Navigating the world is very different for 24-year-old Bega vision impaired student, Jesse Edwards.
While Jesse has had limited vision since birth, it hasn’t stopped him and his dog Onyx attending TAFE NSW Illawarra Bega for the past two years.
Studying the Certificate IV in Business Administration course, Jesse ultimately wants to secure his future career in Human Resources.
“I just like to work with people, policies and procedures; I like to work where there’s a structure to what I do,” says Jesse.
Onyx, Jesse’s black Labrador guide dog accompanies him to class and has been his constant companion for the past two years.
“The other students say hello and pat Onyx when she’s off harness. She is sleeping while I’m busy studying,” he says.
Jesse uses the screen reading software, Jaws which was organised by TAFE NSW Illawarra’s Teacher Consultant, Jodie Hoger and has gained some valuable knowledge from his course.
“I’ve learned how to deal with problems and develop strategies to resolve issues and become more independent,” he says.
Jesse remembers his Business Teacher, Katrina Hergenhan, with fondness for her teaching methods that match his learning style.
“Jesse is lovely. He hadn’t used the internet before and had to learn the appropriate technology to complete his studies, so he had that challenge as well as learning the course content,” says Katrina.
“His level of determination is admirable. Jesse sets himself a goal and he is determined to reach it,” she says.