For those of you who have read the ‘About Me’ section, the first half of this post may seem very familiar. For those of you who have not, please read on and enjoy.
My name is Niall Gallagher, I am currently 24 years old, and I live in county Sligo in the North-West of Ireland. I am very interested in listening to popular music, attending musical theatre productions, travelling abroad, discovering new technology/gadgets, reading, and keeping up to date with a broad range of radio and TV programs.
At this stage, I would like to point out that I am visually impaired and have reduced mobility. My visual impairment means that I use a lot of technology in my day to day life, and my level of vision is non-functional in comparison to a non-visually impaired individual. Regarding my reduced mobility, it does affect me in terms of getting from A to B, but as long as someone guides the walking aid I use it’s not a problem.
Despite the previously mentioned disabilities, I attended mainstream primary and secondary school, progressed on to college, and continued my studies to graduate with a Masters in 2015. To successfully complete the mentioned education, it was necessary for me to use technology to assist with certain tasks such as studying, taking exams and completing assignments. The technology I used is commonly referred to as Assistive Technology (AT), and such technology is available for PC’s, Laptops, smart phones and tablets.
Niall in the University of Limerick on the day he was handing up his Masters thesis.
AT can take a number of forms including low-vision aids, magnification software, tactile graph printing, brail production and screen reading software. Personally, I primarily use screen reading software at the moment, and if you would like to learn more about this software click here. the screen reader I use is called JAWS, and you can play the below video to learn more about the software.
In this blog I intend to share my experiences and knowledge of AT, and hopefully by doing this, I can help someone else in a similar situation. Some knowledge and experience has been ascertained through my most recent academic venture, but this does not mean that this knowledge/experience cannot be applied to different scenarios.
The content of this blog will mainly focus on the types of AT used by visually impaired and blind individuals, and other technologies which I have found to be very beneficial. I will also provide links to other resources on the internet which offer relevant information, which can be found in the ‘Useful Resources’ section.
So whether you’re visually impaired, know someone who is, or would just like to get a better understanding of AT, I hope you can take something away from this blog which will help.
Also, feel free to contact me via the ‘Contact Me’ section with any feedback, questions, comments, messages and/or suggestions regarding items you would like me to focus on in future posts.