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Blind woman forges her own path to pursue teaching dream

A Dublin woman who became blind after brain tumour surgery is forging her own path to pursue her dream of a career in teaching.

Claire Shorten, from Ballinteer, lost her vision in 2011, when she was a student at Maynooth University.

Several years later she returned to Maynooth to complete her undergraduate degree in geography and history, and then a Professional Master of Education programme.

At the time of her graduation, Ms Shorten was featured in the media as Ireland’s ‘inspirational first blind teacher’.

But after 60 job applications over four years, she says she has been offered only one interview for a teaching position.

“If the county council or the school don’t have the financial resources, they cannot hire someone with a disability,” she explained.

“Someone like me, who would need a Personal Assistant, someone like a wheelchair user who might need ramps or rails in certain areas of a building, it’s not done enough. The finance is not there.

“But I’m meant to be teaching. I just know that in my heart.”

Watch our video to see how Claire Shorten has taken her career into her own hands and wants to inspire others not to give up.

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