Heath Old Boys Association

Letters from Old Boys

Letter from Barry Hill [1977–1982]

I attended Heath from 1977 to 1982 and wasn’t exactly a model pupil. Attendance was more on a part time basis and, even when I was there, I wasted what I now know to be a very good opportunity. Still, I had a chance to make amends following a horrific car crash thirteen years ago that left me blind. In 1998, I enrolled at college and then went on to university in Huddersfield and, two years ago, came out with a respectable 2:1 BSc Hons in Behavioural Sciences.

Since then, I have worked, on a voluntary basis, on several health and disabilities committees, including the Halifax Society for the Blind for whom I advise on technology used by and for visually impaired people.

This degree and voluntary work put me in good stead for a recent job application, for which I am delighted to say that I have been successful. I will soon be working for the BBC as the Access Technology Manager. This will mean that I will work with the Access Technology Strategist to provide continuous support and advice to project managers, disabled people and Heads of technical services to ensure a cohesive and generic level of service across the BBC. This will be done by my providing advice and practical support using assistive technology, allowing people with diverse disabilities to use the in-house applications throughout the BBC. I’m sorry, guys. I won’t be able to influence programming schedules and content.

On reflection, I’m sure some of the lessons at Heath must have sunk in and provided a firm foundation for future education and consequent job offer. So, perhaps my time there wasn’t completely wasted.

Barry Hill