Members of the Login & Connect Group were given an insight into accessible technology last week. Several helpers from a local charity - Charlotte, Tommy and Annette - who themselves have sight loss, were on hand to demonstrate how they can use tablets, computers and phones even if they cannot see the screen at all.
Using a combination of Siri (talking to the phone), VoiceOver (the phone talking to you) and built-in features that enable you to zoom and magnify, the three Visibility helpers shared with those in attendance how they've adjusted to life with low vision by saying 'Aye' to iPads and getting clever about their smartphone. Visibility staff member Craig MacLagan also demonstrated some accessible apps to the group. These free additions can enable phones to scan and recognise text, which can then be read back to the user, or help when shopping by scanning barcodes and relaying what the item is aloud.
Visibility, one of Scotland's oldest charities, offers a 'Try Before You Buy' scheme in Dumfries & Galloway and has a number of iPads and iPhones which can be loaned for a month to anyone with sight and/or hearing loss who wishes to learn how to use this technology but doesn't currently have the means to practice or learn. Staff and supporters from Visibility will be at the meetings on 8th November and 13th December to offer specific advice and tuition for anyone living with, or interested in, sight loss and how to get the most out of accessible technology.