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Interview with Cornelius Butler, December 07, 2018

Richard B. Russell Library for Political Research and Studies, University of Georgia
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00:00:26 - Dealing with retinitis pigmentosa / Learning with a sight disability

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Partial Transcript: When did your experience with disabilities start?

Segment Synopsis: Butler talks about how he came to terms with the inevitable nature of his condition, retinitis pigmentosa, which would eventually progress into total blindness. Butler talks about how he presently uses the Talking Book Service provided through the Georgia Libraries for Accessible State Service (GLASS) to keep up to date with the world. Butler talks about how his family served as his support network when he encountered discrimination due to his disability during grade school. Butler talks about his work as a website developer and the CEO of an internet marketing company. Butler recalls how he overcame discrimination and bullying as a child, during which times, he claims that he relied on faith and focus to accomplish his goals. Butler further elaborates on his grade school experience and recollects that though he was taught in mainstream classes, he had specialized, large-print books that were provided to him through his school.

Keywords: American Print House for the Blind; Bainbridge High School; Decatur County; GLASS

00:05:57 - Support networks throughout life

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Partial Transcript: How did the vision teacher help you through your schooling and/or life in general?

Segment Synopsis: Butler talks about how his vision teachers helped him to get through schooling by providing technological assistance to counter his progressive loss of sight. Butler talks about his present hobbies, including going to the beach, listening to audiobooks, and listening to the news. Butler describes how his friends and family have served as a support network throughout his life. Butler shares his belief that there exists a support network for every person.

Keywords: Google Home; family; support network

00:10:56 - Learning to code / Technology and disabilities

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Partial Transcript: Just to go back to the coding...

Segment Synopsis: Butler talks about his introductory classes in coding at Southwest Georgia Technical College (now the Southern Regional Technical College) and about how taught himself to code. Butler talks about his belief in the idea that technology serves as a great equalizer in society. Butler explains his present work in teaching himself the code used to develop the AI for picture recognition, which he hopes will be developed further for those with sight related disabilities. Butler talks about how the use of technologies such as a CCTV cameras, and programs such as Talking Books and Talking Language Master throughout his childhood helped him to overcome the hurdles he faced with regards to his disability in school and later in life.

Keywords: Application Program Interface; Bainbridge State College; Eclan-King Elementary; Visual Basic; WordPress; artificial intelligence