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Visually-impaired kids get special jurassic experience

Children with visual impairments were treated to a special online sensory lesson in dinosaurs, led by paleontologist Jack Horner.

Horner hosted the event for the Royal National Institute for Blind People last Saturday. The Shape and Share Dinosaur Discovery Family Event ensured that over 50 children with visual impairments were able to fully engage in the sensory experience. Horner answered questions about his work as a paleontologist, which has included being an advisor and consultant to Steven Spielberg for the Jurassic Park films. The children were then treated to a ‘Dinomania’ puppet show, and all were given either a dinosaur cuddly toy or a Dino Lab Kit.

RNIB Shape and Share events form part of the support the charity offers for children and young people with vision impairment and their families. This event took place virtually in order to reach as many children as possible across the UK, but future events will comprise a mix of online and face to face experiences.

The events run through the year, and are set up to encourage visually-impaired children to connect with others in their community, and build their confidence. 

Charlotte von Wielligh from Basingstoke attended the virtual event with her two children, Larissa, and Henley. Larissa, 5, has the eye conditions bilateral congenital cataracts and nystagmus. Henley, 7, is sighted and joined his sister for some dinosaur fun.

Charlotte said:

“The children absolutely loved the Dinosaur Discovery event and have gone into school telling all their friends about it! Larissa and Henley were able to research before and prepare questions to ask; it was lovely to see their confidence when asking the questions and the expert was able to explain it very well.

“I’d like to say a huge thank you to RNIB as there aren’t many family experiences that are fully accessible for children with a vision impairment. Inclusivity is so important and both Larissa and Henley had an incredible time.”

RNIB Children, Young People and Families (CYPF) Specialist Lead, Craig Brown said:

“Our online Shape and Share events, part of our activity programme, bring children, young people and their families together for peer support, to share experiences and take part in fun activities like Dinosaur Discovery.

 “We are thrilled that Jack was able to join us and lead on an engaging and fascinating session. RNIB Shape and Share events are open to families throughout the UK so we would encourage anyone interested to get involved in future activities.”