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Thursday, 24 May, 2001, 15:05 GMT 16:05 UK
Exams joy for blind pupil
Glasgow University sign
Laura will take up her place at the university
A blind teenager has secured a place at Glasgow University to study law and Spanish after achieving four A-grade passes in her Higher exams.

Laura McGlynn, 16, who has been blind since birth, recorded the grades last year at St Bride's High School in East Kilbride.

She opted to be educated amongst sighted pupils rather than attending a school which specialised in teaching visually impaired children.

Laura said there was no secret to her success - just hard work and the friendship and encouragement of fellow pupils and teachers.

The amazing thing is that in most of the other classes she doesn't need any help at all

Linda Sorensen, support teacher
She said: "Basically I just take notes in class using a Braille Lite machine, which is easy to carry from class to class.

"I can print them out for my teachers in ordinary type or in Braille for myself."

Laura will leave St Bride's in June but not before she completes Higher exams.

One of these is Spanish, a subject that she intends to combine with law at Glasgow University in October.

When Laura first arrived at St Bride's, members of a special visual impairment unit instructed teachers on how to assist a blind pupil.

Headteacher, Stephen McPartlin, said: "The unit helped us overcome problems like explaining diagrams in maths or doing chemistry experiments.

'One of the crowd'

"They also told us about special equipment needed to assist Laura.

"Laura came to us from St Leonard's Primary. She really was just one of the crowd and mixed in with other pupils.

"Any reservations we had about coping with a blind girl just disappeared because Laura is such an intelligent and likeable girl."

Support teacher Linda Sorensen has worked with Laura since she was 18 months old.

She said: "I've worked with her at St Bride's in a few classes such as Higher maths and physics.

"But the amazing thing is that in most of the other classes she doesn't need any help at all. She is an excellent pupil and her achievement is a lesson for us all."

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