Sara McCracken founder and Chief Executive of Angel Eyes NI.
I am mum to three children, including twins who were registered severely sight impaired when they were 6 months old, due to a rare genetic condition. I felt ill equipped to make the necessary decisions for the twins and I desperately needed support, information and advice. Having circulated my telephone number to other parents via our QTVI and Social worker, I along with other like minded parents set up the charity in April 2007 to ensure other families did not face the same situation.
My eldest daughter who is sighted, went on to qualify as an Orthoptist with a first Class Honours Degree from Liverpool University, so it is all about eyes in our home!
As leader of Angel Eyes NI, I am passionate about getting the support and information parents and families need to make like as easy and accessible as possible. We work hard to represent the voice of parents in all arenas to ensure services meet their needs. I believe that harnessing Social Innovation can make a positive impact, and create a society that can adapt to the needs of children with visual impairment.
I am so proud of our team and the community of families and children that have helped shape our journey
My name is Karen Wilson and I am the Education Advocate at Angel eyes NI and on the Family Insight Project.
Prior to this post I worked as a Primary School teacher in Scotland and Spain. On returning home I worked for the Education Authority’s regional Inclusion & Diversity Service. In this role I delivered training and support to all school staff on Intercultural awareness, curriculum access, assessment and inclusivity for newcomer pupils and families.
Over the last three years, through my work at Angel Eyes I have gained extensive knowledge on how children with vision impairment can be best supported on their educational journey. This is information I have acquired both through professional training, and most importantly through parents; the experts on their children’s vision.
I am passionate about the positive role education plays in the social and economic mobility, and wellbeing of all. I advocate on the rights of all children to participate fully in all aspects of school life; to be provided with the necessary support and opportunities to fulfil their potential.
My name is Paula Robson and I am the Early Years Parent Support worker for Angel Eyes NI on the Family Focus Project. I am the mother of two, my youngest is registered severely sight impaired and therefore I have a personal interest in supporting families and their children who have sight loss.
My working career has taken me on a varied journey, working with children of all ages and abilities in educational settings, community-based settings as well as several years self-employed, but early years has always been my passion.
Whilst working in a school setting, I had the opportunity to learn Braille, a skill I am keen to improve on and pass onto others. When I look at anything now I think is that accessible to the tiny inquisitive hands of a tactile learner.
I believe that all children have the right to reach personal goals and achievements facilitated by their parents, guardians or carers. As influential adults to those children in our care we must, if necessary, improve our skills and the only way to do this is to play and learn alongside our children.