Yesterday was my scheduled interview for college entrance. I had already passed the entrance assessments and this was the final stage.
My wife works at the college in the Learning Resource Centre so I headed into work with her to be prompt for the interview.
To burn a little time I listened to an audiobook, SuperFreakonomics. Despite criticism I do enjoy the series. I gleaned some wonderful insights about India. A little tap on my shoulder from my wife, interview time!
On arriving at reception I was informed it would be conducted in groups. Now I don’t get nervous about the group dynamic in fact I usely perform highly in competitive group tasks. But I realised receiving assistance in this scenario for things such as mobility would be difficult.
A quick chat and one of the staff agreed to assist me upstairs to part 1 of 3. Moving around the college was far more difficult than I had anticipated. I certainly need to learn the routes and memorise layouts.
Part 1 of the interview lasted all of 60 seconds, as soon as they confirmed I was educated and knew basic maths I was rushed to part 2.
Now this is where it became a little more interesting. I was handed a sheet of paper by the next assesor and told to choose a timetable. I informed him I was blind and would be unable to read the timetable.
“Well I don’t have the time to read it to you”
“How about you run me through the main points and we can go from there.”
Then the penny dropped, he had just refused to read the timetable for a potential disabled student. We worked together on the timetable and quickly came up with a lesson plan that was a good fit.
We began to talk about my vision loss and what I was able to see. In another misguided moment of his he questioned how a blind person would be able to complete this course.
I pointed out a few of the adaptations myself and the college could make and this quenched his negativity. As we continued to talk he asked about my past education and career.
This is the point where people generally stand to attention. People are shocked when informed I am well educated [in my previous field] and held down a managerial role.
Part 3 went without a hitch, so timetable complete I am officially starting in September. With one little caveat of finance, I will be speaking to Learner Services next week about this.
After the interview I met with my guide runner Scott and we headed into town to play with an iPad. Quickly turning on the accessibility features I gave iBook a twirl. Testing VoiceOver, Zoom and White on Black, made reading books a dream.
In an effort to make me jealous Scott ordered one. I will have mine soon!