My name is Val Smith I am visually impaired and  a qualified teacher who specialises in the teaching of information and technology for the blind and visually impaired In recent years I have also done ad-hoc work for Wolverhampton and Walsall Colleges, doing CLAIT and entry level IT training. I have also completed a number of short courses including building computers, creative web design.  View a copy of my CV.






 I have written various papers regarding the teaching  of the visually impaired  and could be useful for professionals who are involved in this field. I am going to deliver Jaws training and Braille technology in Wolverhampton at the epic cafe for the social Service who will be the only organisation offering this service.

Braille Technology for the visually impaired

The epic Café in conjunction with Wolverhampton social service with Simon Kimberley the rehabilitation officer to the visually impaired. Plan to offer a Braille and technology course made easy through technology.

  The main objective is to promote independence so that blind and visually impaired students could reach their full potential.

  Unfortunately for this course to succeed it needs to be funded. Therefor we are seeking a grant from any organisation or person to take this project forward. We will start this project early September, because the local Blind centre does not offer Braille or have a Jaws instructor.

Resources and Cost:


The objective is to develop and train our students so they gain as many skills as possible to integrate and compete in the real world. It is recognised that Braille is an essential skill. This theory is backed up by DR David Etheridge: Approximately half of the 3000 registered blind who are in paid employment, use Braille at work, so clearly for many of those with the severest visual disabilities, Braille is an essential skill.”

We need to promote literacy amongst the visually impaired and in my opinion there is no better way than Braille. 

The fact we are using technology to teach Braille will raise awareness of technology and promote our computer course for the visually impaired.

We already have a venue at the epic café in Wolverhampton which is DDA compliant. 

We have the fingerprint books along with Braille paper. We have a Braille support worker who is competent in the use of Braille with good literacy skills. 

This will enable the existing group to develop translation beyond any existing provision in Wolverhampton.

We have Braille an M-Power electronic Braille machines which are out of date and need upgrading to Braille touch a Braille tablet.  These are £3999 and we would need 3 along with 3 laptops and Jaws screen reader.  This would be approximately £20,000. 

Course Level:

Learning grade 2 Braille, through Braille technology,

We have a detailed scheme of work which demonstrates how we deliver the course and provide ongoing assessment.


Number of Students:

We have 4 students and another 4 existing students who are in a position to enrol and commit to this course over the next 4 years.



2 2 hour lessons


Aim of Course:

The intention of the course is to instruct the students on how to read and write in Braille, this should give them a good understanding of the Braille system by using Braille technology. The final aim would be to lead into an accredited certificate in conjunction with the RNIB.


Learning outcomes:

The outcomes of the course will be by the end of4 years, students will have a good working knowledge of the Braille system, by using a Braille note.  In addition the student will be able to deal with his or her own correspondence independently. In addition the students will be able to label food items or music disks etc by using a Braille Perkins which will be very empowering. 



 The people who attend will be of mixed gender, ethnicity, age and ability living in Wolverhampton. The speech synthesiser and screen reader is used to turn the written word on the computer screen into speech and Braille enabling blind people access to the written word. we hope to offer -training with Pacmate, Braille note and tablet with Braille display and Jaws on lap-top or tablet.  To obtain training contact Simon Kimberley whose email is or email myself 

The headings list below gives  the user the ability to read a brief description on some of the papers I have written, so they can follow the link to the full article of interest. There is a link at the bottom of the page to my email for further enquiries.



The link in the table relates to a communication assignment that is based on Mr X a male student who is over 65 years of age, and who was registered blind from birth.  He was chosen because he had never read a printed document. My objective was to enable him to gain some form of independence, and offer him freedom to be able to read what he chooses. The statement by Paulo Freire, would coincide with my own outlook,

   “People with disabilities should be free from restrictions which limit their potential.”  Freire, P. (1973).


     The rationale behind this assignment was to produce, pilot and evaluate a set of resources to enable a student to learn how to send and receive E-mails which is a basic skill that supports inclusive learning.

The underpinning philosophy of this essay relates to Booth (2000 p.79):

“I regard inclusion/exclusion, essentially, as a political process. Possibilities for, and barriers to, inclusion are shaped by all aspects of education and social policy – not just by policies that carry an inclusion label.”  click the link above to read more

on inclusion.


The logic behind the curriculum assignment was to study a curriculum model and draw comparisons to the way I perceive my own curriculum.

I considered the theoretical concepts of what is meant by curriculum and try to relate this to the practical experiences I have encompassed. I analysed a design model and related it to a course I deliver.



    Roth asserts that, “the English word research comes from a prefix and a mean to seek out again:' most academic or scholarly matter of seeking out ideas and materials already found or others.”

 Roth, A.J. (1988) p2.

 This research assignment examines suitable methods of accessing information for VIPS {visually impaired people} , facilitating their learning requirements. VIPS need to be included into further education to promote social integration and to enable widening participation. The contemporary Tomlinson report asserts that, “A new vision of inclusion, based on a better match between learning requirements

and provision, is at the heart of far-reaching proposals for improving further

education following the first national inquiry in England into FE provision for

students with disabilities and/or difficulties in learning”.


 Resource Learning:

The initial part of this assignment was to produce a statement of intent, this was used as a template and will be entered into my appendices.

My mission was to create an interactive resource base -learning package for a specific target audience, who happened to be two female blind students. 

One of the powers of interactive electronic instruction is the capability to engage by providing rapid, compelling interaction and feedback to the student

(Malone, 1981:333-369).