Sunday, 30 March 2014

Interview with Henshaws

I recently did an interview with Henshaws regarding the Living With Sight Loss enablement course that I attended in the summer of last year, and discussed the impact it had on my life. You can listen to it below.


Helen: Hi! I'm here with Kimberley Burrows today, who is a Henshaws service user. She's been on the Living With Sight Loss course, also Braille, Arts & Crafts and she does the Relax course as well. So hi Kimberley!

Kimberley: Hello!

Helen: We just wanted to talk a bit about the Living With Sight Loss course and how you found it. So, first of all, how did you find out about the course?

Kimberley: I found out about the course through Manchester Eye Hospital, and about Henshaws as well - as I'd never heard of Henshaws before. I was at Manchester Eye Hospital for various procedures for my squint and my mum noticed that near the main waiting area there was a Henshaws side room. So, in there I met with Maggie and told her about my condition and that I'd never really had any support before. I was 24 at the time and I'd never really had any support from Social Services, so she rang them up and they visited me not long after. She also forwarded me onto the enablement course, or the Living With Sight Loss course, which was run for 6 weeks at my local community centre.

Helen: Great! So tell us the benefits of the course, how has it made a difference to you?

Kimberley: It definitely made a big difference! It was the first time that I was able to speak with other visually impaired people and that gave me more confidence. It was also beneficial because every week we would do something different. One week we had a visit from Guide Dogs, another week from transport, another week we had a visit from local police about how they can help us, and another week - which was one of my favourites! - was learning about all of the different mobility aids and magnification aids that are available. So it was nice to try those out.

Helen: So, what did you find from there? Is that when you started using the iPad, or had you been using the iPad before that?

Kimberley: No, I'd been using the iPad before that.

Helen: So it more about the other aids that are available?

Kimberley: Yes. I never knew that you could have LCD magnification that looks like a tablet. It's very expensive but I would love to save up for one after using it. I thought it was fantastic!

Helen: Oh, wow! That good. So, would you recommend it to other people who are in the same situation as you?

Kimberley: Absolutely! You can find out all sorts of different information and meet with other visually impaired people, if you've never talked with anybody before. There's just so much information; things like if you have talking news services in your local area, which I now get every week. Also, things like books@home, so the mobile library will come to visit you to give large print and audiobooks. It just adds another dimension to your life.

Helen: Sounds great! Thank you for talking with us today!

Kimberley: Thank you very much!