Bursary helps Fabian meet the challenges of tertiary study

20 March 2020

The Vision Australia Further Education Bursary program has assisted Fabian Jones in his ambition to study a double degree at Griffith University.

Fabian is pursuing a double degree in a law and business and now has a new suite of assistive technology to support him in his studies. He has just turned 18 and is in the first year of his degree.

Fabian lives with low vision and applied for the bursary program after hearing about it while at school.

“I’ve got a little bit of vision to work with, enough to get a general idea of what things look like but not enough to read,” Fabian said.

I was told about the bursary by teachers a few times.  I just thought it would be kind of cool. Since I handed my school computer in I had no laptop and I had no screen reader.”

Through the bursary program, Fabian received a laptop fitted with screen-reading software JAWS and an iPhone.

Fabian has found that the technology provided to him has already helped him in a number of ways. “With the iPhone, I’m able to check the announcements and my emails on the go. It’s nice and easy to read. I’m able to do any on the fly searching.

“With the laptop its good just being able to type my assignments and submit stuff. It helps being able to do my research, my referencing and my reading.”

As Fabian has approximately 70 pages to read each day as part of his course, the Laptop and screen-reading software have been essential to him.

Completing a double degree means Fabian will have a few career options after uni, and he’s already considering his options.

“I’m interested in how the parliament works, the different ways that contracts can be formed and the different ways words can be interpreted.”

“It would be kind of nice to work somewhere in the legal profession. All I know is I don’t want to be in criminal law. If I don’t end up in the legal profession, maybe I’ll end up doing something in business.”

While a Vision Australia bursary as certainly helped Fabian at uni, he had some other advice for fellow blind and low vision students.

“Learn the campus. Use whatever funding you’ve got to get someone to go with you and learn the campus. Learn where your rooms are, where all the good food is and where your disability services are.”

For nearly 25 years the Vision Australia Further Education Bursary program has been assisting people like Fabian to achieve their dreams of tertiary study. It has supplied assistive technology to more than 400 students who are blind or have low vision. Learn more about the bursary program here.