(P) Phones | A Person who is Blind or has Low Vision can use a Cellphone (#AToZChallenge)

The 2021 blogging from a to Z April Challenge letter p graphic is on top center of image. Text below reads phones a person who is blind or has low vision can use a Cellphone
The 2021 Blogging from A to Z April Challenge letter P graphic is available here.

My theme for the 2021 Blogging from A to Z April Challenge is to give an overview of what it is like to be visually impaired and to break down the misconceptions that still exist regarding the blind and visually impaired community. In this post I will discuss the topic of phones. 

A few years ago there was a post on Facebook that showed a photo of a woman with a white cane looking at her mobile phone. And in the post she was accused of faking her vision impairment because she was able to look at her phone. You can read an article on this here.

This post is an example of the lack of education there is regarding vision impairment and the spectrum that exists when it comes to visual impairment. Blindness can range from total blindness to light perception to some usable vision. 

I have low vision and I use glasses with a high prescription and I use a white cane when I am out on my own to let others know I can not see well and for safety reasons. This could have been me looking at my phone. This could have also been any  screen reader user trying to listen to their phone. 

Blind and visually impaired people are able to use mobile phones with the help of assistive text to speech software that reads out the text on the screen and the user can interact with items on the screen by swiping and double tapping. 

(O) OrCam | Assistive Technology for People who are Blind or have Low Vision (#AToZChallenge)

The blogging from a to Z April Challenge letter o graphic is on top center of image. Text below reads OrCam assistive technology for people who are blind or visually impaired
The 2021 Blogging from A to Z April Challenge letter O graphic is available here.

My theme for the 2021 Blogging from A to Z April Challenge is to give an overview of what it is like to be visually impaired. I also want to show that it is possible for a person who is blind or has low vision can lead an independent life. I hope to break some of the misconceptions that exist about people who are blind or have low vision. Today I want to highlight a piece of assistive technology that makes it possible for a blind or visually impaired person to complete many tasks independently.

This piece of technology is called OrCam. It is a small device that can be attached to glasses if desired. This device is able to read text, turning it into speech. It is also able to recognize faces after images are programmed.

This device is able to identify products allowing independent shopping. It is able to identify products via barcodes as well. This device can identify money and colors as well. It does not need an internet connection to work.

I think it is important to have this kind of technology because it allows a person to be fully independent as they do not have to rely on a shopping assistant as this can be used to identify products. It may take longer but it could be done independently.

Here are some demonstrations of how it works.

I would like to get one of these for myself as it would be very helpful for me. I am very thankful for this technology.

You can learn more about OrCam here.

(N) Navigation | How to Guide a Person who is Blind or has Low Vision (AToZChallenge 2021)

The blogging from a to Z April Challenge letter N graphic is on center of image. Text below reads navigation how to guide and give directions to a blind or visually impaired person
The 2021 Blogging from A to Z April Challenge letter N graphic is available here.

My theme for the 2021 Blogging from A to Z April Challenge is to give an overview of what it is like to be visually impaired and to address misconceptions regarding the blind and low vision community. In this post I want to discuss how to correctly guide and give directions to a blind or visually impaired person.

How to give directions to a certain object or room

When you direct a person who is blind or has low vision you should specific language. You should use phrases such as to your left or to your right or straight ahead. You should avoid phrases like over there or that way.

Entering a car

It is important for a blind or visually impaired person to know if they are entering the front or back seat and what side so for orientation purposes.

Approaching a door

It is important to let the person who is blind or has low vision open the door themselves. This allows them to know which direction the door is opening and avoid any accidents.

Providing sighted guide

The person who is blind or has low vision should hold on to the elbow of the person who is guiding and walk 1 step behind. In narrow areas they can put one hand on their shoulder.

Some extra thoughts

The important to remember is that communication is key but this is possible when there is teamwork.

(L) Lighting a Candle | How a Blind or Visually impaired Person Lights a Candle (#AToZChallenge 2021)

The 2021 blogging from a to Z April Challenge letter l graphic is on top center of image. Text below reads lighting a candle how a blind or visually impaired person lights a candle.
The 2021 Blogging from A to Z April Challenge letter L graphic is available here.

My theme for the 2021 Blogging from A to Z April Challenge is to give an overview of what it is like to be visually impaired and to address the misconceptions regarding those in the blind and visually impaired community.

In this post I will discuss the topic of candles. This may seem like a random topic but I want to show that a blind or visually impaired person is able to light a candle independently.

I think it is important to highlight these tasks because it shows that the loss of sight does not stop a person from enjoying every day life.

I want to say that I am visually impaired and I personally choose to avoid candles but this is my personal choice. There are several examples of blind and visually impaired people who love candles and use them independently.

Here are some videos below. I think this is a better way to explain this.

Now you know that it is safe and possible for blind and visually impaired people to use candles.

(K) KNFB Reader | Assistive Tech for Blind and Visually Impaired People (AToZChallenge)

The 2021 blogging from a to Z April Challenge letter k graphic is on the top center of image. Text below reads knfb reader assistive technology for blind and visually impaired people
The 2021 Blogging from A to Z April Challenge letter K graphic is available here.

My theme for the 2021 Blogging from A to Z April Challenge is to give an overview of what it is like to be visually impaired and to address some of the misconceptions regarding the blind and low vision community.

Technology has come a long way in the last decades. This is true in the area of assistive technology. Artificial intelligence allows a computer to recognize images, read text aloud and now it is possible for these types of software to read handwritten documents.

This has opened the door to those that are blind or have low vision allowing them to access many items independently. This technology is now available on cell phones expanding accessibility.

In this post I want to highlight the KNFB Reader.

This app is available for Apple, Android and Microsoft Windows 10 devices. It is able to read printed material from brochures to receipts to product labels. The app converts the text to speech.

There are several other apps available that perform the same task but I want to give an example of how accessible things have become. These apps make it possible for documents to be accessed independently and in a much more expedient manner. This opens the doors to more employment opportunities and independence in all aspects of life.

You can find out more about the app here.