July 25, 2018
Wireless in the Blind and Low Vision Community
Wireless technology changed the way we interact with our day. From staying connected on social media to managing our commute, and even how we shop online, wireless influences the way we interact with society. This has an even bigger impact in the blind and low vision community, which can benefit from many innovative tech solutions.
Here are a few examples of the most functional advantages of wireless devices for users with low vision.
When social and news platforms shifted to video and visuals, away from print, it created unexpected benefits for the blind and low vision community. Today, most wireless devices have screen reading features that read aloud the text that is displayed on the screen. This makes news accessible for the low vision community because it makes written updates available instantly, without the need to wait for a braille translation or other verbal descriptions.
Uber and Lyft changed the game when it comes to accessible transportation for the low vision community. Ride sharing makes it easier for blind individuals to commute independently without needing the help of a caregiver, friend, or public transit services.
Additionally, Uber developed programs to train drivers by explaining best practices when assisting passengers with low vision such as, how to guide them to the car, and how to accommodate service animals.
VoiceOver is a popular app that enables greater functionality with computers and smartphones for blind users. This feature integrates into your device and makes it possible for users to hear and feel relevant information instead of viewing it.
LookTel is a money reader app that instantly scans money, reads the currency, and speaks the denomination aloud for the user to hear. This assures the user that they are working with the correct amount of change that they are either handing away or receiving.
Be My Eyes is a service that connects volunteers and company representatives directly with visually impaired and blind users to provide visual assistance via a video call.
Now that we’ve covered some of the invaluable apps that are available to the low vision community, most wireless devices have features already built into devices. From voice to text, to FaceTime, to tactile keys, there are many ways that phone features are helping blind individuals. Be sure to check with your carrier for a tutorial on what is available on your device.