What began as a tiny little seed in the minds of Chip Hailey and Paul Mimms began to slowly develop and grow over many years of conversations between the two.
They talked about what a real shame it is that blind and visually-impaired Missourians are able to acquire computers, only later to be forced to box them back up, or abandon them due to a lack of training to use the equipment.
Chip and Paul continued their conversations over the years regarding the issue and finally decided to take action to see what could be done to bring many of today’s blind and visually-impaired Missourians into the age of computers.
Though it took many, many years for that small seed to take root and flourish, it finally became a reality in 2020. In October, they brought a third person into the conversation, Denny Huff, who brought many years of computer working knowledge to the group. The three of them agreed that it would be a great idea to be able to train and assist blind individuals on the use of computers, starting with the very basics.
From that small seed in the minds of Chip and Paul those many years ago, it didn’t take long for others to catch onto the idea and become excited about helping others in their journey on the use of computers. Before they knew it, other founding members joined the group; the solution was formed and quickly began to take shape. Those other members were Jim Murray, Joplin; Bev Kaskadden, Lake St. Louis; Sarah Cason, Sedalia; and Brenda Whitlock, Kansas City.
The reality for many blind Missouri citizens is that without work-related rehabilitation goals, there were not opportunities to obtain computer training. Now that our society has advanced to be so proliferated with digital information in the current age, TAVIM becomes a working solution and will serve as a means by which the blind citizens of Missouri can now acquire the training and assistance they need to find empowerment through the use of their computers.
From the beginning of the planning and development, the intended service would involve provision of a computer for participants, and then use these computers to train the person. The computer will become the property of the participant at the completion of training.