Assistive technology for visually impaired and blind people provides very effective tools that can augment  the ability to accomplish a myriad of tasks. Any adaptive device or service that increases participation, achievement, or independence is considered assistive technology. From a hand-held magnifying glass to smartphone apps, there is no shortage of adaptive implements, gadgets, and software that can keep people involved and functioning well in their environment.

One area where assistive technology can help is with using computers. These days, the world is filled with computers and technology just about everywhere we go. Rapidly changing technology is something that we all have to contend with regularly. We have gone from using simple flip phones that could only make phone calls to the ubiquitous smartphones that function like miniature computers. The thought of trying to keep up with new devices can be rather daunting!

Fortunately, there are more and more options available to help you keep your skills up to date. With the assistance of magnification, voice activation, refreshable braille displays, and others, you may be able to operate a new cell phone, or a computer sooner than you think.  You may need a little training on how to use assistive technology before you get you started. Luckily, there are free resources that can further your journey towards being more “tech-savvy.”

You can check out a “how-to” audiobook or Braille book from the library that may offer some guidance. If you live near a Braille Institute center, you can even come in to take a class at one of our Braille Institute Connection Pointe locations. Connection Pointe can teach you how to maximize the benefits of the assistive technology that you use. Your confidence will grow as you learn. Your ability to connect with the world using technology will increase, and in turn, so will your independence.

For more information, call us at 1-800-BRAILLE (1-800-272-4553).