Wobbly Wednesday 2017

Anes, Alicia, Lois, Kali and Carla are sitting around a table in the student hub smiling at the camera.

Every year the first Wednesday of every month is known as ‘Wobbly Wednesday’ and raises awareness of the eye condition nystagmus. At RNC (Royal National College for the Blind) over a third of our students suffer from nystagmus, which is constant movement of the eyes that cannot be controlled.

 

Having come from mainstream backgrounds, many of our students have had to explain what their eye condition is and why it happens to lots of different people. 18 year old Jack Yare from Cumbria explains “People used to ask what was wrong with my eyes and asked why they were wobbling. It’s not something I can control and when I’m really trying to concentrate on something they shake and it can be really annoying.”

 

Most students at RNC have other eye conditions as well as nystagmus so the way that they see things will be different for each person. 16 year old Chris Colbert from Doncaster says “My eyes move all over the place and I just can’t seem to keep them still, when I get tired it’s worse. I had an operation recently for my other eye condition (Leber’s Amaurosis) and it means that one of my eyes moves faster than the other

now.”

 

20 year old Lois Turner from Sutton, who studied Sport and Recreation in her first year and is now a Massage student, says “The muscles affected by nystagmus are ones that you can’t strengthen, unlike all the muscles in your body that you can exercise, there’s no exercise you can do to make your eyes stronger!”

 

Lois goes on to say “When you’re partially sighted, no one knows how much you can see so people just make assumptions. If I concentrate I might be able to read standard font so people think my sight is fine but what they don’t realise is that I have to strain a lot to see it which can lead to headaches and fatigue so standard print is not an effective working medium for me, especially when reading lots of text in books.”

 

RNC Student Recruitment Manager says “One of the best things about being at RNC is that our students are around others who understand them, both students and staff. Here, students feel comfortable talking about their eye condition but it isn’t the thing that defines them anymore, it’s no longer a barrier to their learning or their progress, it’s just something that they have.”

 

At RNC, our staff are specialists in working with people with a range of different eye conditions, if you are interested in finding out what we can do for you, come to the RNC Open Day on 8 December!

 

If you have any questions about RNC, please get in touch with our student enquiries team on 01432 376 621 or email info@rnc.ac.uk

 

Article written by Bik Lee, Digital Media Officer at RNC