David Carter has no central vision and needs the help of special magnifiers and a scribe to undertake his work. David, who is a second year Access to Higher Education student, recently achieved an A* star in his GCSE Maths and has obtained distinctions in many of his Access units.
He is now going to mentor first year students and hopes his remarkable story will inspire them and encourage them with their studies.
David, 30, lost his central vision in 2006 and doctors discovered he had Leber's Hereditary Optic Neuropathy which is a hereditary eye disease. He then spent the next few years coming to terms with this and adjusting his lifestyle. He taught himself to use the transport system and prefers not to use a cane or a guide dog to help him.
He says: “The worse thing about losing your sight is losing your confidence. I thought I couldn’t achieve the things I could do before. But that’s something I have got back since coming to College. I’ve achieved so much and feel like the person I was before losing my sight.”
Earlier this year David, who had not been in mainstream education for more than a decade, won an award for the mature student who has most successfully overcome difficulties in pursuing his or her studies. Now he is hoping to apply to university to study psychology or psychiatry.
He says: “Before I started College I never even thought about going onto university. However the skill and motivation of my teachers has been fantastic and the other students have been very supportive. I feel I have my confidence back. I couldn’t have done it without the support of all my tutors and peers.”
Mei-Lin Tai, who is Learning Support Manager at the College, adds: “David is so inspirational to me, as a tutor, because of his perseverance and determination. Getting students to believe in their potential is so important. He also encourages the other students who really look up to him. He has achieved so much in the past year and has climbed mountains. Now he really believes in himself.”