What Neil gained from Cisco Networking Academy after losing 35 percent of his vision


"I miss having vision but I look at what I gained by the loss, the loss is not a loss anymore."


After losing 35% of his vision due to diabetes and many surgeries later, Neil felt a loss of freedom, mobility, and struggled with needing to rely on others.

After doing well and completing a Cisco IT Essentials course, Neil’s instructor Professor Murray pulled him aside and asked if he wanted to become an Instructor at CAVI in Perth, the Cisco Academy for the Vision Impaired.

CAVI provides ICT training to students with varying and wide degrees of disability. One of the visually impaired teaching tools Neil uses is a peg board to provide students with a tactile way to peg out an IP address which logically identifies a client on the network.

Neil has been a lecturer for over 13 years. He describes life before his vision impairment as being carefree and feeling bulletproof.

“CAVI had a very profound effect on my life considering where I was going. I didn’t really have a pathway, as opposed to now. Having a career and a pathway, that certainly wasn’t there when I lost part of my vision.”

“My students don’t know that I’m visually impaired when I start teaching them. It usually comes out. And my running gag is that if you want to get away with anything, do it on the right side of my face so I won’t see you do it.”

And Neil’s advice for others?

“I miss having vision but I look at what I gained by the loss, the loss is not a loss anymore.”


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