A blind student at News Associates, Twickenham, re-invented Braille shorthand and passed the coveted 100 words per minute exam in June.
Kate Pounds, from Oxford, found someone on Facebook who used Braille shorthand in the civil service in the 1970s and 80s and though he could not remember it, this gave her hope.
Mrs Pounds said the Royal National Institute of Blind People (RNIB) gave her a braille shorthand file from 1959 and she found a quiet portable electronic Braille notetaker that worked in Arabic.
She explained that by sitting in shorthand lessons she was able to modify it and mash up the old code with new phraseology.
Mrs Pounds said: “I am really proud that I have created this new code and hopefully there will be other blind journalists who may want to benefit from that.”
Trailblazing is nothing new for Mrs Pounds.
“I might have even been the first undergraduate to go to Oxford who was visually impaired,” she said.
“I think it was very unusual for them to have offered me a place and to have done what they had done for me at that time.”
Mrs Pounds studied human sciences at St John’s College, Oxford but being the first blind student there came with its tribulations.
“It’s always really hard to know what you are going to need until you are in the thick of it and then sometimes they don’t have time to respond so, I think it is very tough,” she said.
“I absolutely know that when I come to do things I will face obstacles.”
Only a quarter of approximately 84,500 registered blind and partially sighted people of working age in the UK are employed (RNIB).
Mrs Pounds stated that it is important to encourage people with disabilities to apply for jobs.
She continued employers need to be open to hiring them and hosting the ongoing conversation.
Graham Moody, head of journalism at News Associates London, where Kate studied shorthand, echoed Mrs Pounds.
Mr Moody explained: “I think we have all benefited in terms of understanding what someone with a visual impairment needs when it comes to training, and making sure all staff are aware and understand how to make their materials accessible.”
He continued: “The majority of the work was done by Kate.
“Kate is a superwoman really for what she’s managed to do over the last year on top of juggling a long commute and two children.
“To have this commitment to learning, this whole new way of doing shorthand is just fantastic.”
Nicholas Iles is Mrs Pounds’ husband and together they are the parents of Felix and Martha.
Naomi Curston, from Bristol, a classmate of Mrs Pounds, also had nothing but praise for Mrs Pounds.
Miss Curston said: “I think I recognised fairly early on that she was one of the people on the course who would work very hard and do very well.
“She asks a lot of intelligent questions so, you can tell that she really cares about it and is really engaged.”