Benj can read braille but says he doesn’t use it often. Instead, he prefers technology so most of what he needs is on his PC. And, if it’s printed, it needs to be in large print.
That’s where RIDBC’s Accessible Information Service (AIS) under the leadership of Sonali Marathe comes in. The RIDBC AIS team assist individuals, community groups, businesses and institutions who need to access printed materials in their choice of alternative format. Claire works closely with the AIS team to ensure Benj’s schoolwork, including exams, are in the required format.
Danielle is thankful for their work, “Our sincere thanks to Sonali and the team. Accommodating late changes to papers during this [COVID-19] time is much appreciated. I am so thankful of your efforts to ensure accessibility for Benj,” she said.
But accessibility goes further than large print.
Accessibility is about accessing information in a format people prefer, and Benj prefers the PC. In fact, he will likely complete all of his final year exams on one – including Mathematics, in what Danielle believes to be the first of a kind.
“Our entire household has enormous respect for everyone we have had contact with at RIDBC, especially the amazing teachers working with children with vision impairment,” Danielle said.
The Gulliford family are advocates of RIDBC.
In the last couple of years Benj spoke to a room of Lantern Club members celebrating the end of the year. The Lantern Club is an organisation synonymous with RIDBC, and loyal supporters. On that day he had the audience in awe, but particularly so for Warringah Lantern Club member Robyn, Benj’s grandmother.