On 1st March 2017 in preparation for
World Book Day
enthralled pupils of Norwood Primary School with his recently published book
the Animal Whisperer
Anthony, who has cerebral palsy and is partially sighted, writes using Dolphin Guide, a computer programme that enables him to find the keys on a large keyboard with the computer speaking out each letter, number and space as he presses the relevant key.
It is a similar way of writing to that used by Stephen Hawking, the famous physicist, cosmologist, author and Director of Research at the Centre for Theoretical Cosmology within the University of Cambridge, but Stephen uses a combination of head, eye, and cheek movements to operate the computer, as well as predicted text which speeds up his writing.
Using Dolphin Guide on his PC, Anthony writes for an hour or two each day. It is a laborious process … as Anthony says, “Because I only write with one finger, it takes me about a year to write a book.”
The children were fascinated to hear Anthony speak, look at the lovely book illustrations by Suzan Houching and listen to some pages from Wizzy the Animal Whisperer being read out loud.
They had lots of questions for Anthony, including:-
“Why do you write?”
Anthony “I’ve always liked writing ever since I was little. My dad and I did my autobiography and since he died I wanted to be able to do my own writing, so I got a special programme called Dolphin Guide. Writing is a good way of sharing my ideas; I can get them down on paper.”
“How many books have you written and where do you get your ideas?”
Anthony “I’ve written eight books at the moment and ‘Wizzy the Animal Whisperer’ came from a farm holiday, for example.”
“Where did you get the name ‘Wizzy’ from?”
Anthony “It came from a friend who called my wheelchair, ‘Wizzy wheelchair’.”
“Are you ever worried you’ll forget an idea?”
Anthony “Yes, I do have to come and write it down.”
“What is your next Wizzy book about?”
Anthony “I am writing another one at the moment and we’ll see what happens.”
Click on the picture
Tags: Anthony Ridgway, author, book, cerebral palsy, children's, Dolphin Guide, pupils, read, school, Stephen Hawking, Suzan Houching, wheelchair, Wizzy, Wizzy the Animal Whisperer, World Book Day, write, writing