Update - Inspirational Speakers Panel lunch & AGM -11 March 2017

Saturday 11th March 17

Venue: Jordanstown School
Organisers:Angel Eyes NI

We are delighted to confirm the 4 fantastic people who will be our panel of Visually Impaired Inspirational Speakers talking about -

 *their experience of growing up with visual impairment

*their experiences in school/college and

*their career choices

and how they overcame any obstacles to those. 

 Elaine Orwin – Retired Teacher

I was diagnosed at the age of 4 with Macular Degeneration.  No support was offered to my parents.  My education consisted of being put to the front of the classroom.  My parents encouraged me to follow my dreams and I went onto Queens University and graduated with an honours degree in History.  I qualified as a teacher and spent 25 years teaching and every day in the classroom was so special.  Retiring from teaching in 2010, I am now campaigning to ensure that every child can achieve their dream with the right support and that parents should not feel isolated and without a voice.

 Mervyn Little – Recently retired Radio Broadcaster at Belfast 89 FM

I was born in Donemana, Co. Tyrone ……My sister Hazel has Nystagmus but nonetheless had a successful career with several airlines, living independently abroad and travelling the world….. I myself have Nystagmus and had a fabulously unsuccessful academic beginning in a school system that had no provision for, or interest in ... a child of a lesser God!  I have been variously, a toilet cleaner, a window cleaner, a lifeguard, an amusement arcade technician, a petrol pump attendant, an actor, a props man, a painter and decorator, a theatre set builder/decorator,  a scenic painter, a TV studio hand, a graphic designer, a cameraman, a director, a producer. 

For fun,  I have tried just about anything that has been barred to me or anyone with sight impairment.  This on occasion has afforded me the opportunity to widen my circle of friends, notably those in the medical profession, and with occasional legal advice.  Now that I am retired I can spend more time with the one consistent in my life, sailing and learning how to differentiate between such challenges as, the red and green of harbour lights and traffic lights.

Gary McGladdery – Disability Services Manager at Ulster University

Gary is currently the Disability Services Manager at Ulster University overseeing the support for nearly 2000 students with disabilities…….Previously Gary was a Disability Officer at Queen's University, had a range of roles in the Voluntary Sector and sat on an advisory body for the Government in Westminster on disability legislation between 2007 and 2013.  He has attended mainstream education during his School years before going to RNC in Hereford and on to University.  In his spare time and as part of his PhD in Politics he has written one book and has contributed to several others over the past decade.  Gary lives in Banbridge with his wife Alison and daughter Emma.

 Drew McCusker – Business Owner

Drew McCusker, partially sighted from birth, attended mainstream school and then RNIB New College Worcester, prior to completing a Business degree in Northumbria University and then Masters at Glasgow Caledonian University.  His career has spanned many companies, traveling to many countries, and he is currently a Consultant Project Manager working for his own company.  This coupled with a busy family life with a wife and four kids has surpassed all his ambitions! 

Drew says "I am not disabled but people may disable me!"

The talks will take place over a sandwich lunch. To book your place at this event, please contact the Angel Eyes NI office on 02890941632 or email . Please indicate the number of places for each adult and child and indicate if you will be staying for the Angel Eyes NI AGM or the Saturday Club.


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