Accessible Literature

Reading can be difficult. Many people have never received an education and yet of those of us who have, there are still a multitude of possible obstacles that might prevent us from enjoying books.

As a blind person, the most obvious barrier for me is that of finding accessible books. Technology is constantly improving the situation with the development of scanning and character recognition. Yet even then, legal considerations often prohibit distribution of such materials, making finding them, challenging.

I’ve recently devoted more of my time toward reading the Bible. As you might expect, the same difficulties exist in reading the Bible as with anything else. There are a number of websites which freely offer online access to a variety of translations. However, there still remains the problem of accessing materials offline. Fortunately, help is available. Optasia Ministry is an organisation offering their entire library without charge to visually impaired people throughout the world. As well as Bibles, their library contains a surprisingly comprehensive collection of related literature. Take a look at their website to find out more by visiting www.optasiaministry.org.

The Twenty-Five Game

If you’re on Facebook, you know the drill.

  1. I’ve been enrolled as an undergraduate student somewhere or other since Saturday 22nd September, 2004.
  2. I’ve just noticed that the three keys on my keyboard directly to the right of my left shift key: (\ z x) aren’t directly in line with the gaps in between a s and d as they are on most keyboards.
  3. I have far too many bits and pieces of old website experiments scattered over the internet.
  4. I have published several small computer programs which improve how Window-Eyes, my screen reading software, interacts with other software.
  5. I share my initial with my dad and as such, all mail addressed to Mr D Paskell is opened by him.
  6. I once played a small prank on our family computer which meant that it would only agree to turn itself on properly after my dad agreed to a significant pocket money rise (not recommended).
  7. I remember the last time London had snow similar to the conditions around here last Monday.
  8. I’m obsessed with dates and can mentally calculate the day of the week on which any given date fell.
  9. I’ve loved radios since I received one as a Christmas present in 1993.
  10. I could have been heard hundreds of times, usually on BBC local radio. My particular favourite competition was the treasure hunt on Radio Berkshire’s Saturday breakfast programme, then hosted by Andrew Peach.
  11. I’am particularly pleased with my tiny battery operated walkman-like radio with a solar rechargeable panel.
  12. I hold valid dual citizenship for both the UK and Ireland.
  13. I met Michael Schumacher eleven days before he won his second grand prix race.
  14. My nicknames have included derivitives of a well known white washing powder, Arbuthnot, Wheel nut, Dazareth and DJ.
  15. I used to have my own Internet Radio show on ACB Radio Interactive.
  16. I’m an accomplished blind shooter with nowhere to train and not enough time to establish my own facilities.
  17. At Great Marlow School, I received the lower school History and French prises from the late Sir John Mortimer in 1998. I was permitted the afternoon off to practise manoeuvring on and off stage in advance and did so that evening, without guidance or use of any mobility aids.
  18. I’m the only person I know to have successfully broken an arm by landing on a stack of crash mats.
  19. My sense of humour has always gotten me into trouble. I was rebuked at primary school for randomly bursting out laughing whilst walking off the playground on my own.
  20. According to Who’s Who, my interests include flogging servants, shooting poor people; and the extension of slavery to anyone who hasn’t got a Knighthood. (profile of Sir Talbot Buxomley) – See, told you!
  21. I’m one of few people who can boast of A-level results of A A E.
  22. I’m utterly terrified of balloons.
  23. I have an extremely short attention span and have been known to nod off just 111 seconds into a lecture.
  24. I am of a naturally shy disposition.
  25. At the time of writing, I’m killing time, waiting for my dad to come and pick me up from university.