School-pupil Jonathon Miller joined Falkirk East MSP Cathy Peattie at the Scottish Labour Party conference in Aviemore, accompanying her on his accordion when she sang the traditional close-of-conference anthem, ‘The Red Flag’ (photograph attached).
His participation was organised by the Royal National Institute of Blind People Scotland.
Jonathon, aged 16, has the eye condition anarida, which means he was born without an iris. He is from Bishopbriggs and is a pupil of the Royal Blind School in Edinburgh.
His mother Eileen said: “Jonathon only began learning to play the accordion last year but it has become his passion. We’re very proud of him playing in front of so many people.”
Jonathon said: “It’s the first time I’ve played the accordion in public. I took up the accordion because of my interest in Scottish country music, and the fact that my music teacher at school played this instrument and said he’d give me lessons.”
“This performance delivered a very important message to our conference,” said Cathy, who was Convener of the Equal Opportunities Committee between 2003 and 2007.
“The message is about looking beyond the disability people with sight loss experience to also understanding their abilities. I very much support this.”