Visually impaired students fulfill potential at NewVIc Sixth Form

Rosemary O'Sullivan PICTURE: supplied by NewVIc

Rosemary O'Sullivan PICTURE: supplied by NewVIc - Credit: Archant

Rosemary O’Sullivan is a teacher of the blind and visually impaired at Newham Sixth Form College. Here, she talks about the work she does with students to ensure that regardless of their disability, they can achieve and fulfil their potential.

What is it like working at NewVIc?

“Working with the visually impaired is my passion and at NewVIc I endeavour to give my all to enable students to achieve, whichever their need may be. I encourage and engage with my students to help them realise that regardless of their disability they can achieve and fulfil their potential. I am here to assist all of NewVIc’s amazing students to achieve their dreams.”

Who is the most inspiring person you have met?

“Along my life journey, there have been many people that have inspired me; teachers and students alike but there is one person in particular, that stands out. When I started working in education over 17 years ago, Gladieth Walker was the inspiration behind starting the first Discreet Visually Impaired Unit at The College of North West London for all ages and abilities, and it is still the only place in London for Visually Impaired/Blind people if they have lost their sight late in life. They are able to re-train in using a computer without using a mouse but by using short cut keys. At the time, this lady was my key inspiration on my road to supporting and teaching. Whether in discreet groups or with individuals, the whole ethos of guiding and teaching can make mammoth changes to people’s lives, and I have proudly seen this over the years.”

What work do you do with students at NewVIc?

“My varying day to day tasks mainly consist of transcribing all course materials into the format for each student i.e. Braille, large print, electronic, tactile diagrams; providing visual impairment assessments; arranging access arrangements for examinations; providing essential training for Learning Support Practitioners placed with a student; discussing and advising on teaching strategies with each curriculum area and working with teaching staff to give our students the best possible access to their programme.

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I work directly with students that have a wide range of visual impairments. In order to ensure my students are getting the best from their course; I collaborate closely with curriculum areas and each individual student on a one-to-one basis, to ensure they have all the support and guidance needed to learn and succeed.”

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