Vision Impaired Writing Group take colourful journey through the past.
A new CD launched by a group of writers who are blind and vision impaired provides an opportunity to listen to unheard voices, as their personal reflections on real-life events take you through their “Rainbow Journeys” from past to present. Available to buy here.
The CD, entitled Rainbow Journeys, is a compilation of stories by a group of people with sight loss who got together through NCBI, the national sight loss organisation. Although they formed as a reading group, their interest soon moved on to writing and a class was facilitated by NCBI’s Niamh MacAlister, who stated:
“Most of the people NCBI works with acquire sight loss during their lives, and many as they get older, so reading and writing can suddenly become big challenges. NCBI works with people to find practical solutions to the challenges of sight loss but we also wanted to look at creative outlets. Creative writing was new for the 13 participants, all of whom have impaired vision. The goals of Rainbow Journeys were to write about our lives, the paths taken, the revelations, the lessons learned and bring to light the everyday wonder of our lives.”
The stories, which were then read by the writers and recorded, will take you on a ship from South Africa to Dublin, to the East Wall bomb of the 1950s, right through Europe on motorbike just after the Second World War and even getting caught skinny dipping by a priest! All are real-life events written and read by the participants.
May O’Brien, who is 82 and from Donnybrook, lost the sight in one eye in the 1990s and since 2006, has very little sight in her other eye. May believes that the group played an important supportive role for the participants.
“When we met as a reading group were just sharing views about the books, it was nothing personal. So when we began sharing our personal stories in the creative writing course it changed all of us. We built up confidence and trust and we supported each other. There was no façade where you pretend not to have a disability. And then you are accepting your disability, but also acknowledging that you still have a brain that needs a creative outlet.”
Rainbow Journeys was launched on Friday 17th October in Dun Laoghaire Town Hall as part of the Dun Laoghaire / Rathdown Social Inclusion Week.
NCBI would like to thank photographer Anna Nowakowska for volunteering her time to take part in this project. Find out more about Anna Nowakowska Portrait Photography.
Friday, October 24, 2014
Thursday, October 16, 2014
Delighted to launch Rainbow Journeys at Dun Laoghaire Rathdown Social Inclusion Week at 11am Friday 17th of October in the Concourse of Dun Laoghaire town hall.
Rainbow Journeys, is about getting an opportunity to hear unheard voices. It began life in May 2014 when a group of eager and intrepid writers came together in the NCBI office in Dun Laoghaire. The goals were – to write about our lives, the paths taken, the revelations, the lessons learned and bring to light the everyday wonder of our lives. There were thirteen brave service users in all. Unfortunately one of our team passed away during our journey, Anne Barnes, and we proudly dedicate the CD to her.
Produced and Edited by Niamh MacAlister,
Co-ordinated by Aleksandra Okupinska,
Sound Engineer: Alan White,
Photographer: Anna Nowakowska