Accommodating disabilities

College: Students provided equipment to support their learning.

  • Dec. 10, 2014 9:00 a.m.

Well read: Mike Caley is devouring books thanks to equipment supplied to him via Okanagan College.

Mike Caley underwent surgery for a brain tumour when he was 17. Now, about 30 years later, the world of books has been opened to him, thanks to Okanagan College in Salmon Arm.

“I hadn’t read a book ever until I came to the college,” he explained Wednesday, Dec. 3, as he volunteered at displays set up at the Salmon Arm campus to mark the International Day of Persons with Disabilities.

Caley can read, thanks to a closed-circuit television system/ video monitor rented from Assistive Technology BC, based in the Lower Mainland.

It magnifies and projects the words of a book on a screen so Caley, who is legally blind but has very limited vision, can read them. He also now has one at his home.

He explains that he has read a number of books including biographies of Steve Fonyo, Terry Fox and Mohammed Ali. Currently he is reading a book by local author Don Sawyer entitled The Buckle.

“Without this stuff, life would be a lot harder for me.”

He speaks highly of the North Okanagan Brain Injury Society (NOSBIS), which has supported him, as well as people at the college such as Caroline Miege.

She explains Caley is also president  of Shuswap Connextions, a local self-advocacy group, so he has been researching information about how to run meetings.

“It’s kind of like one hand helping another hand, helping another hand…,” said Miege, the college’s disabilities services coordinator.

Also volunteering to show the equipment that accommodates them were Jody Hanna with her Braille noter, and Tyler Sefanyk, who is a quadriplegic with vision difficulties. He types on a computer with large keys and a large print monitor.

“Last Wednesday, I was typing out something about Charles Dickens for almost two hours,” he said proudly.

Added his assistant Tovie Green: “It’s amazing to see how excited he gets. With the two-hour Dickens, we had a celebration.”

Wanda Radies, adult special education instructor, said along with providing accommodations for people with disabilities – such as extra time for exams or recording lectures – the college’s Adult Special Education includes the PACE program.

PACE, Preparing for Access to Careers and Education, goes every two years and the next intake is September 2015. It’s aimed at adults with special learning needs who wish to develop skills on the way to employment. To learn more, call Radies at 250-832-2126.


Just Posted

Column: Snow clearing a big job in Salmon Arm

Council Report/Mayor Alan Harrison

District of Sicamous and Federal government come to terms on biomass heater grant

Once completed the project could heat arena elementary school and more using wood waste

City to renew agreement with Shaw for public Wi-Fi access

Wireless networking hotspots will continue to be available at Salmon Arm parks and facilities

Longtime Shuswap school bus driver takes one last ride

Kathy Keam drove students on the same bus route for 38 years

Dogs called heroes in Blind Bay residential blaze

Homeonwers safe but one pet missing, another confirmed dead following fire

Fashion Fridays: Inspirational gym outfits

Kim XO, helps to keep you looking good on Fashion Fridays on the Black Press Media Network

Russian fighter jets collide over Sea of Japan crews eject

One plane crashed after its crew ejected safely, the other crew also ejected but they have not been found

Judge to deliver verdict in British sailor’s gang rape case

The alleged gang rape took place at a Halifax-area military base in 2015

B.C. minister fears money laundering involves billions of dollars, cites reports

The government had estimated that it was a $200-million a year operation, instead estimates now peg the problem at $1 billion annually

Heavy snowfall expected on the Coquihalla

Snowfall warning in effect for the Coquihalla Highway, from Hope to Merritt

BC Hydro scammers bilked customers out of nearly $45,000 in 2018

Nearly 2,000 people reported scams to the utility, as they continue to be more common

Windmills returns to the stage for what could be the last time

The musician took a break from music for a year to recover from his last EP

Olympian snowboarder Max Parrot diagnosed with Hodgkin’s lymphoma

Each year in Canada, approximately 900 people are diagnosed with Hodgkin’s lymphoma

‘Prince of Pot’ Marc Emery accused of sexual assault, harassment

Emery denied the allegations, but a Toronto woman says she is not the only one speaking out

Most Read