Latest technology to help blind, vision impaired on show in Canberra

Canberra artist Lien To has been able to continue the hobby she loves thanks to the latest in technological advances for people who are blind or visually impaired.

This weekend, the latest in adaptive technology has been on display in Canberra.

The exhibition, hosted by the Royal Society for the Blind (RSB) Canberra Blind Society, aims to introduce clients to adaptive technology which could make their lives easier.

“I’m an artist so I use CCTV technology to draw a lot of patterns,” Ms To said.

“It makes things bigger and because I do a lot of fine-detail work, it makes it so much easier.”

Ms To said events like the RSB Canberra Blind Society Overview days helped her keep up with changes in technology.

“Technology changes every single day and every single year,” she said.

“It’s just so interesting to learn what all these new gadgets can do and how they can make life easier for people with vision impairment.

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“Twenty or 30 years ago when you went to school, you had big sheets of paper that teachers would enlarge for you to poster size.

“It was very annoying and it took up the whole space and now you’ve got technology that can enlarge things for you and you can read a normal-size page without any difficulty.”

Anna Saxon gets around with the help of guide dog Elska, but said adaptive technology has allowed her to communicate within the Canberra community.

“I sit on various ACT Health committees and I wouldn’t be able to do that without being able to read policy documents on my iPad,” she said.

“Even some of my friends who don’t use technology much ask me ‘how do I do this Anna?’.

“I never thought I would use a computer when they first came out, but now I depend on them.”

Ms Saxon said developments in everyday technology such as smartphones and tablets were also helping to make life easier for people with visual impairment.

Anna Saxon said along with her guide dog Elska, advances in technology were allowing her to give back to the Canberra community.

Anna Saxon said along with her guide dog Elska, advances in technology were allowing her to give back to the Canberra community.

“Take library books for example,” she said.

“I used to get my library books from Vision Australia. Now I download them straight onto my iPhone, so I carry them with me wherever I go.

“Once upon a time we had cassette tapes, then we went to CDs, then we went to mp3s and now I just download the books.”

Originally Published in: ABC News

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