Post date: 
Tuesday, 1 April 2014
Northern Ireland

Presenting the first record of the social history of blindness in Northern Ireland from 1800, through wartime, right up to present day.

About the exhibition

A Sense of the past is presented in a fascinating book and interactive, accessible exhibition.  It gives untold insights into the experiences of local people with sight loss within: 
  • Education
  • Employment
  • Healthcare
  • Welfare
  • Sport and Leisure
  • Conflict (World Wars and the Troubles)
Inspirational figures such as sportswoman Janet Gray, adventurer Mark Pollock and David Mann, Chair of RNIB NI, have all made personal contributions to the book.  
The accompanying exhibition features six panels covering each chapter of the book, tactile artefacts dating from the 1800s, and the exhibition uses RNIB’s Penfriend audio recording device to narrate any written information.
This exhibition is touring under the Museums in Focus project, funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund.  This project is working with museums and arts venues across Northern Ireland to improve the accessibility of their venues and future exhibitions for people with sight loss.
"A lot has changed for blind and partially sighted people over the last two hundred years. Once objects of pity, we now assert our rights to self-determination and full inclusion in society. Changes in legislation and in technology over the past century have opened up ever wider horizons, but society still puts many unjustifiable barriers in our way. The historical perspective which this exhibition and book afford us should serve to strengthen the determination of RNIB and of blind and partially sighted individuals to continue the struggle for a more equal and inclusive society in which we can play a full role." David Mann, Chair of RNIB NI

Sense of the past exhibition tour:

Coleraine Museum, 1 May - 30 June 2015
Tower Museum Derry/Londonderry, 2 July - 27 August 2015
Armagh County Museum, 1 September - 30 October 2015
Down Museum, 4 November - 3 January 2016
Jordanstown school Jordanstown, 5 January  - 1 February 2016
Additional dates to follow.

Contact us

Limited supplies of the A Sense of the Past book are available in clear print, braille and audio. Please contact RNIB NI on 028 9032 9373 or email [email protected] to request a copy.