HE may be blind, but that isn’t holding Dominic James back.
Dominic has become the first English student to join a special radio training course for blind people.
The 17-year-old has secured a place at the training academy of the Royal National Institute of Blind People’s Glasgow-based Insight Radio – Europe’s first station for people with sight problems.
Dominic – an A-level student at King Edward V1 School in Morpeth – already has some experience under his belt as a presenter with his school’s own station, KEVI Radio.
He has the eye conditions aniridia and nystagmus, which mean he suffers from severely limited vision, but doesn’t let it get in the way of his school studies or enjoyment of radio work.
On the Insight Radio course Dominic will be introduced to the concept of vox pops, where he and fellow rookie reporters will hit the streets of Glasgow to interview members of the public. The recorded material will then be reviewed back at the studio, and edited into a final package.
Understanding the world of advertising will also be covered, with trainees being asked to script and star in a radio commercial promoting the course they are about to complete.
John White, the staff member in charge of KEV1 Radio, said he was surprised to discover recently that Dominic is the first student from England to go on the course. “He started doing radio work with us in year nine, had a break and then came back in year 12 and recently helped present a Christmas special broadcast. He does very well and we hope he will get a lot out of this course.”
Dominic, who lives in Morpeth, said: “I’m very proud to be the first student from England to attend the Insight Radio training academy. I’m very grateful for the support King Edward’s has shown in sending me on the four-day radio experience. It’s great they are allowing me leave of absence, and I will have a lot of catching up to do in my other subjects. But my time in Scotland will make that all worthwhile.”
Andy Swann, the RNIB‘s employment team leader, said: “Insight training academy courses are designed to help young blind and partially sighted people work together, improve their confidence and develop communication skills.”
King Edward V1 deputy headteacher, Deborah Reeman, said: “This is a fantastic opportunity for Dominic that we wholeheartedly support. Any experience gained when working with Insight Radio will only serve to enhance his radio work back here, and he will no doubt be able to share his newly gained expertise with others.”
The Sony award-winning station broadcasts 24 hours a day to Glasgow on 101 FM, and is available UK-wide on Freesat channel 777, Sky channel 0188 and online at www.insightradio.co.uk
I’m very proud to be the first student from England to attend the Insight Radio training academy