What a difference two years can make! Alicia tells us about her journey.

Alicia and Brandon learning anatomy using a manikin

“I cannot believe the progress I have made since attending RNC. Before I arrived I had no intention of studying at university but my two years here have made me recognise my potential.”


Alicia’s journey to The Royal National College for the Blind was not straightforward. Like many students she had to fight for her funding and convince her Local Authority that RNC was the best education placement for her.


Her funding battle made the local newspaper in 2016 http://cwherald.com/a/archive/visually-impaired-teen-battles-for-place-at-specialist-college.460290.html


By the time the Local Authority did finally agree to fund her placement at RNC, the college term had already started. Alicia had missed the first couple of weeks, including the important induction period where friendships are formed and the settling in period begins.


Despite this difficult start, Alicia has got the grades and much more…


Two years later and now in her final year, Alicia is due to complete her A Levels and has secured conditional offers from a number of universities. But coming to RNC has been about more than just getting the grades:


‘I am so happy that I have university offers, it’s been hard work but I can honestly say hand on heart that without coming to RNC I don’t think I would have achieved this.’


‘It’s not what you learn, it’s how you learn. I don’t have teaching assistants, I’ve been taught to be independent here. I can use computers with assistive technology, I use zoom technology so I basically use the computer the same as anyone sighted does. The class size is a lot smaller and it makes it easier to contribute and talk to the teacher.


‘I have learnt how to cook for myself, it may sound easy but when you struggle to see colour changes it can make cooking chicken difficult at times. I have practiced mobility a lot, I go to places I want to go and do the things I want to do.’


University is a common goal and achievement for many students at RNC.


The support and preparation that students receive throughout their time at the College is to ensure that they make the best possible start in their next education and life steps. The students are taught everything from becoming an independent learner who does not rely on teaching assistants, through to being able to travel independently with confidence. The experience of living in halls of residence with other young people is also a perfect stepping stone to independent adult life.


‘I have made some amazing friends that I am sure I will keep in contact with for life. I have learnt so many skills and gained so much more confidence, I’ll be sad to leave but I can look forward to my future’.


If you are thinking that RNC could be the right place for you, why not come on our next Open Day


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