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Julia's Story

14 Mar 2019

Julia, from London, is a learner with special needs and visual impairment. She faced challenges at school in the 1960s but has always been motivated to improve. She told us about her experiences with maths and why you should always give numeracy a go. 

What has been your past experience with maths?

In 2000, I had Glaucoma, which left me blind in one eye and 10% eye sight in my other eye. I did manage to do some maths with a personal assistant. I couldn't find anything online, to work on my Guide [screen reader programme], until my friend told me about the National Numeracy Challenge. Since then I have been doing it with a bit of help. Every time I go back into the website, there are always some improvements to make it easier for people with disabilities.

Why did you start improving your numeracy? 

I enjoy doing it. I thought it would be a new interest; it is something that I can do on the computer on my own. And maths has changed over the years; I want to keep up to date with the way it is done now. 

What effect has improving your numeracy had on you? 

It gives you a personal challenge and a sense of achievement when you get it right. 

Is it hard to find online learning that you can do independently? 

It depends, I have a special computer programme which reads out to me. A lot of programmes don’t mix with it, if it does it’s great and I can use it. The National Numeracy Challenge website is compatible with my programme. 

Often my friend has the Challenge on her iPad and I have it on the big screen at the same time so that we can look at it together. 

What advice would you give to other people thinking about improving their maths?  

Give it a go - because you never know what you can do or can’t do. No matter what disability you’ve got you can normally find a way around it, getting to learn and work it out. Sometimes it might put you off if it’s taking a bit of time, but don’t let it, persevere.

Start improving your numeracy - register on the National Numeracy Challenge now!

National Numeracy has developed an online tool to help you improve your numeracy and boost your confidence. This interactive website is free to use at home, at work or on the move. You can assess your current level of numeracy – completely anonymously - and then begin an online journey to getting the Essentials of Numeracy.