Matthew is 12 years old and is registered partially sighted.
He has a very rare condition called achromatopsia, a non-progressive and hereditary visual disorder which is characterised by decreased vision (20/200 or less), light sensitivity (photophobia), and the absence of colour vision. It is also sometimes known as “day blindness”, as he can see better in subdued light. Matthew also has another condition which affects his sight called nystagmus, a continuous uncontrolled shaking of the eyes. This means that his eyes look like they are moving from side to side or up and down or even in circles.
Matthew is a bright bubbly boy and is in his first year of grammar school. It is great that his school provides a teaching assistant and also gets him text books in giant print.
The RNIB National Library Service has been providing Matthew with giant print books for about three or four years now and his mum describes them as a godsend to her son. She sees how much they feed his imagination which is so important for everyone, especially children. The giant print books from RNIB enable Matthew to enjoy the books that his friends read; he absolutely adores his “Harry Potter” books and likes all adventure books including “Warhorse” and “Diary of a Wimpy Kid”.
Matthew’s mum believes people should support Read for RNIB Day so that more books can be made available for blind and partially sighted children.
Our local library isn’t well stocked at all and I’m sure that’s the same across the country. Books can brighten children’s lives and it’s not fair that they can’t go to Waterstones or WH Smiths to buy books at the same times as their sighted colleagues.”
How you can help
Register for RNIB Read to help us change the story.
If you have any questions, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org or call us on 0845 345 0054 (Monday to Friday, 9am to 5pm).