Aveiro University has proudly announced the grade achieved by blind student Ana Sofia Teixeira in her Master’s degree in clinical psychology and health. Teixeira obtained the maximum 20 points in her dissertation on the suffering of the blind. She was born with retinitis pigmentosa, a degenerative hereditary condition that causes severe vision impairment and often blindness – but her motto, throughout life, has been “if others can do it, so can I”.
She has battled through life as her condition worsens, “learning to live with the difficulties” and seeing herself not so much as a victim, but “as a very special person”.
Her study “showed essentially that those who suffer most emotionally are those whose disabilities are progressive” – in other words, vision problems increase over time – “single people and those who realise that their visual handicap impacts negatively on their life”.
Despite her heroic dedication, Teixeira attributed her exceptional 20 points (a result rarely achieved by sighted people) to “the tireless support of all those people” who help her.