A very accessible Christmas! Keira experiences festive magic thanks to RNIB and Santa
This year, the Royal National Institute of Blind People (RNIB) is celebrating the magic of Christmas with 12-year-old Keira Mills and the excitement she experiences when receiving a letter from Santa in an accessible format.
Once again, Jolly Old St Nicholas has teamed up with RNIB to ensure every child with a vision impairment receives a reply to their letter in an accessible format including braille, large print and audio.
Keira, who lives in Waltham Chase in Hampshire, was born with bilateral optic atrophy which caused her optic nerve to not form properly. She also has nystagmus, a condition that causes involuntary movement of her eyes which makes it hard for her to focus her sight.
Keira has been receiving accessible letters from Santa for the past few years and says doing so makes her feel independent as she can read it without the help of her parents.
She said: “I love my accessible letter from Santa. When it came through the post, I couldn’t believe I had a letter for me in braille! Lots of times I don’t get included as things aren’t accessible and all my friends get excited and I don’t know why. With my special braille letter, I get to join in with the magic of Christmas, just like everyone else!”
This Christmas, Keira is most looking forward to performing in her Christmas show, doing a parkrun on Christmas Day, and of course, getting presents! When she grows up, she dreams of becoming a singer and a goalball Paralympian.
She’s had her first taste of stardom with an appearance on ITV2 to introduce RNIB’s Christmas campaign advert, which she also stars in.
Andrea Jones, RNIB’s Head of Individual Giving, said: “Receiving a letter from Santa is such an exciting experience for any child. Keira is just one of the many children in the UK with a vision impairment who RNIB is supporting to ensure that Christmas is accessible and inclusive for all.
“Our aim is to create an experience that means no child misses out on the magic of Christmas, and RNIB’s letters from Santa is just one part of this work.”
Last year, the elves sent 1,465 letters from Santa to blind and partially sighted children across the UK, helping them experience the same magic of Christmas as sighted children.