Forth Valley Sensory Centre
Pupils at St Mary’s RC Primary School in Bo’ness were given sensory training this week thanks to Forth Valley Sensory Centre. The children, in Primary One to Seven, learned about sign language and different types of sight loss thanks to volunteers John and Ann.
A variety of different activities took place to help the children from St Mary’s understand more about what sight loss might mean and some of the innovative ways that D/deaf and blind or partially sighted people use technology and other equipment to compensate for their sensory loss.
The children were full of questions, including some very insightful ones asking “What do you miss most about not being able to see?” and “Do you get angry?”. Other questions included if it hurt being blind, how to get in bed, how to cook, how to get on trains, how to clean your teeth and brush your hair and “What’s your favourite Pokemon?”
The last question was sadly unanswered but John and Ann were very open and honest with the children confessing that not being able to see did make them angry and while it doesn’t hurt physically, it can in other ways.
Partnership Manager Martin Allen said:
“It was great to be invited along to the school to help the children build on what they had been learning for the recent anti-bullying week and also about the senses in science. We try to educate as many people as possible about the difficulties people with sensory loss face because if we increase understanding we can decrease stigma and bullying.
“We’d be happy to hear from other local schools and community groups and discuss how we might be able to help.”
Pupils were able to try out a guide cane with Ann, a Bo’ness resident herself who has retinitis pigmentosa. Ann is a member of our Bo’ness outreach group which meets on the last Tuesday of each month for a range of different trips and outings. They are always happy the hear from potential new members and anyone interested should contact Brenda at the Centre. For more on our activities and groups, please see our What’s On page.
Other items which astounded the children included a spill resistant mug, a electronic colour speaking device which can tell you what colour your clothes are and a “What’s in the box” game where children had to retrive different fruits based on their sense of touch.