Digital Eyes by Royal National Institute of Blind People

RNIBLogoThe RNIB’s Digital Eyes scheme uses sighted volunteers (or buddys) to train partially sighted people to use tablets or smartphones for everyday tasks.
 
Tablets and smartphones have recently become both cheaper and more accessible with smart new applications to support those with sight or hearing loss. People with sight loss are beginning to use these to shop, read, keep in touch with friends and get out and about, and have told us the difference it is making in terms of social inclusion, independence and confidence.
 
The Digital Eyes scheme is being trialled in London in 2013. With a ‘buddy’ and the loan of a tablet or smartphone, the participant explores a new online area each week such as shopping online, social networking, planning a journey and reading an eBook.
 
For more information: http://www.rnib.org.uk

Digital Reading Groups

ReadingAgencyLogoDigital Reading Groups help visually impaired and older readers access ebooks and join in with reading groups from a distance.
 
Digital Reading Groups is a new idea from The Reading Agency. Older people in Stockton and Sunderland will be matched with young volunteers from the Agency’s Reading Activists programme, who will help them set up the right technology for reading digitally. Older, digitally-savvy volunteers will also help support the readers throughout the programme, with reading group sessions both in local libraries and online, all supported by volunteers to get over any barriers whether digital or physical.
 
The user can then join a virtual or online reading group giving older people especially those with a visual impairment an online and real-world way to connect with each other, family and friend through a shared interest in books.
 
The Reading Agency is currently prototyping this work and looking for further funding to expand.
 
For more information: http://readingagency.org.uk/