Over 150 years old, ChildVision is the only place in Ireland totally dedicated to the education and therapy needs of blind and multi-disabled children. Throughout this century of care and learning, thousands of children with sight loss and other profound disabilities have bravely overcome their obstacles and grown up to reach their full potential, guided by our expertise and support. They look after children from all over Ireland ranging in age from birth to 23 years of age.
Children are taught how to cope with a noisy, busy world. Step-by-step, day-by-day every child at ChildVision is discovering new things they can do. We celebrate each and every achievement. Whether it is taking a first mouthful of food, reading a little story, making a cake or riding a pony. Or maybe it’s something as simple as accepting a hug and a cuddle for the first time.
The facilities for children with visual impairments are super at ChildVision. Rooms full of swirling, twirling, twinkling lights. Toys that squish, squash, squeak and crinkle. Cushions that resonate to play musical vibrations so children who can’t hear can still experience music.
Typewriters with shapes not letters, tactile globes, large type and high contrast computer screens, headphone aids, magnifying glasses and braille books are used. There is also a swimming pool with a hoist for children in wheelchairs. The pool is kept nice and warm so that children don’t get frightened of being in water they can feel but cannot see.
Dearbhla Healy came in from ChildVision last week to speak to two of our classes (Room 19 and Room 24) about being visually impaired and the types of challenges children face on a daily basis. The children were blind folded and had to try and dress themselves. They had to draw pictures using a mirror as a guide. They got to wear specially designed glasses and walk around the PE hall to see what it’s like for blind children. They had to make specially adapted jigsaws. It was a very educational experience for the children in St. Declan’s. Thank you to Dearbhla Healy for organising it for us.