Training Workshop for Nevis Blind Light and Visually Impaired Society

By:St. Clair ‘Sazam’ Hull

(CHARLESTOWN NEVIS)- A computer training workshop is currently being held for the Nevis Blind Light and Visually Impaired Society. The workshop commenced on Thursday, July 13, 2017 and will conclude on Tuesday, July 25, 2017.

The workshop is under the guidance of Mrs. Alicia Lalite-Ettienne, a national of Trinidad &Tobago. She noted that in September of 2005, Mr. Wrenford Dore traveled to Trinidad and took part in a workshop there. She said that for the past twelve years, they have been trying to organize something for persons with disabilities in Nevis, and she was happy that it finally happened.

According to Ettienne, she is using a software called Assistive Technology. Assistive Technology is a tool which is designed to help someone with a disability to perform his task. She indicated that other methods to assist persons with disabilities include a talking mic, a talking watch or a brailer.  However, she pointed out that assistive technology software is software installed specifically on the computer to assist persons with disabilities to perform various tasks on the computer. She noted that the computer is generally designed at highly visual, and it bridges the gap between the sighted world and the blind world. She stated that someone who does not have hands, may speak into the computer and do their task.

Mrs. Ettienne said that screen magnification software is for persons who have low vision but can still read a certain percent or a particular size of text. She noted that there are screen readers for persons with very limited vision and those who are totally blind. She pointed out, that it is designed to help persons access the computer independently. She stated that it is done through keyboard command.

The software tracks the active curser and will read what is in focus, and will tell you where you are, through a program called Job Access with Speech (JAWS). She said it is a ‘text to speech’ program that works in conjunction with a software synthesizer.

According to Ettienne, it has been proven that persons with disabilities performed better in workplaces than those without. She said that one of the main reasons for that is because when a person has a disability, he/she usually works harder with the mentality that they have a point to prove. She stated that one should always try to overcome their obstacles or whatever challenges they may have.

Funds to facilitate the workshop were raised by a group called, ‘Visionary Society for Empowering the Community’ (VSEC). The members of the group are of Mrs. Veta Browne, Ms. Sherry Gajor, Ms. Esther Brookes and Ms. Candy Freeman.

In closing, Mrs. Ettienne said that her experience on the island of Nevis has been a great one, and she anticipates a successful workshop once it is concluded.








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