Charity’s not blind to technology for sight impaired

Specialist tuition for sight-impaired can be had through Royal National Institute for the Blind.
Specialist tuition for sight-impaired can be had through Royal National Institute for the Blind.
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From banking and shopping, to keeping in touch with friends and relatives, today’s new technology can make everyone’s lives easier.

But how easy are devices like tablets and smartphones to use if you are blind or partially sighted?

In fact, many modern devices have accessibility features to help people with sight loss get online, says the charity RNIB Scotland.

“If you were thinking about buying a smartphone or tablet for yourself or a friend who has sight loss this Christmas, features such as zoom-magnification, text-reading software and the option to adjust font size and contrast are often in-built into devices,” said Sheila Sneddon.

She co-ordinates RNIB’s Lottery-funded initiative Online Today, which organises short introductory training sessions for blind and partially sighted people on how to get the most out of new technology.

“Millions of us rely on the internet for everyday tasks and staying in touch with friends and family,” she said. “For people who are blind and partially sighted, getting online can make a huge difference to being able to live independently. But it can be quite daunting if you don’t know where to start.

“Our friendly, informal sessions offer basic training and advice on how to browse the internet and use smartphones and tablets.

‘‘You don’t need to have any prior knowledge of using these devices to attend.

‘‘We aim to give people the confidence to make sure they’re not being excluded from today’s digital world.”

If you’d like to know more, or if you’re interested in taking part in one of the workshops, give us a call on 0131 657 8204 or email onlinetodayscotland@rnib.org.uk.