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Using Technology to Find a Better Way

Feb 11, 2011

Tom McKinstry says he just another guy on the job. He also says ABVI helped him keep the job he loves so much.

Due to Glaucoma, Tom was born without vision. Educated at the New York State School for the Blind, Sodus High School, BOCES and SUNY Morrisville, Tom pursued training as an auto mechanic. Fast cars are Tom’s passion, but he would soon steer his technical expertise in a different direction.

When Tom was 21 he began his career at Dynalec Corporation, and has been there for 31 years. Early in his career Tom approached his boss about doing a job that had previously only been done by sighted people. He proved he could do it using voice synthesized electronic testing equipment and became a production tester for all Dynalec Corporation’s Naval Communication System’s.

In 2006 Tom realized his expensive testing equipment was failing and his working procedures were outdated. He had to record everything in Braille and then have it transcribed. He knew there had to be a better way, so he contacted ABVI.

ABVI’s Career and Training staff worked with Tom and Dynalec Corporation to generate software that enabled him to create all of his own test data sheets. He took classes at the agency two times a week and learned how to use a computer, a screen reading software program called Windows Eyes, the testing software and the Internet. When he became overwhelmed at learning all of those programs he said the Career and Training team provided the encouragement he needed to continue.

Now, with the help of Dynalec and ABVI, Tom has the computer, software and testing equipment he needs on his job site. He is able to complete his tests and print his own reports.

Tom lives with is wife Kathleen and enjoys working on his two Corvettes in his spare time. He is telling his story because he hopes to inspire others to turn to ABVI. He says his experience was life changing. “Everyone there is so caring. You have nothing to lose, and everything to gain.”