Home | Dalbeattie Community Initiative | Visually Impaired - Help and assistance
Helping the visually impaired
During the summer of 2008 Jim Shennan walked into Dalbeattie Community Initiative’s office and volunteered his services to help with any administration work that needed done. Graham Platt, then Development Officer, was more than happy to accept Jim’s offer but there was a problem. Not with Jim’s ability to do the work, but more that the office didn’t have the equipment to enable him to do so. Jim is registered blind and the small print on the existing computer equipment was all but impossible for him to read. However Jim used his experience as an I T Support Worker and with Graham’s help they managed to cobble together a system that did the job, albeit not to their total satisfaction.
Graham set about securing funding to purchase specialist equipment to enable Jim, and any other visually impaired locals, to have a computer which catered to their needs. In February 2009 the Initiative was awarded £5000 by the Scottish Community Foundation and a new desktop computer with large screen, Supernova software, an enlarger and moving table were duly purchased at a total cost of £5600. The enlarger and moving table allow for reading of documents, in a colour combination that’s best for the user, which can be enlarged onto the computer screen. The £600 extra cost was funded by income generated through the ‘Preloved’ charity shop.
Jim uses the equipment to research and produce booklets and brochures on many aspects of the attractions, history and folklore of Dalbeattie and the surrounding area. These can be found at the Initiative office and also at the Visitor Information Centre.
This specialist equipment enables the visually impaired to have the use of a computer along with the internet and all the benefits that it brings. To our knowledge no other such equipment exists in the Stewartry area and we would hope that other people, like Jim, could enjoy the use of the equipment. It is free of charge to anyone who is visually impaired and if you, or someone you know, would like to take advantage of the facility then drop in to the Dalbeattie Community Initiative office at 71 High Street or give the Administrator, Michelle McRobert a call on 01556 612518 or 612436. Jim would be more than happy to offer training to help get anyone up and running with the equipment.