Simple talking computing for people with sight loss
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Read the transcript of video: Andrew gets started with Dolphin Guide
My name is Andrew Main and I went blind last May, by August the blindness was confirmed as permanent and not a temporary condition. Obviously I was very low at that time I felt very isolated and quite depressed. I contacted Dudley Vision Services at the borough council and the rehab officer came to see me. She talked through some of the things I could do rather than the things I couldn't and began to show me things on how to manage. She then took me to the Thomas Pocklington Trust for a course which was run by Dudley College and it was using Dolphin Guide. At the time I felt it was way beyond me but I obviously was willing to give it a go so I was introduced to Guide.
I can move through the various parts of it and send an email, I can access the internet, I can make telephone calls from my address book, I can write letters without moving out of the programme. The programme is so comprehensive it enables me to do well including Skype telephone calls, it really is a wide ranging programme.
I was starting really from scratch, I had used a computer at work in my past but it was very much a one finger job. When the social worker took me along to the course and introduced me it was made clear that the pre-requisite was to be able to touch type. I thought that was beyond me but there is a programme on Guide that teaches you to type. It asks you to type letters and when you type the letter it moves onto another or if you make a mistake it quacks. I have to say the first couple of weeks there was a lot of quacking and not a lot of typing. But gradually I've found the location of the letters. The tutor from Dudley College walked through the programme she helped me to find my finger positions, how to locate letters and gradually improved my typing.
It's certainly lessened my sense of isolation and given me a lot of confidence.
I can access information and frequently relatively trivial information which I wouldn't find through news and obviously I can't read newspapers but I can go on websites and find information and I feel involved. I can also email my friends, my children, my grandchildren who don't live in this area. I can email them and its made a tremendous difference because equally they can email me and messages fly back and forward.
Its put me back in touch really with most of my friends and my children.
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