Palmer was starting his studies at Algonquin College and needed to brush up on his computer skills.
He has Alström syndrome (opens in a new window), explaining, “It mainly affects my seeing and hearing. So I have to wear hearing aids often. I am sensitive to light so I have to wear glasses. I have a bit of vision, but I can’t see print or colour.”
Palmer was looking to learn how to use screen reader JAWS (opens in a new window), as well as Microsoft Office programs — Word (opens in a new window), Excel (opens in a new window) and PowerPoint (opens in a new window) — that were on the PC he had recently bought.
“I had purchased a PC computer and didn’t know how to use a lot of the main applications,” he explains.
He had learned about Neil Squire’s Distance Computer Comfort program and found a fit.
Palmer was paired with a tutor, John, a service engineer in his day job, and they worked together on a weekly basis.
“It was excellent. Just about everything was helpful. There was always something new,” Palmer says of the lessons.
Some weeks, the lessons he’d learn with John would have a direct effect on his coursework. For example, he was going through Excel applications with John while he was taking a computer course using similar applications, which greatly helped him in his assignments.
At times, when Palmer needed to learn a specific skill, he could email John and the next lesson would focus on that.
Palmer praises the online set-up of the Distance Computer Comfort program — student and tutor communicate remotely — as “very accessible.” One of the programs he used to do Distance Computer Comfort remotely was Teamviewer (opens in a new window). Now, due to COVID-19, he uses the program for remote coursework, with the help of a visual aide on the other side.
Today, he’s using the concepts he learned in Distance Computer Comfort and thriving.
“I think not coming to you might have made things a bit harder and more challenging,” he concludes.