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Jak is walking to independence thanks to new guide dog Vance.

A 21-YEAR-OLD who fought back from life-threatening injuries after falling off his bike into traffic five years ago has passed his guide dog exams.

Jak Powles, of Herbert Street, Bridgend, suffered horrendous injuries after being involved in the accident on his way to an English GCSE exam at Brynteg Comprehensive in 2005.

But Jak has not let his loss of sight prevent him from getting out and about. He is now qualified to go out with his new guide dog Vance after passing exams in several routes from his home.

"The first time my trainer was beside me telling me what to do but by the end he was watching me quite far behind," he said.

"Now I've passed my exams, I can go out on my own with Vance. I hope to learn the route to the gym in Brackla where I used to go before the accident. Vance responds to the position of my feet and my body so I need to have good posture."

Jak is looking for a job as a gym instructor and has also started going to Bridge VIS (Visual Impairment Society).

He has also passed his grade one Braille exams and is working towards grade two.

He said: "I quite enjoy it now but at first I didn't want to do it as I didn't want to accept the fact my sight had gone. I want to learn Braille to be able to help other people learn it too as my sight is getting better."

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Jak Powles has passed his guide dog exams and can now go out with his canine pal Vance PICTURE: Richard Williams [umlaut]
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Publication:South Wales Echo (Cardiff, Wales)
Date:Jan 27, 2011
Words:276
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