A Moray student who was struck down with a life-changing condition half-way through his degree has created a new interactive exhibit at Kinloss RAF museum.
Phil Forster is a final year Interactive Media student at the University of Highlands and Islands and, as part of his dissertation project, designed a new system for Morayvia to help disabled visitors gain insight into an aviation exhibit.
The Interactive Maritime Crew Area allows museum guests to find out more about how a maritime patrol aircraft operates without relying on volunteers to show people around the physical structure.
This means that disabled visitors who were unable to climb onto the planes, have a chance to experience the exhibit properly.
Mr Forster, an ex-RAF man, will graduate from his course this summer despite suffering from a severe illness that occurred as he was due to head into his last year.
He said: “I was just starting my second and final year of the interactive media course when I became very badly ill.
“I was in a great amount of pain and was stuck in hospital for nine days, where I became severely dehydrated. The doctors discovered I had ulcerative colitis, which is an autoimmune disease, a bit like Crohns disease.”
“Obviously, I had no idea I had it until I was forced to go into hospital with severe stomach pains. It took me about 18 months to get the condition under control.”
Mr Forster was forced to defer his stidies for a year in order to get his condition sorted.
Scotland football international Darren Fletcher suffers from the same condition which almost ended his career.
The interactive exhibit has already been installed at Morayvia and explains the role and complexity of the maritime patrol aircraft in a disability-friendly fashion.
Mr Forster, who now volunteers at Morayvia, added: “Before my prototype was introduced, the exhibit had to rely on the tour guides and posters and objects to tell the story of the aircraft.
“Now I’ve introduced new technology and a simple push-the-button design that allows visitors to view the exhibit at their own pace and pleasure.”