Sight-loss charity provides tech support

8 February 2023

An illustration of the talkback function on a phone

According to the RNIB, more than two million people in the UK are living with sight loss, and 36% of blind and partially sighted people never use the internet or don’t have access to it.

Aiming to bridge this digital divide in West Sussex, 4Sight Vision Support used funding from the WCIT Charity to employ a dedicated Accessible Tech Specialist. The role was designed to support, empower and engage clients in using a range of devices, from laptops and smartphones to smart speakers and tablets.

Throughout 2022, 4Sight Vision’s new service was accessed by 128 beneficiaries both remotely and in-person, enabling more blind and sight impaired people to benefit from: 

  • Increased digital inclusion – clients were able to access services and information which in some cases are now only available online, including banking, food shopping and prescriptions. 
  • Improved social connections – clients learnt how to communicate in a variety of formats with ease and confidence, as well as access technology for leisure.
  • Increased independence – clients were empowered to access information as and when they needed to, rather than waiting for family members to assist.
  • Improved confidence and self-esteem – clients were given the tools, confidence and support to use technology unassisted, which in turn improved their health and wellbeing.
  • Reduced isolation – clients reported feeling more connected to friends, family and the wider world.

Sometimes, people needed guidance for getting online for the first time; others benefitted from straightforward tech support such as activating the talkback function on a tablet. As one client remarked: “I can’t tell you how grateful I am. You are giving me the confidence to start using my laptop properly again.” 

Thanks to the WCIT Charity funding, 4Sight Vision Support was able to test the new service and collect evidence to demonstrate the positive impact of its Accessible Technology Service. As a result, it will now be seeking further investment to future-proof the delivery of this life-enhancing work.