skills have made a huge difference to her education and she uses a laptop in class to type answers along with The Eclipse Scholar since she was in junior infants, this device allows Annie to zoom in on the whiteboard, she also used a tablet and a kindle.”
Annie’s school has also been very supportive, Kathleen said, “One of Annie’s teachers in her school was qualified to teach touch typing and took her after school which made a huge difference.” Kathleen admires her daughter’s attitude by saying, “Annie is proud of her disability and always focuses on the thing she can do!”
This will be Kathleen’s third time to do the Women’s Mini Marathon and she encourages the people of Tipperary to support NCBI for this year’s Women’s Mini Marathon, “The NCBI do a great job at organising the day, I loved that I could meet other Mothers of children who are vision impaired and also adults with vision impairments too.” Kathleen continues to say, “NCBI id hugely important to Annie and they are a big part of her life. The organisation is brilliant and always there when we need.
As a charity, NCBI must raise €3 million annually to ensure that we can continue to offer essential services to people who are blind or vision impaired. We do this through our network of over 90 charity shops nationwide and our fundraising events such as the VHI Women’s Mini marathon.
Join Team NCBI at the Vhi Women’s Mini Marathon 2018 on Sunday 3rd June (Bank Holiday weekend). The total distance is 10km with no time limit. All NCBI participants will receive, training guidelines for all walkers, joggers and runners, sponsorship cards and fundraising advice before the marathon. There will be an NCBI base to hold all your belongings, a pamper zone with hair styling, a make-up and nail service to relax after the marathon with yummy refreshments to refuel you! NCBI will also have a family area with fun activities, such as banner making, glasses decoration designing and learning about sight loss zone with games.
NCBI Fundraising Dance
On Saturday 31st March there will be a fundraising dance in aid of NCBI taking place in Fitzpatrick’s Country Club, Clonmore, Templemore, Co. Tipperary. Tickets are just €10 each and are available on the door on the night and by calling, Mary 086 8682 423 / Helen 087 696 2140. The Brendan Lee Band will play on the night. Finger food and refreshments will be served.