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Kamil’s Story: An Inspiring Student And The Future Of Tech

We would like to say a huge congratulations to computer science student Kamil Tomko who has successfully completed a 2-week placement with Sight and Sound Technology Ireland.

When Kamil was just 16 years old he came to Ireland from Slovakia. His family decided that they wanted to do something different and experience a different lifestyle. Kamil arrived in Ireland just before the pandemic, and found this transition difficult as he didn’t speak any English.

Local secondary schools were unable to support Kamil due to his low vision. Kamil therefore decided to go to his sibling’s school to see if there were any schools/teachers that could support him and was relieved to eventually find a suitable school in Dublin, Rosmini Community School. When Kamil came to Dublin he went to ChildVision seeking support. At first the team had to communicate with Kamil using instant translation tools like Google Translate, which he found embarrassing at times. However, ChildVision remained fully dedicated in their efforts to support Kamil throughout the remainder of his second-level education.

Kamil was in TY when he started secondary school and found this quite easy. In fifth year, however, Kamil experienced lots of challenges. During his education at a school for the visually impaired in Slovakia Kamil used computers and was able to attend JAWS classes and learning support. He could also read braille in his native tongue. Therefore, he found it very difficult when he had to learn UEB and English Computer System Languages. This was further complicated by achieving the difficult balance of learning English and getting to grips with new school subjects. It was also difficult for Kamil to receive tech support at Rosmini, and he needed to ask Sight and Sound Technology for help. When Kamil entered sixth year, however, his English had greatly improved which had a positive impact on his school life and education.

After much consideration, Kamil decided he wanted a career in software development. Kamil stands out as the first visually impaired computer science student in his college, TU Dublin, bringing a fresh perspective to the course. Starting college was a little challenging for him, especially since he was stepping into this field without prior background experience. Learning to use Java and Eclipse presented many hurdles, requiring him to undertake significant personal research to navigate these tools effectively. Despite these challenges, Kamil has been receiving valuable learning support from his lecturers, for which he is profoundly thankful.

Socializing doesn’t come naturally to Kamil; he finds it somewhat difficult to initiate conversations or connect with peers. Kamil’s college experience has been more focused on his studies, leading to closer connections with his PA and lecturers. He found the diverse character of his class interesting, which has shaped his approach to social engagement. The social aspect of Kamil’s college experience has its challenges, but it also underscores his dedication to his studies and personal growth.

Kamil has enjoyed working with Sight and Sound Technology because he was given the chance to see the different ways the company approaches different challenges for the visually impaired. He was especially excited to be working with people who can understand and empathize with him and is looking forward to networking and forming new contacts on the back of this experience.

Kamil continues to research the latest assistive technology and keep himself up-to-date on what’s new in the field. His favorite technology to use includes the Polaris and the Braille Sense 6, items he was unable to access back in Slovakia. Kamil was also excited to discover the huge potential with braille, paying particular interest in the braillers due to their portability. He also enjoys learning JAWS online.

On behalf of all of us at Sight and Sound Technology, we would like to wish Kamil Tomko the very best of luck for the remainder of his studies and in his future career. It has been a pleasure working with Kamil over the past 2 weeks. We are confident that he will rise to great heights and have a bright future in the assistive technology arena. Well done, Kamil, and we hope to see you back with us again soon!