My name is Keith Brown and my role within Vision Support is to provide IT training and advice to vision impaired people in Chester. I hold actual sessions throughout the week and also deal with a lot of telephone enquiries.
Not many people know how many different packages there are to assist with all levels of sight loss. For example audio output would suit someone who is completely blind, there are between 2x to 32x magnification options depending on the severity of sight loss. In some cases a combination of both audio and magnification are needed as some people after a length of time will suffer from eye strain and need to change to speech output.
People who have existing computer skills come to see me for quick and easy advisory sessions so they can go away and enjoy the skills they previously had with assistance of software. Although there are many software packages available to buy lots of people are surprised to learn that there is no cost involved in making their own PC accessible.
Being blind myself, I rely heavily on my computer to do the simplest of daily tasks such as reading my mail and other printed material. My computer can be used as a phone dialler or as a complete accessible home entertainment centre which tells me what channel or recorded program I am watching or listening to. It also provides me with accessible directions to unfamiliar places. My PC also saves me the frustration of searching for CD’s or audio books and having to remember the order which they are stored.
The best part of my job is sharing the pleasure my learners get from their sessions. Whether it’s someone with existing skills visiting the internet once again with the aid of access technology or a complete beginner realising they can navigate around a keyboard.
One Lady from Rhyl came to me to learn to surf the net. She loved Google and all it could offer her.
She wasn’t sure what to purchase i.e. a laptop or desktop, I gave the advice I give to all my learners that they should go to a supplier of computers and take a look at various screens and have a feel of the different keyboard layout’s.
She came for her lesson after Christmas as usual but unfortunately for me dropped the news that she wanted to finish her IT Training.
Her family had clubbed together and given her an IPad for Christmas, she took to it strait away. She Loves it and can do all she needs and more.
If you would like to find out more information about my IT sessions please contact me on 01244-341-885 or 01244-381-515. I teach Mon-Wed at the Bluecoat Building.
Alternatively you can email me firstname.lastname@example.org
Here is what some of my students have to say:
85 year old Jimmy Campbell who has Macular Degeneration from Wrexham says…
“The IT lessons have proved very helpful they Allow me access to web sites. I didn’t realise you could do so much with a computer.
The computer provides Assistance with matters that I am unable to see to do myself such as reading post, newsletters etc.”