Back in 1965 or so I think it was, Mike applied to join the BBC. His dad had done some acting (as an amateur) for BBC Bristol and he must have encouraged Mike to apply as a school leaver. He didn't even get as far as filling in the form, or if he did, he was rejected soundly because in those days if you couldn't drive you didn't get an interview. End of story.
So Mike went into another career until the early 1970s when by chance he saw an job advert for what is the job he's doing 30 plus years later. His 'day job' is as an audio engineer at the local university. He's also a digital photographer for them. Most people don't know he has a visual impairment outside a need to know basis. Most people wouldn't stay in post long enough to get to know Mike well, and its not encouraged to bring a car to work anyway.
Those who do need to know provide his transport between campuses (Reading has 3 campuses for its university), or he uses the inter-campus bus in term time. As far as accessible equipment is concerned, for years he had some help with equipment from Pulse Data. The equipment was so good he had no need to contact them until the other month when we discovered it was now Humanware. And we haven't been able to source the bit of replacement kit he would like. These days, after a couple of serious eye operations, Mike can read well and as he no longer does things like repair tape decks, he doesn't need some of the very detailed things he used to work with daily. I can't even remember if he has a CCTV at work any more. At home and at work we have 19 inch screens, and for the 'editing' work for recording Mike uses 2 19 inch screens.
But in earlier times he needed lots of bits of equipment with big screens because he did a lot of repair work to his beloved equipment as well as using it way beyond what people thought.
In the late 1980s I suppose it was, the BBC had a studio engineer by the name of Lloyd Silverthorne. Lloyd was a good friend of ours for many years and one thing we had in common was visual impairment. He had a relative with little sight. So when visually impaired people like Peter White arrived on the scene, Lloyd knew from experience that we were as good as anyone else. So he came to us and asked Mike's opinion and then made sure the equipment available was suitable. People like Peter White and Cheryl Gabriel can make and edit their own material without any sighted help.
Mike has had recordings played on the BBC, sure, and he used to rent them equipment that they used for training purposes - but he's never worked for them.
You ask whether it takes him longer to do things. I think probably in the old days, yes, but everyone worked to their own pace anyway. You can't rush a razor blade cut any more than you can rush a computer.
We've had our own recording business since 1975 and in the very early days it was a case of taking the 'masters' for vinyl recordings to Soho for 'cutting'. Mike just got on a train and went and saw to it. He got to know quite a few of the 'back room' boys in those days.
As vinyl disappeared and cassettes arrived, we either paid someone to act as our 'go between' in various ways or we used 'couriers' to get equipment and materials. Most of our recordings are done on location and until our daughter was 18 and passed her driving test, whoever employed him for a concert either provided a car or in the 1970s and early 1980s we had a 'tame' taxi driver. That was in the days when equipment was too bulky to ever go in a domestic car. Black cabs were all we could use. Now, if necessary, (I don't recommend it at the end of a long day) it can go in a smart car.
Film and video could be different. However, I have a close friend who has been making films in China for many years - and his sight is *far* worse than any of us with Nystagmus. I have no idea how he managed this as far as operating the camera is concerned I have to admit. I've never asked, and the only film ever televised in this country I wasn't able to see as I don't have a TV!
Currently he's more involved in broadcasting than in film making. Some of this is by chance and some probably by design because of the chance.
Do you ever listen to 'In Touch', Tim?