Lewis starring in his campaign poster – there is an image of him crouched down playing with a robot which is on the floor next to him. The tag line reads ‘I Can do robotics’ and there is a quote from Lewis which says “When I lost my sight I didn’t think I could achieve such amazing things, but I have learnt to defy expectations.”]

Lewis is a current student, he began his studies at RNC in 2014 .


Lewis was part of our national I Can campaign; changing people’s perception of visual impairment and focussing on what our students can do, not what they can’t.


I Can do robotics

Hi I’m Lewis and I’m 19 from Essex. I have been a student at RNC since September 2014, studying BTEC Level 3 Extended Diploma in IT and BTEC Level 3 Subsidiary Diploma in Business Studies. 

I have only been visually impaired for the past years two years due to Lebers Hereditary Optic Neuropathy (LHON).


Up until two years ago I didn’t have a visual impairment. I went through mainstream school and moved onto Seevic College in Essex to study a Level 3 BTEC in Engineering.  It wasn’t until around a month before I was due to finish that I realised I had problems with my sight and was shortly diagnosed with Lebers Hereditary Optic Neuropathy.

I had been offered an apprenticeship with National Rail but due my sight loss they withdrew it on medical grounds as they didn’t think it would be safe. I spent the next year not knowing what to do.  I went to visit a career advisor and they recommended working with animals or agriculture which wasn’t what I wanted to do; I felt so lost.

I found out about RNC when I went to visit my local VI organisation, Support for Sight.  There was someone working there who was a former RNC student and he told me all about it and convinced me it was the right place for me.

Life at RNC

I remember my Pre-Entry Assessment and being really nervous, but I met two other lads and we got on really well and kept in touch after that day.  We all started in September and even though we are on different courses we are still best mates now. The residential side is loads different from being at home; I’ve learnt to cook using gadgets like talking scales, I’d never done any cooking or things around the home as mum always did things for me.

My family are really pleased with my progress. At first they were concerned about the distance and whether or not I’d make friends, but I think these are the normal concerns that all families have.  They come to visit me some weekends which is nice, but to be honest RNC is just like home for me.

I have been able on carry on with my interests and hobbies at RNC which I was told wouldn’t be possible. I enjoy doing programming; it’s so cool to say that I actually get to study robotics as part of my IT course!

Other than my studies, I also like sci-films. We have set up a club at RNC where a group of us get together and watch films, discuss them and just hang out.  I’ve also done a lot of things I didn’t think would be possible, like tank driving! I have been rock climbing and do archery regularly.

In the future I want to continue with robotics, perhaps as a hobby but, ideally I would love it to be part of a career.  I have thought about going into teaching IT or studying Mechatronics at a higher level, but at the moment I still have two more years at RNC to get as good as I can be.

Read more about the IT course at RNC

Find out what you can achieve at RNC by giving us a call on 01432 376 621 or you can email info@rnc.ac.uk


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