Blind and partially sighted people encouraged to Switch on to technology

Technology isn’t just about gadgets, it’s about making life easier says the Royal National Institute of Blind People (RNIB) as it launches its ‘Switch on to technology’ month.

During November RNIB is running events across theUK, with the aim of helping blind and partially sighted people realise the benefits that technology can bring and that you don’t need to be an expert to get involved. There will also be a number of how-to podcasts, a series of beginners’ guides available in all formats, and information about the Technology Support Squad – a team of volunteers who make house calls to help people set up their new products.

The themed month will tackle four key topics; finding the right mobile phone for you; the benefits of getting online; choosing your computer, and using eBook readers and downloadable audio books.

Fazilet Hadi, Group Director of Inclusive Society at RNIB, said: “Thanks to recent progress in the world of technology, more mainstream products are now available to blind and partially sighted people than ever before. Accessible phones, computers and ebook readers can enable people with sight loss to live with greater independence.

“Whilst there are a growing number of products that can be easily used, you need to choose the product which best suits your needs. Our Switch on to technology events and advice can help people to find out more and get started.”

Vicki Manly, who is registered blind, is a big fan of technology. She said: “I never thought I would be able to use all the latest gadgets but now I really enjoy using them. Technology has made a big difference to my everyday life, being able to use my mobile phone to send emails and listen to the radio while I’m out and about is great, and my talking phone at home lets me know who is calling.

“I would encourage other blind and partially sighted people to have a go and see what difference it could make to them.”

If you’re new to technology and you’d like to find out about mobile phones, computers, eBooks or getting online, order one of our beginners’ guides by calling our Helplineon 0303 123 9999 or emailing helpline@rnib.org.uk. Alternatively, download a guide from www.rnib.org.uk/technology

If you’ve recently bought a product but you’re not sure how to use all the features contact our Technology Support Squad via the RNIBHelplineon 0303 123 9999.

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