In February, I was asked to carry out an assistive technology assessment on a participant who was severely visually impaired. After carrying out this assessment I planned for his 1:1 support going forward. Having never dealt with assistive tech myself, I started by helping him with day to day tasks on his phone which was big enough, and colourful enough for him to see.
After going through apps on his phone, looking at mobile banking and setting him up on indeed.com, we needed to start making some progress on skills that would allow him to get back into the world of work, with his old profession now not an option with his recent visual deterioration.
We started to look at Microsoft office products, such as Word, and we explored all the visual accessibility settings that were available on the average laptop.
After three sessions with him, he expressed that he needed to make progress fast, and enrolled on an ECDL computer course to get him on his way. In the three sessions we had up until this point, we really explored everything that was possible given his limited sight, without purchasing specialist accessibility equipment for him to use.
That is when I enrolled the help of Simon, a fellow Digital Skills Advisor on the Positive People Devon team, who also happens to specialise in assistive technology.
He agreed to come with me to meet my participant to assess what we could do in order to best equip him going forward into his ECDL course.
Simon got in contact with the folks over at Sensory Solutions, and Leonard Cheshire, and by the end of the day, his contacts had agreed to give him an assessment, with the goal of providing him a desktop and a visually impaired accessible keyboard!
He has now stopped having regular 1:1 meetings but is in contact with us for whenever he requires support with his courses.