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Japanese student uses PC to gain UK degree

A deaf Japanese student has made good use of the University of Manchester's facilities for the disabled

Amid the hype and naked consumerism of this week's CES show it's nice to see technology being put to good use for once. The creative use of laptop PCs for disabled students at the University of Manchester deserves particular attention.

Japanese student Kenichiro Onishi has used the university's technology and resources to overcome both his deafness and the fact that he speaks no English.

In his masters degree politics classes Onishi used an audio typist provided by the university to transcribe what lecturers or other students said onto a notebook computer.

Using his limited written English, he then typed his responses for the typist to read out to the class. Given that the result was a pass with merit, it's hardly surprising that he intends going on to study for a PhD.

Onishi says that he hopes other disabled learners will follow his lead and attempt university courses of their own. Other university IT services include special software for blind and dyslexic students. J Mark Lytle