Assistive technology for people who are blind or partially sighted
An increase in new and exciting technology has been one of the greatest enablers of the last decade. These products have opened up a world of convenience and enable all of us to connect with friends and family or find information in an instant.
For people who are blind or partially sighted, technology can play a more extensive role in building meaningful connections. Assistive technology from Dolphin enables people with sight loss to keep in touch with loved ones, read printed letters and lose themselves in a good book without the need to rely on anybody else.
Technology can be the key to reclaiming independence for people who are experiencing sight loss. The choice of assistive technology products available for people who are blind or partially sighted is now larger than ever. So, if you’re researching assistive technology for yourself, or want to know the best tech to recommend to someone who has a visual impairment, there are options to suit people who are competent computer users, and those to whom it’s all completely new.
What is the best assistive technology for blind people?
There are lots of different types of technology that help blind people with everyday tasks at home, at work and in education. Software is developed to improve accessibility to computers, these include screen readers, book reading apps and screen magnifiers. In addition, there is easy-to-use assistive technology that enables partially sighted and blind people to communicate via email, traditional mail and accessible video calls; to access entertainment including podcasts, books and games; and to independently complete everyday tasks such as writing lists, composing documents and updating their calendar.
With so many options available, it can be difficult to find the right match. This series of blogs will guide you through the essential assistive technology for people with visual impairments, to explore a range of easy-to-use and high-tech products for people with sight loss. and share the things that can be independently achieved with different products in the Dolphin Computer Access range.
So, whether you’re working for a sight loss charity, helping a friend or family member who is experiencing sight loss, or you are blind or partially sighted yourself, we will point you in the right direction and help you find the technology which is the best fit for you, or someone you support.
If you are looking for assistive technology to use at school or college, please visit the Education section on the Dolphin website. You'll discover how students of all ages can use assistive technology to unlock their full potential.
What do you want assistive technology to help you achieve?
Take a moment to think about the things you would like to do independently. Answering these three simple questions should start you on the right path to finding a solution that works for you:
1. What do you want to achieve with technology?
Think about the things you miss doing independently or anything you’d like to do unassisted that is difficult at the moment. This might be general or specific.
Perhaps you’d like to connect more with friends and family, retain more of your privacy or independently read your post? Maybe you miss reading and would like to get lost in a good book? Or perhaps you’d like to organise your time better and make sure you know when important birthdays or events are happening?
If you’re after ways to pass the time, you might like to explore new podcasts, search the internet, play a game or listen to your favourite radio shows.
Or maybe you want to use a computer for study or for work. These options are all available and improve independence for people with a range of different vision impairments.
2. How confident are you with technology?
Do you already know how to use a computer, tablet or smartphone, or are you new to that sort of thing? Have you used a screen reader or screen magnifier before? Is this something you are interested to learn?
Even if you are a complete computer novice, there is assistive technology designed for you. Dolphin has developed easy-to-use software which is really easy to learn, and simple to operate in ways you'll be familiar with. Easy-to-use assistive technology options help you do everyday tasks independently - without technological experience or knowledge of computers.
If you’re more experienced with technology – you’ve used a tablet or computer before - consider more high-tech choices. These use mainstream computers, tablets and smartphones with a screen reader or screen magnifier. They are good for confident computer users.
3. Where would you like to use assistive technology?
You want to use assistive technology at home, to help with everyday tasks, access entertainment, communicate with loved ones and complete general ‘life admin’.
You are visually impaired and employed, or are looking for work and want to use a computer to do your job. Or perhaps you’re searching for assistive technology to provide equal opportunities for anyone who has a visual impairment.
You are at school, college or university and want to independently access reading and study material to keep up in class and do your homework.
Wherever you intend to use it, Dolphin assistive technology helps you maintain or build your independence, with a range of products that are designed and developed specifically for people with visual impairments.
The next blog in this series will explore different types of assistive technology available - from easy-to-use devices to high-tech options. We will share more information on the different ways tech enables people with sight loss to live more independent lives.
Other Blogs you might enjoy
This blog explores assistive technology for people who are supporting a friend, family member or colleague who is blind, partially sighted or losing their sight. It will arm you with helpful information, up to date advice and relevant assistive technology products to suit a range of vision impairments.
Dolphin introduced accessible versions of classic games to the GuideConnect entertainment menu. Along with having fun, players can enjoy a host of other benefits you might not have considered. Find out more in this interesting and informative article.