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Thursday, April 18, 2024

Determined 40-year-old blind woman survives challenges, bags master’s degree at UK university,

A determined 40-year-old blind woman named Claire Bowes has survived her challenges to bag a master’s degree at the University of Sheffield, United Kingdom.

Claire bagged her master’s degree in Music Psychology for Education, Performance and Wellbeing at the University of Sheffield in the United Kingdom. She lost her sight in the 1998 Omagh bomb attack according to Belfast Telegraph.

Claire said she was enjoying a trip into Omagh shopping with her friends when the Real IRA bomb exploded adding that her other friends escaped but she was blinded instantly after being hit by shrapnel.

”I always say we only have one chance at life, and it’s up to us to make the most of it. That’s why I do live my life to that, in terms of everything no regrets, and making the most of every opportunity that I’m given,” she said.

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She stated that returning to her studies just a matter of months after losing her sight was tough as she had to adapt to learning new ways of doing everything even being guided around her school.

She went on to study Music at Queen’s University Belfast, United Kingdom and opened her music school in 2013 before earning acceptance to proceed with her master’s degree at the University of Sheffield.

Claire stated that she has been distance-learning for two years whilst running her own business, Omagh Music Academy. She said she juggled work with her studies and being a mum to three children and at the same time managing the added difficulties of being a blind student.


“Things take longer to do, because I don’t have the visual aspect. Technology is fantastic, but it’s not as easy to access everything as it is for someone sighted that can just grab a book or download an article and it’s instantly accessible,” she said.

She stated that she believes her supportive family including her husband and three children, and her stubbornness and determination to be successful helped her get through the challenging two years.

Concerning her plans for the future, Claire said she is keeping an open mind about returning for further study after she has completed her dissertation on how sight loss impacts music learners.

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