Survival tips: Technology

Last week we explored how technology can be used to help pass the time and stay connected during social isolation.

Here at KVIN we are all about making sure people can continue to use technology when they lose their sight so that they can stay independent and do the things they want. With more time on our hands at the moment and an eye to the future, we’re sure that a number of people are wanting to develop new IT skills or refresh old ones. If you would like to do this, get in touch!

We have also started a technology podcast which will be published every 2 weeks, you can listen to our first one by our very own Dan and Mark. Click here to listen.

We also asked our staff, volunteers and sevice users which piece of technology they could not live without during lockdown? The answers are really interesting…

Aisha said, ‘The BBC Sounds app, it’s my connection to the real world, allowing me to get the news and know what is going on. I can also listen to audio dramas to take me away from the outside world, I also enjoy the back to the 90’s podcast. When I am doing work around the house, I can also take it with me and listen with my headphones using the app on my phone, which is great.’

Carlie said, ‘I could not live without my phone; WhatsApp helps me communicate with other people.’

Cheryl said, ‘WhatsApp and zoom enables me to keep in touch with all my groups and to work. on zoom last night we were dancing.’

Chris said, ‘I find Zoom great to talk to the grandchildren, they can show me what they are doing in the garden.’

David said, ‘My iPhone, but I have so much technology it is difficult to choose one thing. Blind Square is useful for me right now when walking the dog (its an app i have for navigation).’

Eric said, ‘The iPad with voiceover, it means I can access websites and the OrCam (a digital camera that reads print) which means I can read newspapers and not have to rely on my wife to read them for me.’

Martin said, ‘My iPhone is a huge asset, I have not used my laptop really at all this year as I have been able to use my phone for everything, WhatsApp is also super.’

Mark said, ‘Zoom is really useful at this time and in terms of a device, the BBC sounds app is really good and the ability to do your shopping on the phone, alleviate the pressure of going to a shop and standing in queues.’

Phil said, ‘Zoom is really useful for keeping connected, I also could not live without my phone.’

Stan said, ‘I could not live without my iPhone, my favourite app is Zoom, we had a family meeting on Easter Sunday with it and it was great.’

Sue said, ‘My iPhone and all the fantastic apps on it, I also use SeeingAI app. I use the handwriting function a lot for reading birthday and Christmas cards. Voice dream scanner is also good for reading a page of text.’

Jules said, ‘My iPhone, have not been able to use computer since I lost my sight so my phone is my lifeline, also cannot live without my tvonix box (talking free view box).’

We enjoyed hearing these intersting suggestions, its great to hear how people use their technology, especially to keep in touch at the moment.

Here are some links all about accessible technology and things that can keep you entertained at the moment;

Here is a post about music apps, with a summary of which are most accessible, read here.

With keeping in touch being all the more important in this time of lockdown our phones are probably being used now more than ever. Here are some simple tips to keep in your phone clean, read here.

The RNIB has a Tech talk Podcast which will keep you updated with your tech news, click here to listen.

The American Foundation for the Blind has an online magazine called AccessWorld which has lots of tips about access technology in this online magazine, read more here.

If you enjoy going to the theatre you can now enjoy a lot of your favourite shows online for free whilst we are in lockdown, check the link for details.

Here are some useful tips how assistive technology can provide assistance during a lockdown, read here.

As more people work or study from home the technology companies are offering deals that may help. Click here for special offers on vision loss related technology and software from Sight and Sound.

With lots of extra time on our hands now might be a good opportunity for anyone wishing to learn to touch type, here is information about sharpening your Typing Skills with Typer, read more here.

Struggling to read your post independently? There are lots of solutions available, this is one recommended by our tech guy Dan. Pearl Camera and Open Book OCR Software, availale to buy here.

If you’re isolating indoors or simply have more time to spare the BBC have a range of audiobooks and podcasts to suit a variety of tastes. How to explore the world from home during lockdown with the BBC’s Peter White and Pierce Brosnan.

If you enjoy immersing yourself in a good audiobook or listening to an in-depth podcast then click the link below for BBC Sounds Audiobooks.

We hope this has given you lots of tips and ideas for keeping busy using technology during lockdown. If you are in need of help to use your technology or learn something new, get in touch.