A QUALIFIED teacher of the visually impaired from Bolton, who developed an immersive workshop has won a Royal National Institute of Blind People (RNIB) See Differently Award.

The Tactile Collider project which was led by Bolton’s Robyn Watson from Bolton Sensory Support Service alongside Rob Appleby from The University of Manchester, Chris Edmonds from the University of Liverpool won the Innovator of the Year Award.

The award is presented to an individual or organisation that has demonstrated and applied a new product, technology, or service which has significantly benefited people who are blind or partially sighted.

Ms Watson said: “We are absolutely delighted to win, the other shortlisted projects in the category were fabulous, it’s really quite humbling.”

The Tactile Collider project aims to promote a love of science among blind and partially sighted students by offering a unique, two-hour workshop that has so far been delivered to over 20 schools nationwide.

The idea for the project stemmed from the realisation that conventional museum-style exhibits, talks, TV and video are not always accessible to a blind or partially sighted audience, as they often rely on visual modes of communication.

The Tactile Collider team worked with people with sight loss to find new ways to educate pupils about particles, accelerators and magnets through sound recordings and tactile models.

Ms Watson added: “We are excited to work with more young people over the coming years, and really hope that we pass on the message to students and teachers alike that science can be made accessible to people with visual impairment.”

The RNIB See Differently Awards aim to shine a spotlight on the work happening across the UK to support people with sight loss. They highlighted the contributions being made to break down barriers and rewarded those creating opportunities that enable blind and partially sighted people to live the life they want to lead.

The awards recognise exceptional individuals and teams across six categories: Campaigner of the Year, Innovator of the Year, Community Contributor of the Year, Social Media Influencer of the Year, Team of the Year and Employer of the Year.

RNIB CEO Matt Stringer said: “The RNIB See Differently Awards celebrate those who dedicate their time, passion and skills to changing the world for blind and partially sighted people. All our winners have shown fantastic examples of this and I warmly congratulate them all on their success.”

n What do you think? Email