GREG Alchin’s mission in life is to make sure no child has to go through school life the way he did.
Mr Alchin is legally blind and struggled to keep up with his classmates.
He said in those days he had no choice.
“I just had to keep up with everyone else as best I could,” he said.
“That certainly isn’t the case today.”
Mr Alchin is one of the reasons children don’t have to struggle.
He is a collaborative learning technologies officer with the rural and distance education unit.
Mr Alchin was awarded a NSW Premier’s Teachers Scholarship for special education which sent him to the USA to help develop education technology for universal design.
“That means developing technology that helps a whole range of people, not just people with a disability,” he said.
“For example, who most commonly uses closed captions? It’s not hearing impaired people. It’s clubs and pubs.
“It’s about creating technology that does help people with a disability but also has a universal appeal.”
Following the scholarship Mr Alchin was awarded a hotly contested position to attend a workshop in Ireland at the Apple Global Institute, where he will help develop technology for digital textbooks.
“We aim to make textbooks more accessible. Everybody seems to think once it’s on the computer anybody can access it. That just isn’t the case,” he said.
Only 250 educators across the state were selected to attend the institute and Mr Alchin is one of only two from the special education area.
“I was greatly honoured, it is a great opportunity to be one of the representatives from Australia,” Mr Alchin said.
The Institute course will run for two weeks in July.