Thursday, 1 March 2007

This week has been very busy for us.

On Tuesday I went up to York to meet with someone from Access to Work UK. This is the Government body that finances equipment that disabled people need to get to work and hold down a job. Its mostly computer equipment and the services of a paid seeing helper these days. In the meeting, I took the first steps towards getting the Access to Work staff to begin thinking about Thunder in the employment situation. There is a long way to go.

Today, some good people from the British Computer Society came to make with us a short video of how Thunder works. The aim is to introduce seeing volunteers to how they get started when helping a blind person at home. Seeing people just look, get the mouse pointer in the right place on the screen and click. We have to recall lots of keystrokes and rely greatly on our imagination and memory. The lass who came is doing a PhD around the topic of how and if a disabled person at home can manage their own computer learning and how much support is essential. Hopefully, we will put up the video on this website when its edited.

I am a trustee of a charity called The blind Business Association and we have just commissioned a report on what we should be doing and where we should go next. So I have been reading this report so that I am ready to chair the crucial meeting next week. Only a fifth of blind people of working age have a job and working for yourself is sometimes the only way forward. Margaret and I have worked from home here since 1992 and we love it. Being able to make your own decisions and mistakes is great and we have not gone bust yet. Its uplifting to be independent and not beholden to others. But we are not millionaires.

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