In Focus Series 2

In the second series of the In Focus Podcast, RI Education & Engagement manager Fiona Waters will speak to invited guests ranging from researchers to influencers. They will discuss current global issues that impact the visually impaired community and what’s being done to improve inclusivity and wellbeing for all. Through these discussions, we hope to shed light on topical issues.


Episode 1: Laura Whelan

Fiona Waters begins series 2 of Retina International’s In Focus podcast by welcoming Laura Whelan.

Laura Whelan is a third year PhD candidate in Prof. Jane Farrar’s lab in Trinity College Dublin. Laura’s work is carried out as part of the Target 5000 study, which aims to provide clinical and genotyping services for people living in Ireland with an inherited retinal disease. Laura has a particular interest in non-coding DNA variants and their role in these diseases. Laura is also interested in making science more open to the public and can be found on Twitter and Instagram @ phdwithlaura, where she shares her work and life as a PhD student.

In this week’s episode, Laura talks about her research and who and what motivated it. She also discusses patient engagement and why it’s so valuable for researchers to involve patients in their process. In addition, Laura discusses science communication, how she became interested in it, and why she chooses to share her research with the world. You can learn more about Laura and her life as PhD student by visiting her social media pages.

Episode 2: Martin Sigsworth

In the second episode of series 2 of the In Focus podcast, RI’s Fiona Waters speaks with Martin Sigsworth about career development for people with low vision.

Martin Sigsworth is the Senior Employment manager at Thomas Pocklington Trust. He is passionate about enabling blind and partially sighted people to achieve their employment goals and feels with the right workplace adjustments any career is possible. A blind person himself, he has worked in a number of sectors from media to recruitment and uses all of these experiences to design and implement employability programmes which support blind and partially sighted people into work.

In this episode, Martin talks about his work with Thomas Pocklington Trust, and the resources they provide for visually impaired people in their career search, including CV templates, mock interviews, and much more. He also discusses the importance of resilience and seeing a visual impairment as a benefit to any organisation. The guiding advice laid out in this interview is an asset to any job seeker looking to begin or further develop their career.

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