Ciaran O’Brian

I have Albinism and live in Dublin. During Transition Year, I did my work experience placement in NCBI offices and in their Malahide store. I was also their Youth Ambassador for World Children’s Day 2019.

Throughout my primary education I always needed help seeing certain texts. I had a Special Needs Assistant beside me to read out the content of the white board and textbooks. I used a low vision aid for example a magnifier and later I was given a Liberty Scholar which is a portable video magnifier. The majority of the resources I used in primary school have followed me into secondary school.

I find people often make assumptions about me due to my visual impairment like I cannot have the same standard of work or intelligence or that it affects my personality.

While Albinism will always be a part of me, it will never doesn’t define me.

I have been connected with NCBI for many years and it has always been a source of support and advice to me. I’ve availed of services such as the independent travel, cooking and social programmes. I have been able to obtain several skills which have inspired new interests and make new friends that struggle with similar situations as myself. I also took park in Camp Abilities programme in Kerry in 2017. It had so many activities I could do like rock climbing, building a raft and canoeing. I returned again in 2018 and I am planning to return this year to be a leader in training. It definitely improved my confidence and I enjoyed meeting new friends. From a young age I have had a love of fashion. I have never been particularly good at sports largely due to not being able to see the ball. So I have always run to fashion. Like the way an athlete would run to the football field, in my case I am a fashionista and would run to H&M!