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Devin D. Thorpe
Devin Thorpe

Principal, Rotary Club and Students Develop and Share Tools for Blind Students

Dr. John Patterson was the first president of his Liverpool-based Rotary Club. He is also the principal at St. Vincent’s, a school for visually impaired and blind children. Working with the children, they developed SightBox, a collection of games and educational tools for kids like themselves in the developing world.

Working with his Rotary Club, they share the SightBox kits with students who would otherwise have no access to such things.

Interview with Dr. John Adam Patterson, the Dr John Patterson Principal and Charter President Rotary St.Vincents of St. Vincent’s School for the Blind.

The following is the pre-interview with Dr. John Adam Patterson. Be sure to watch the recorded interview above.

What is the problem you solve and how do you solve it?

In the UK, Visually Impaired unemployment is at 85% with 5-6 less friends than sighted peers; this is much higher in developing countries. We design access to sports equipment and send this equipment with a surround curriculum to VI schools weaving in technology teaching and learning innovation generating VI friend groups and access to learning /support for new venture creation.

Reaching out to some 6 million visually impaired young people to help generate friendship groups through sports to tackle isolation and via engagement in STEM to challenge high unemployment rates via showcasing strengths towards  employability in synergy with new venture creation.

St. Vincent’s:

More about St. Vincent’s School for the Blind:

Twitter: @sightboxuk


St.Vincent’s is a residential specialist school for the blind in Liverpool, UK. Part of the school curriculum engages a ‘common good’ focus in sharing access to sports and education through the sending of a physical  SIGHTBOX to schools for the blind internationally supported by Rotary. St.Vincent pupils work with a surrounding Science Technology Engineering and Maths (STEM) curriculum with SIGHTBOX recipients to design new content and signpost routes to employment and  generate friendship groups in synergy with the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

For-profit/Nonprofit: Rotary club in collaboration with a non maintained school charity and sightbox charity ( ie SDG 17 in action)

Revenue model: Donations from Rotary and match funding for content of SIGHTBOX innovation

Scale: St. Vincents takes pupils from across the UK and has a staff of 56. Our Rotary club has over 20 members. We have sent sightboxes so far to 9 different VI communities in the world and wish to roll out our impact

Dr. John Adam Patterson

Dr. John Adam Patterson’s bio:

Originally an engineer, John retrained as a primary teacher serving in Liverpool inner city schools and across public private and voluntary sectors within EU Objective One programmes as community and education consultant leading to a Senior Lecturer role as Head of Physical Education on teacher education programmes at Liverpool Hope University. His MSC and PhD surround social capital, social enterprise, volunteerism and curriculum design. He is currently Principal at St. Vincent’s, a residential non-maintained School for VI in West Derby Liverpool rated as OUTSTANDING by The Office for Standards in Education. His research and focus remains with securing outcomes for VI young people.

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Devin is a journalist, author and corporate social responsibility speaker who calls himself a champion of social good. With a goal to help solve some of the world’s biggest problems by 2045, he focuses on telling the stories of those who are leading the way! Learn more at!

3 Responses to Principal, Rotary Club and Students Develop and Share Tools for Blind Students

  • Excellent work going on at St Vincent’s school to improve the prospects for visually impaired and blind students, by helping them to realise they can do more than they ever would have thought possible.

  • Vote sightbox, fantastic.

  • Great to see sightbox helping Children at home and children over seas

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