CVI Convention 2017

Sophie Tennison, one of The CVI Society Young Ambassador's, blogs about The CVI Society Convention 2017.

As you will discover when you read Sophie's Blog, many people with CVI have difficulty remembering names.

Hi there, long time no blog. So I have been a bit slacking on blogging. Well slacking on doing anything and I no longer have I've just come back from The National Youth Theatre as an excuse.

What have I been up to? Well I recently went to the Orphan Black convention which was run by Starfury. I had a really nice time and met some of the cast from Orphan Black. As you may know, I am a big fan of Orphan Black. I have also been auditioning for lots of things. It's one of those things, auditioning, there is no exact way of doing it. A lot of the time it's a no, so you wait for the one to say yes. It's weird, because although they are there to cast and have no clue what they're really looking for, they kind of do. I mean I know I get a kind of visual idea of what a character is like. My idea of what a character is and acts like might be completely different to the people doing the casting. One day I'm going to get an audition and book it and well I'll fall over!

The main excitement for me is the CVISociety convention in Bristol. Yes, I prepared another speech. I think I didn't run over this time. Hopefully. This year there were more speakers I think. I apologise if I don't say names or can't remember names, they're not my strong suit. We had this man, who is working on a Virtual Reality project, which will help people understand what people with CVI who have visual field deficits see like. Once, when I was in infant school, had my visual impairment teacher come in and show the staff in the school and herself, with the help of these special glasses, how I see. So, it felt like it could be a step up from that and people, who work with people with CVI or similar, will get a greater understanding of the impact of a visual field deficit.

It's kind of funny because VR doesn't really work on me. But it's interesting to see this project. It has great potential.

Another speaker was this lady, again sorry about names, who is a BBC TV producer and was talking about the project she is currently working on. Which is to 'strip back' television and movies and heighten certain aspects. So, for example, I find it hard when scenes are dark, outside at night and contrast isn't the best. If I could raise the contrast level, it would make it easier to see. It's something that again has a lot of potential. Because it not only has potential for people with CVI, but people with hearing impairments, epilepsy. It has the potential to help lots of people.

Just as last year we had talks from Professor Gordon Dutton and Richard Bowman which were interesting. I think my brother found Professor Gordon Dutton's speech especially interesting, because he has a way of putting things. He makes them easier to understand and gives you helpful ideas that you may not of thought of.

We also had a speech from a father,again I met him on the day and the day before, but his name has gone out of my head. They'll know if they read this I mean them. He did a speech about what it's like being a father to a child with CVI. This was interesting because it's a completely different experience to having it yourself, when you have a child with it, if that makes sense, you become an advocate for your child and want them to flourish and live their life as best they can.

Art, the other CVI Young Ambassador also gave another speech, I think my mum and brother are Art fans. It was interesting learning about the travel difficulties he's experiencing at home.Although it took me a minute to realise he meant train when he said 'the dart'. That is the name for his local train service in Ireland.

It was a lovely weekend and although I enjoyed last year's convention, this year was even better. I enjoyed the theme, and it made it easier writing my speech although I did have a bit of writer's block.

I have no idea what next year's speech will be about, I'm already planning because otherwise the time will fly past and it will be here. And I won't be ready. Hopefully the things I've achieved this year will have doubled.

So thank you again to Janet and everyone in the CVI Society for another fantastic convention.

I can't wait for next year!

Sophie x

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