At BLENNZ Palmerston North we are all about supporting ākonga to follow their dreams and interests – even when that involves thinking well outside the square.
Darcy, a Year 13 student at Whanganui High School, is taking Automotive Engineering. He’s learning how engines work, through dismantling and re –assembling one using entirely non-visual techniques. Figure 1 – Darcy attaches a timing-belt to a car engine, using tactile techniques.
Darcy has his own tool-kit, made accessible with a tactile map. The iPhone app, ‘Tap-Tap-See’ has proven very useful for reading digital displays on tools like Vernier callipers.
Having a teacher aide with a can-do attitude, and support from a retired blind mechanic, along with Darcy’s passion for the subject, is enabling him to gain skills and NCEA and trade credits.
Self-advocacy skills have proven to be essential as Darcy surprises those who are used to relying on sight to perform tasks, that he can perform them safely, and just as well, using auditory and tactile skills.