My name is Paul Traynor and I come from a town in North-Eastern Ireland. I
am 38 years old and have been blind for the past 12 years following a football
accident. Prior to becoming blind I worked as a dairy farm manager which I enjoyed
very much as I am an outdoor person. It seemed to offer me just about all I
wanted from life at that time. I guess when I lost my sight things changed quite
a bit for me. I did very little in the first couple of years which was the beginning
of the 1990's and didn't know which road to turn as it took a time to first
of all get my feet again especially where mobility was concerned.
I eventually took some advice from a friend I chanced to meet while in hospital
recovering from yet another eye operation that just might restore some sight
to me and he mentioned the Irish Guide Dogs for the Blind, http://www.guidedogs.ie.
I think he managed to persuade me by something he said at that time which somehow
made me see things differently. It went like this; "if you fall and break
a leg, you require a crutch for support till it gets better. Think of a guide
dog being like that crutch". I always mention this to others who perhaps
now face the same situation I faced back all those years ago.
It was thanks to my first dog Kitty that I am where I am today. I began training
in basic computers and the internet soon after acquiring her and was eager to
learn any skill in technology which would return me to the workplace. I use
only the latest speech software technology, combining these programs with mainstream
software. I teach, give technical support and am an administrator on a network.
I also offer advice to companies and state bodies in regard to certain types
of web design for their respective web pages and advise on suitable technology
and software for their businesses. This allows blind or visually impaired people
to work in that environment and helps them back into the workplace.
Hobbies I have a few. I enjoy the gym, cycling as a pillion passenger on my
tandem, some swimming and just out walking with my new dog Shaque, a pure German
Shepherd male dog. Friends are important and I enjoy meeting people all over
the place. I also like travelling and reading especially history and horror
as well as Science Fiction.