Hugh proves blindness is no barrier to being an IT whizz
19 April 2018 13:00
Blind veteran, and now also an employee of the charity, Hugh, 65, lost his sight when he was just sixteen years old following a shooting incident the day before he was due to join the RAF.
Hugh is based at the charity’s Llandudno centre where he works as an instructor to vision impaired members on their use of technology.
Hugh says, “I thoroughly enjoy the job and love passing on information to other members with sight loss as I am uniquely in a position to understand their issues, being blind myself”. He continues, “One of the best parts of this job is enjoying the military humour and banter that goes on here”.
He is very impressed with the technology that is available to help those with sight loss these days particularly, as he explains, “Software applications that work with a mix of speech and voice recognition. As eye conditions with our members differ hugely there has to be a very varied programme of teaching. You can change the voice and accent on the computer programmes, and this can really help with new attendees to the class, making them feel more at home with a familiar sounding voice”.
He explains, “There are also available to our blind veterans’ iPads, Galaxy tablets and the most modern of mobile phones where the words move across rather than down the screen, as this is easier for those with sight loss to read. Sometimes it is not magnification that helps them see well, but the use of different colours”.
He says, “We instructors regularly get together to exchange ideas and information, which helps keep the training fresh and interesting”.
In recognition of his work with the charity Hugh was presented with the Ted Higgs Trophy at this year’s Founders Day. It is the charity’s highest honour.
The late Ted Higgs lost all his sight in 1944, whilst serving in the Royal Artillery, and the award has kindly been donated by members of his family.