Lizzie Addison, Learn Devon
I started my first course at Bideford Arts Centre four years ago. I am visually impaired and I decided to do some courses to help me become more independent. I believed that I could do more than what I had learnt at school. I went to a college for visually impaired pupils. I did not do any English, maths or ICT at school. Things I did at school were learning to clean, learning to help in the nursery and to look after the flowers and plants. We used to cook our own lunches with some help.
I learnt about adult learning when I came to The Hub in the same building where they ran the courses. I registered for my first course which was English and maths and learnt so much that I decided to keep on learning.
I also believed that doing more courses would help me to communicate easier and understand more things better. I did some art courses and continued my English and maths. I started using the computer and soon my ICT skills got better. I have given some Powerpoint presentations in class which made me feel good and happy. The art courses helped me to do creative things. I realised that being visually impaired doesn’t have to stop you from making beautiful things. When I started to use a computer I learnt to type with my special keyboard and that helped me to spell some words myself. I soon learnt to make Powerpoint presentations and do research on Google.
I have now started working in a charity shop. Without the maths skills I learnt I would not be able to work with money and on a till. I also deal with customers. I got the confidence to work with people by being part of adult learning.
My life has changed a lot since I enrolled onto my first course.
I have met lots of different people and realised that I am good at working in a team. I participated in art exhibitions and I welcomed the public at the door and showed them to the drinks counter. I would never have dreamt of doing so before I started the courses.
My money skills have got better since doing maths and I now have the confidence to pay for things myself when I get the chance.
I think doing the courses has changed me as a person. I feel very proud of myself for what I have achieved. I have got loads of certificates for my hard work and I feel confident that the future will bring more happy things for me.