History of the Tiresias website
Information needs of professionals have changed significantly over the years. Information resources are changing rapidly too to meet these needs. To reflect this we recognised that our information service had to evolve in order to satisfy these needs by moving, but still retaining a link, from the more traditional book and paper to electronic media.
The information that can be found at www.tiresias.org initially started life over 33 years ago in printed form and evolved from work carried out by Dr. Janet Silver formerly of Moorfields Eye Hospital and Dr. John Gill, formerly the Chief Scientist of the RNIB in London.
Dr. Gill’s research has included the design of fonts (including the Tiresias family), public access terminals, tactile communication, orientation systems, automated production of braille and large print and access to telecommunication systems and services. He has worked for over 38 years in the area of scientific and technological research for people with disabilities, 23 of those years at the RNIB. Dr. Gill left the RNIB in July, 2009.
The World Wide Web offers exciting possibilities for accessing large quantities of information, so with the support of the Department of Health, the Tiresias information was made available on the web in 1995 and was overseen by Dr. Gill and the RNIB's Scientific Research Unit (SRU). In the latter part of 2008, the SRU merged with the RNIB's Digital Accessibility Team (DAT) and adopted that name. The site is now overseen by Robin Spinks of the RNIB DAT.
The visitors to this site are mainly made up of those interested in research and development but are not necessarily research workers. Visitors are mainly from the USA and UK however, our information has been accessed and used by people all over the world. Over half a million hits are received a year.
Current information available on-line adds up to over 2,400 pages of information.
Why the name Tiresias?
According to myth, Tiresias was a blind prophet from Thebes. He was the son of a nymph, Chariclo, and a descendent of one of the Spartoi. He was a follower of the goddess Athena. It is said that he lived for seven generations, and went on to give prophecies in the realm of the dead. According to the poet Ovid, Hera became angry at Tiresias and robbed him of his sight. But in return, Zeus granted him knowledge of the future. In other versions, he is blinded by the goddess Athena and given the gift of prophecy.
Last updated: 20.11.2009 © Copyright reserved Website design: Digital Accessibility Team