Blind computer pioneers

PUBLISHED: 15:11 26 August 2008 | UPDATED: 09:33 10 June 2010

TUESDAY, AUGUST 26: AN Exmouth course is breaking new ground by having blind instructors teaching computer skills to visually impaired adults. Patricia Stott, of Exmouth, and Debbie Palmer, of Exeter, are the first blind teaching assistants to work for Devon Adult Community

AN Exmouth course is breaking new ground by having blind instructors teaching computer skills to visually impaired adults. Patricia Stott, of Exmouth, and Debbie Palmer, of Exeter, are the first blind teaching assistants to work for Devon Adult Community Learning (DACL) as part of this new course.The women teach students how to use speech programs GUIDE and JAWS, which read text back to them from the screen.The programs are widely used by visually impaired people and provide access to email and all the facilities of the Internet.Patricia said: "Computers open a window on the world for blind people. "The classes are lively and lots of fun, which makes learning easier for the student and very satisfying for me." This initiative is a partnership between Action for Blind People and Devon Adult Community Learning. Paul Hannan, a spokesman for Action for Blind People, said: "In Devon, there is very little provision for visually impaired adults to access computer training using these specialised programmes."The Exmouth-based, bespoke 20-hour course provides an introduction to using computers and students are expected to go on to DACL mainstream computer courses.For more information call Paul Hannan on (01392) 332818.

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