Donations of Tech Create Real Change for Sights for Hope Clients

We sat down this week with Dianne Michels, Sights for Hope’s nationally-certified Vision Rehabilitation Specialist, to talk about the positive impacts that technology has on the lives of individuals living with visual impairments.

Diane says that the opportunities that iPads and laptop computers provide users take on added importance for those living with visual impairments by providing additional mechanisms that enable them experience content that might ordinarily be inaccessible.

Of the many clients Sights for Hope works with, Dianne wanted to tell us about one in particular, Dorothy Montero. “One of our clients, Dorothy, does all of her shopping by using the internet, and all of her banking by using an app on her small iPhone screen,” Dianne explained. “Dorothy has great difficulty accessing her iPhone because the scale of the screen is limiting, and the print is so small which makes the accessibility software difficult, if not impossible, to learn and properly utilize. This is an issue that many of our clients experience where they might have access to some type of technology like an iPhone, but the size of the screen and device are still too small to be truly effective. In fact, small screen and text size is an issue for individuals that don’t currently have any visual impairments as our eyes squint and our shoulder and neck muscles tighten, resulting in fatigue that can develop into eye strain.”

Dianne continued, “When one of our community members donated an iPad to our agency, we were able to turn around and give it to Dorothy. Now she is actually able to see the print and navigate the screen of the device due to the larger size. I have continued my work with Dorothy and we have gone over how to use the ‘Reader View’ on Safari, and how to use Siri to open apps instead of trying to find them by sight. With these new tools readily at her fingertips, Dorothy’s day-to-day life has improved immensely. Dorothy is now able to connect with her grandchildren through Face Time, access her online banking, continue her online shopping, and even read some of her favorite books and articles.

If you would like to support our clients through a donation of a new or gently used iPad or laptop, please check out the Gifts in Kind information on this website, or send an email to Christe Konopitski, Director of Advancement, for more details.