When Terry Wilson received his first laptop in first form, it sparked his interest in computers. After high school he completed a few papers in business, with one based around IT, intriguing him to pursue it further.
“I decided to do a Bachelor of Information Technology at Otago Polytechnic. After graduation, I worked my up from an entry level position on a service desk then progressed to a couple of commercial and consulting roles.”
Today he is a Senior Systems Engineer, part of the Systems Services Team, at the University of Otago. Terry manages a team of systems engineers who manage the servers and storage that provide core services for the university. This includes things such as e-learning, email and file sharing.
Terry’s role involves project management, coordination with clients and prioritising work as it comes in. A big part of what he does is talking to people, understanding what they need and identifying how IT plays a role in solving their challenges.
He says that having low vision barely affects his work at all. He prides himself on being quite independent and sticks to two simple tools; his monocular (a refracting telescope) and ZoomText. ZoomText is a magnifier that enlarges, enhances and reads aloud everything on the computer screen.
“My laptop is an ultraportable 14”, so the zooming comes in handy when working on the tiny screen!”
The biggest challenge is in fact, transport. Managing multiple sites across the country in former roles meant Terry had to do a lot of advanced planning.
“I could achieve half of what I needed to do from the office and so would forward plan my trips to make the most efficient use of my time. It wasn’t so much the cost, but the time it took to wait for taxis.”
“There are no limits to the kind of job a blind or low vision person can do (aside from the obvious of course). As long as you put your mind to it, get equipped with the right tools and with some planning, you can do it.”