Walking around the hall we were amazed as to what is now available in comparison to when we were in school. The best we had was either a jewellers lens fitted to a pair of NHS glasses, a hand held or stand mounted magnifying glass and, not forgetting, our specially made reading glasses. Things have come a long way since then.
For example, magnifiers now have high definition (1080pi) screens, allowing the user to read anything well.
These little beauties are about the size of an average mobile phone, while on the subject of the collar and lead as Hawkeye Harris calls it, these are accessible to use also.
We can now use off the shelf or specially adapted computers of all shapes and sizes, from the tablet up to the desktop and just like any other hi-tech device, they have the occasional mood and sense of humour.
Getting out and about was at one time very limited due to what was available to us. Yes we had a range of white canes or sticks, which were ‘lightweight’ and collapsible for ease of storage. Although the problem was and still is, snagging in paving stones, or a wall of people, which you are forced to move around.
Now besides the traditional ones, there’s a new boy Hawkeye and I are itching to try. It’s called ‘ultra-cane.’ This one works using ultra sound echo location technology. It’s held like a traditional cane, but without the snagging. All canes come in a range of sizes where applicable and with or without red flashes. These particular ones are used by people who have hearing loss as well as sight loss.
We saw representation from a good number of agencies, organisations and companies. Guide dogs for the blind were raising awareness to visitors. Wireless for the blind fund were also there demonstrating their latest advencement in radio and media players, which is designed for those with a visual impairment in mind.
Sight Cymru were there offering benefits advice. They were also displaying sight aid products to make our life easier. Jar keys, a clever device for opening stubborn jars. Liquid level indicators, which let the user know through an audible sound, when you have filled your cup or mug. Different types of lighting were also on display and Hawkeye was impressed with the high power, low energy desk lamps.
Gwent police also had a presence there giving advice on personal safety and home security, including your outbuildings. They were signing people up to owl, which gives text alerts to local crime and advice. This can also be received as an audio text to your land line.
This is ‘Dangerous’ Debbie blogging off, giving ‘Hawkeye’ writer’s cramp. See you next time.