- News stories
- Events calendar
- NCBI News Magazine
- NCBI News Autumn 2010
- A car blind people can drive?
- Adamstown Run
- Altered Images Exhibition
- Anti-discrimination Laws
- Blind Football Comes to Ireland
- Brilliance in the face of great adversity
- CFIT Making Virtual Users a Reality
- Disability Ireland Supporters Community
- Events Calendar 2010
- Galway Visually Impaired Activities Club
- Irish Blindsports
- Making Electricity Services Accessible
- More than a case of Murphy's Law
- Mrs Quin's
- New Seniors Alert Scheme
- News Snippets
- Thank you Maureen Grant
- Tommy wins Person of the Month Award
- Work experience with NCBI
- NCBI News Autumn 2011
- NCBI News Autumn 2012
- NCBI News Spring 2011
- NCBI News Spring 2012
- NCBI News Spring 2013
- NCBI News Summer 2010
- NCBI News Summer 2012
- NCBI News Winter 2010
- NCBI News Winter 2011
- NCBI News Autumn 2010
- Public Policy and Campaigns
- Home >
- News >
- NCBI News Magazine >
- NCBI News Autumn 2010 >
- Experiences on work experience with NCBI
You are here
My name is Jennifer Barrett. I have a 13-year-old daughter. At the age of 25 I lost my sight to uveitis and went completely blind. Uveitis is swelling and irritation of the uvea, the middle layer of the eye, which provides most of the blood supply to the retina.
After a few years of medical treatments attending various specialists to no benefit, I decided to challange myself and go back to full-time education. I chose to do a B.A. Hons. degree in Social Care and Social Studies.
I am now in my last year and had to do a 12 week placement. After many setbacks I finally decided to go to the NCBI’s Waterford office to complete my placement. During the first few days, to my amazement, I found out what went on behind the scenes that the service user does not see. It also struck me that I was not the only person with vision impairment and there are many other people out there just like me.
After a lot of support from Mandy Gibbons, my community resource worker, I started figuring my way about the office and visiting some service users with Mandy. It showed me a thing or two about having to put my feelings aside and go to the next service user with a smile. But I found this hard to do as we pottered on to the next person.
I also started to learn a lot about myself as I began to understand my own sight loss. I only then discovered that I had not come to terms with the fact that I was not only vision impaired but totally blind. This became a very emotional time and I wanted to go back to being “Jenny the person who had not come to terms with her vision impairment”. As time went on Mandy was there, pushing me forward and making me do things on my own.
A determined person inside me
I am now learning to use the long cane to get around; something that I was totally against in the beginning.
I came to the NCBI as a student. However, little did I know I was going to love working with the organisation and to learn that there is a determined person inside me; or that working with people in the same predicament as myself would change my life forever.
I am grateful for this NCBI placement that brought these realisations to me. Thanks to Mandy for accepting me for the three months — I still have a lot to learn!