Press release

‘Wandaful’ celebration for graduate and retiring guide dog

Published on 23 June 2023

Leanne Moore is set to step into a new role after crossing the Caird Hall stage while Wanda, her beloved guide dog, is getting ready to step down from hers

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Leanne, who is registered blind, is a teacher of IT skills and assistive technologies at the Royal National College for the Blind and joined the MSc in Educational Assistive Technology at Dundee in an effort to enhance the learning experience of students at the College.

She joined her peers from the School of Science and Engineering at the afternoon graduation ceremony on Friday 24 June.

Black Labrador Retriever Wanda, who walked alongside Leanne across the Caird Hall stage while wearing her own special graduation sash, retires the week following Graduation. Speaking ahead of the event, Leanne said that her graduation was also an opportunity to celebrate her loyal companion.

“Wanda has been my eyes for eight wonderful years,” said Leanne. “Not only a guide dog, but a confidant, sounding board and best friend.

“She has been on this MSc journey with me and our trip to Dundee will be her last week of work, so having the opportunity to graduate together is perfect. She has a yellow sash that matches the colours on the gown, so she’ll also be graduating properly!

“Wanda has given her life to me, but at 10 years old it is time for my happy-go-lucky girl to have a well-earned rest, to be a dog and grow old disgracefully. She will always have a special place in my heart as my number one dog in every way, but this certainly isn’t the end, it’s just the beginning of a new adventure for both of us.”

Leanne is part of the first cohort to graduate from the MSc in Educational Assistive Technology course.

The first cohort of the Educational Assistive Technology course posed in graduation gowns on the Caird Hall steps

The course was developed to train individuals how to implement and support the use of technology within education and other organisations to enable Assistive Technology (AT) users or students with a broad range of learning difficulties and/or physical disabilities access curriculum. AT is designed to ensure students are able to access and participate fully in education, employment, entertainment and the wider environment as independently as possible.

The aim of the course is to enhance the support to students who require AT by establishing the role of an Educational Assistive Technologist to ensure that technologies are deployed and supported across the service provision for learners. The Royal National College is in the process of developing a more specified role for Leanne now that her studies at Dundee have come to an end.

“I know first-hand how important technology is in helping people be more independent,” continued Leanne. “Technology can allow me to do pretty much anything without having to ask to borrow people’s eyes all the time.

“At the Royal National College for the Blind we make sure that students are aware of what technology is available to assist them and give them the confidence to use it to get them ready for higher education and employment. But there is so much out there.

“The course, and meeting so many others who brought their own expertise, has expanded my knowledge and made me more aware of what technology is out there and the important legislation to go with it.

“We on the course have all stayed in touch and have developed our own network where we can ask about different technology and find out what works for different people. Technology is advancing rapidly and it’s just going to continue to get better but it’s hard to keep up with it all on your own. Having a network like this is fantastic.”


Jessica Rorke

Media Relations Officer

+44 (0)1382 388878
Story category Graduation, Public interest