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Lance with his family
Blind former truckie Lance Curyer is doing the impossible, surfing the web, writing emails and responding to texts, improving his abilities and furthering his knowledge everyday with help from TAFE NSW.
The 69-year-old Menai local lost his sight in 2014 due to glaucoma and was faced with an utterly changed reality.
“I had to give up driving, had to let a lot of things in my life go. Some people don’t cope well with this disability, but I knew that I had to stay positive and try and make the best of things,” Lance said.
“I have always believed that education is crucial to wellbeing and am constantly looking for ways to improve myself. When I found out I could study online with TAFE NSW it was a wonderful revelation.”
After being encouraged to get a laptop by the team at Vision Australia, Lance was equipped with adaptive technology which helped give him the confidence to study with TAFE NSW. Lance commenced a Certificate I in Skills for Vocational Pathways online via TAFE Digital and thanks to the incredible support he received from the team at TAFE NSW he is now thriving in the digital world.
“I’m lucky to have received incredible support from many people and organisations, including Vision Australia and my carer Jennifer. TAFE NSW worked with me to make sure I could complete the course content whilst improving upon my digital literacy,” Lance said.
“I have been using adaptive technology for some years, including programs like Fun with Typeability, Azabat and Talking Typer. TAFE NSW supported me in using these technologies to complete my coursework and increase my confidence using email."
The Certificate I in Skills for Vocational Pathways gives students baseline workplace skills in digital technologies, communication and measurement which can be a step towards further study or work. Lance’s TAFE NSW teacher Dalia Kaldas is incredibly impressed with Lance’s love of learning and determination despite his difficulties.
“Lance is a great student and I’m inspired by his committed approach to learning,” Dalia said.
“Lance was able to use a talking calculator for one numeracy unit and a talking tape measure for the measurement unit. I was able to read out the question and Lance would use his calculator or tape measure; do the calculation and I would scribe his response.”
Lance has gradually improved his skills in reading, writing and numeracy, whilst also improving his use of digital technologies along the way.
“One of the first benefits we see from doing this course is an increase in confidence, it’s great to see Lance acknowledging how well he has done and his eagerness to continue his studies,” Dalia said.
Lance hopes to continue to improve his technological skills and is looking forward to furthering his education with TAFE NSW.
“This course has helped me to be more independent. I can’t stress how much just having the ability to use these technologies and continue to learn has changed my life for the better,” Lance said.
To find out more about the range of study options available at TAFE NSW in 2021, including the Certificate I in Skills for Vocational Pathways, visit www.tafensw.edu.au or call 131 601.
Media contact: Alice Dalley, TAFE NSW Communications Specialist, firstname.lastname@example.org, mobile 0402 528 210.