COMPUTERS have become such a huge part of our lives we take them for granted.
But for a blind person simple tasks, such as surfing the internet or sending an email can be impossible without special training.
Now Huddersfield has its own computer training scheme for visually-impaired adults.
The project, run by Kirklees Visual Impairment Network is a Government-funded scheme and runs at Voluntary Action Kirklees at 15 Lord Street in Huddersfield town centre.
It offers free one-to-one lessons every Friday from 12.30pm to 2pm.
Visually-impaired people can choose what IT skills they want to learn, be it word processing or using music or video software.
The scheme uses specialist software which reads what is on the screen.
The software, Jaws Screen Reader, offers a variety of languages and even different accents.
Wayne Senior, who is blind, co-ordinates the project.
He said: “This is the first time Kirklees has this kind of IT training.
“Sighted people can go to the local community centre and get training but people with visual impairment need special training.
“We teach people who want to use computers – any blind or visually impaired person who wants to learn.
“The software is the best specialist software you can get – it reads everything.
“It makes it just as easy for a blind person to use a computer as it is for a sighted person.’’
He added: “It’s about social inclusion. Visually-impaired people can use computers to make friends online and join forums and read more about what they’re interested in. They can find out what’s going on in their local area.
“This will give people the same advantage as sighted people. It gives them more freedom.
“Because we’re not teaching people on a course, they can get whatever they want out of it.”
For details of the scheme call Kirklees Visual Impairment Network on 07958 118864 or email email@example.com .
The network has a website at: bvik.co.uk/kvin .