Assistive tech helps people reconnect

15 February 2022

A device with Synapptic software to help people with sight loss

The WCIT Charity recently funded Sheffield Royal Society for the Blind (SRSB) to trial a project designed to encourage those with little or no experience of technology to start using accessible tech. By providing low-vision friendly tablets and phones on a ‘try before you buy’ basis, clients are able to make an informed decision about what may work for them. The overall aim is to help those with moderate to severe sight loss socialise, communicate, and be more independent.

As one client, Danny, reported: “After many attempts, I have never yet managed to use a laptop, tablet or a touchscreen mobile phone successfully.

When it was suggested that I try Synapptic, I discovered it is the only software that can even make a luddite like me sit up and listen. Never in my life have I been able to read and send emails. I have not only achieved this in less than two weeks, but I have found that I can use video calls on WhatsApp quite easily too.

I cannot thank SRSB enough for suggesting that I try it, and for loaning the equipment. In the words of Professor Chris Whitty, I’m not yet doing somersaults, but at least I’ve achieved a handstand!”

The Synapptic software has voice recognition, large icons and text, a digital hand-held magnifier and speech on every screen.