#WeWillWeek – Stoke High School Ormiston Academy takeover 

Stoke High School Ormiston Academy

On Wednesday 1st March we tasked pupils across the Ormiston network with the #WeWill website challenge. Asking young people to write and submit content on the day. Michelle Ros-Sanchez from Stoke High School Ormiston Academy shared her experiences of begin visually impaired and highlighted accessible provisions that should be considered within an educational setting.

Bringing Blindness Awareness to the Sighted School

I wasn’t born blind, which means I had to adapt to a whole new different world full of challenges. Besides this new way of life, learning about how to move around, how to communicate and how to study. An extra challenge was added to my circumstances when I moved to the UK, not knowing the language. Which means I must go to school like any other student, but with some difficulties and challenges, such as blindness and the language barrier. 

So today, I am here at Stoke High School with the opportunity to have an education. I am learning Braille, English, Math’s, Science, PE, and Music. However, this new way of life is not just new for me, but for anyone who is around me, as they also have to learn how to support or teach me. 

So, I would like to bring some blindness awareness to my Sighted School.  

These are some tips to help me out. 

In the corridor 

  • If you hear my cane sliding from side to side, please give way 
  • Do not jump over the cane 
  • If you say hello, please say your name 
  • If you hold the door open, please let me know. It’s easier if the person holding the door, then removes themself, so they are not an obstacle 
  • Walk instead of running 
  • Look forward when walking, so you can see me coming 
  • Walk on your left 
  • Avoid pushing or shouting during the agglomerations of break and lunch time 
  • I need my senses to the fullest 

In the classroom 

  • Tips for the teacher: (pretend you cannot see or understand the language) 
  • How could you give your message away? 
  • Describe what it is on the board 
  • Speak or read slowly 
  • Keep a quiet atmosphere so I can concentrate and understand you 
  • Repeat what you are talking about 
  • Provide oral and tactile examples 
  • Define key words 
  • Think of new tools and techniques of blindness  
  • Learn new ways to interact with me and include me in the activities 
  • Try some simulation blindness exercises with a blindfold and a guider 

Tips for the students 

  • Please be aware that I need your silence to be able to concentrate and understand what the teacher is saying. 

Things the school could do to foster understanding, acceptance and respect. 

  • A whole school presentation about “blindness awareness” in assembly 
  • Simulation exercises to raise awareness using a blindfold. 
  • Walk-in during my learning 
  • Pay interest in how I am learning and what tools I am using, etc. 



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