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Mark doesn't need sight to fix a motor

TAFE NSW Casino

Mark doesn't need sight to fix a motor

Mark working on repairing a motor at TAFE NSW Casino

TAFE NSW Casino student Mark Scolfield is studying a Certificate II in Career Pathways which focuses on small motors. Mark is a fifth-generation farmer who runs a cattle farm with his wife in Casino. Mark is also legally blind.

With six weeks remaining of his three-month course, he has already mastered fixing most of the motors on his farm including chainsaws, pump engines and mowers.

Mark’s reason for deciding to study small motors at TAFE NSW is as practical as they get.

“I had a motor that I couldn’t start and when I took it to a workshop to get it repaired, I nearly had a fit when I heard the price they’d charge so I thought I’d better learn how to do this stuff myself.”

Mark says his wife has certainly noticed an improvement in all sorts of things around the property.

“The water pump works now, so does my whipper snipper. It’s no big deal and fixing motors is just like doing anything else that I do.

“I learn the same way I learn everything; we don’t need to use our eyes for a lot of things. I’m not doing anything special, I was lacking in my knowledge of mechanics so I set out to improve.”

TAFE NSW Specialist Disability Consultants work with students to coordinate class support. This includes specialist equipment, software, accessible course materials or support from disability assistants in class.

Mark said that his TAFE NSW Disability Assistant explains to Mark what items look like so that Mark can feel his way around them. “Brian, who assists me in class, is very helpful, he is very good in the way he describes how things are work and how they are supposed to work.”

Mark’s teacher, Brett Farmer says that Mark is pulling something apart and fixing it again every day in class.

“Mark is very talented and has picked up the skills we’ve taught in this course very quickly. It is great to see students using their skills at home and improving each week and Mark comes in with a new motor he has brought from home every lesson.

“Mark’s vision impairment doesn’t slow him down. He is always first to class, he likes to come in and start tinkering away with things.”

Mark has studied at TAFE NSW in the past having completed a Certificate IV in Agriculture, a Statement of Attainment in Performance Horse Industry studies as well as a Certificate IV in Community Services.

TAFE NSW is Australia’s largest training provider, offering over 1,200 courses, from certificates to degrees. Many can be studied online via TAFE Digital. Visit www.tafensw.com.au or call 131 601.

Media contact: Sarah Lievore, TAFE NSW Media Officer, 0403 513 963, sarah.lievore1@tafensw.edu.au