Since I lost my eyesight, I am constantly thinking to myself that I am so glad it was during a time where there is a lot of technological advances. I am constantly asked by friends, peers, co-workers, and strangers, how am I able to accomplish various tasks, such as being on my computer? It is questions like this one and others that reveal an interest among people to learn more about the world of blind individuals; I welcome any questions! No question is off limits...well there may be a limit LOL!
Anyway, to shed some light into some of the technology that helps me, I’ll first talk about my computer. I have a basic laptop that I take with me to school and my internship. In order to enable me to use my computer, I bought and downloaded a text to speech program called Window Eyes. So, for sighted individuals, whatever you see on the screen, my computer announces it verbally. With my computer, I am able to write papers, read materials, surf the internet, and most importantly, interact with you all on this wonderful site.
My second gadget that I use is my talking watch. At the touch of a button, my watch verbally announces the time, has a stop watch, and has an alarm clock. However, when I use my talking watch, I must remember that along with myself, people around me can tell when I am checking the time, so in meetings, I would recommend a braille watch. When it comes to watches for the blind, there are limited choices and styles to choose from. With this said, many of the watches for the blind are big/bulky or they only come in black. Thanks to my sister’s investigating, she found me a stylish watch that came in my favorite color, pink.
The third gadget is my color decoder, which helps me recognize various colors of my clothes. This electronic is definitely important because I have to maintain my sense of style. Yes, I care about what I look like...I may be blind to sight but not to style! Matching clothes is very important to me. I would know if I wasn't looking oh so fab by the snickers of the sighted passing by! So, when I wake up in the morning, I pull out my color decoder, hold it up to the piece of clothing, and it verbally announces the color. Still, like all forms of technology, it malfunctions sometimes, so I always double check with my mom or whoever is around to make sure I have the right outfit. I also double check myself by feeling my clothes, however I have multiple shirts that are the same, but in different colors.
I could go on forever talking about the various gadgets that help me in my daily routine, which it probably seems as though I have already done so. But, instead of going into depth, I am just going to list the other gadgets that I use, which consist of my tape recorder, talking cell phone, personal organizer, cup sensor, and a motion sensor. All of the gadgets mentioned above have impacted my life and others by causing them to be startled when they hear all of the strange voices/noises that my nifty electronics bring with them! LOL! So if you hear a lot of strange sounds going off no need to be alarmed there's probably just a cane user in the room that's beautifully blind!