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Media Release - No barriers to learning at TAFE New England

TAFE New England teachers have reminded the Glen Innes and wider community today that there are no barriers to learning and achieving your career goals, especially when you are legally blind.

Renae McKimm completed the Certificate III in Business Administration in 2014 and has enrolled in the Certificate IV in Business Administration this year to continue her studies. The difference for Renae this year, is that she is able to use TAFE New England’s web-based learning platform, Catapult, to afford her the opportunity to study in a conventional classroom.

Catapult is compatible with Jaws, which is software used by blind people to process text and other information and read it back to the user. Due to the efficiency of the program, Renae has already completed one unit of the Certificate IV in Business Administration and is enjoying studying in a classroom with her classmates.

Business and Creative Industries teacher, Kelly Cook, said “I encouraged Renae to take the step to study in a classroom format this year and I am so proud that she has embraced the opportunity to do so and is thriving,” Ms Cook said.

The Catapult program is being used by students across the region, and beyond, to study business and creative courses on campus or from anywhere that suits them.

“Students can literally study our courses from anywhere that they have an internet connection which particularly suits our students who can’t attend the campus due to distance, work and family commitments, or otherwise”, Ms Cook said.

In addition to the disability support services that Renae access, TAFE New England provides a wide range of support services including careers advice, counselling and access to study resources.