Vision Australia’s Further Education Bursary program is helping Bashir Youssef turn his long-time passion for music into a career.
Each year, Vision Australia awards Further Education Bursaries to a select number of tertiary students who are blind or have low vision.
The bursaries provide adaptive technology to help the students fully participate and succeed in their chosen studies. Assistive technology can eliminate barriers to education and enhance access to information. It enables students to read course material, conduct research and improve their student life.
Bashir, who has low vision due to retinitis pigmentosa, has almost finished his first year of a Diploma of Music Production at the SAE QANTM Institute in Byron Bay. He travels almost two hours from his home in Queensland.
“I knew the course was suited to what I wanted to do,” said Bashir, who has been working as a DJ and mixing music since 2014.
“I also knew the Vision Australia bursary was the perfect opportunity for me to gain access to the technology that would best support me and set me up to a flying start and beyond.”
As part of the bursary Bashir has received a MacBook laptop, allowing him to work on campus when needed.
“The MacBook has the processing power for music production. It’s most music producers’ ‘go to’ brand as it fulfils the requirements needed for mixing music. It’s also intuitive, easy to navigate and allows me to zoom in.”
He has also received a large external monitor to use at home, which is less tiring on his eyes.
A Bluetooth keyboard and mouse saves on space plus eliminates tripping hazards of cords. There is also a Kodak action camera which Bashir connects to his laptop, to allow him to see what his lecturers are doing at the front of the room.
Bashir said he is humbled by the bursary, and believes it will have a positive impact beyond his studies.
“I feel the bursary has really set me up for success. It’s boosted my confidence in not just my study aspirations but for my career as well.”
Vision Australia’s 2020 Bursary applications close October 31. For more information, including guidelines and application form, visit the Vision Australia website here.