Accessibility and Technology

Technology has made communication and the management of daily activities easier for people with vision loss. It is also a critical skill to have in this day and age to be connected with the community. If you find yourself struggling with the use of devices such as smart phones/tablets/laptops due to your vision loss, contact us and our trainers will be in touch to offer training and advice.

Some of the benefits of technology for people with vision loss include:

  • Connection with family and friends through text and social apps

  • Navigation to enhance independent travel

  • Remaining relevant in the work force

  • Shopping for essential items

  • Staying updated on current affairs and knowledge

Here are some of the technology skills we teach on smartphones and computers:

  • Magnification to zoom in and look at specific parts of the screen

  • Setting Colour Inversion and/or Customising Colour Profiles for people with different colour contrast needs

  • Settings Adjustments to make font size bigger, apps more accessible, and navigation around the device easier

  • Screen Readers such as Talkback on Android, Voiceover on iOS, NVDA or JAWS on computers for people with very limited vision to navigate around the device

  • Gestures and Shortcuts to make the use of devices easier and quicker

  • Basic Smartphone Skills such as making calls, saving contacts, and managing apps

  • Navigation Apps such as Moovit, Google Maps, and bus apps to aid with travelling

  • Other Apps such as email, shopping apps, social media, etc.

  • Office/Productivity applications to perform in a work environment
  • Visually Impaired using a Mac computer
  • Teaching Visually Impaired Client to use Mobile phone
  • Visually Impaired Client looking at Mobile Phone

Lessons are conducted one-on-one and customised to the client’s vision and lifestyle needs. Training is heavily subsidised by GDS and clients need only to pay a nominal fee. Lessons are conducted by vision impaired trainers who use the technology in their daily life, and therefore are in the best position to impart their skills and knowledge.

Clients are advised to use their own smartphones (Android / iPhone) or laptops to familiarise themselves with their own devices during lessons. If you are currently not owning a device and would like assistance with choosing the right solutions for your needs, please contact us.

In addition, we regularly conduct workshops on topics that are requested by our clients. If you are keen to attend our training and workshops, contact us to join our mailing list.

More Accessibility and Technology Resources
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Frequently Asked Questions

Here are the commons types of visual impairment

Cataract
Thick film covers the eyes, sensitive to glare

Cataract

Diabetic Retinopathy
The body is unable to produce enough insulin to convert sugar to energy, leading to a buildup of sugar in the blood. Diabetic retinopathy happens when blood vessels in the eye rupture and causes patches of blurry vision.

Diabetic Retinopathy

Glaucoma
Glaucoma is a result of damaged optic nerves caused by the buildup of eye fluid and increased eye pressure. Glaucoma affects your side vision and can eventually cause tunnel vision.

Early Stage Glaucoma
Early Stage Glaucoma
Late Stage Glaucoma
Late Stage Glaucoma

Age-Related Macular Degeneration (AMD)
Above 50 yrs old, black spots appearing in central vision or straight lines looking wavy. Difficulties in reading or recognising faces. These are some common signs of age-related macular degeneration (AMD). AMD is an eye condition affecting your central vision.

There are two types of AMD – wet and dry. Wet AMD is caused by an abnormal growth of blood vessels in the eye, leading to the leakage of blood and proteins into the sensitive cells in the macula. This causes damage and vision loss. There is no exact cause of dry AMD but the condition occurs as the eye ages.

Age-Related Macular Degeneration (AMD)

Retinitis Pigmentosa (RP)
‘Retinitis Pigmentosa (RP) is a group of inherited, degenerative eye conditions that affects the retina. People with RP may experience gradual loss of side vision and poor night vision, commonly starting from their teenage years.

Early Stage RP
Early Stage RP
Late Stage RP
Late Stage RP
Night Blindness in RP
Night Blindness in RP

Please see more details in People with Vision Loss.

This is a group information session to give participants a better understanding of the differences between long cane and Guide Dog use.

Most technology solutions have accessibility services included by default to help someone with vision impairment use technology. In essence, this would be normal hardware augmented with special software or applications. This includes screen reading applications for someone with little to no vision, by reading out the contents on the screen and providing an accessible way to operate the device, such as altering the way the touchscreen works or including extensive support for keyboard commands.

For someone with an adequate level of functional residual vision, vision enhancement functions make the screen more vision-friendly by magnifying content, enhancing colour contrast and/or providing basic screen reading functionality.

The aspect of user experience of an application or website is crucial to the accessibility for vision-impaired users.

Programmatically, elements and controls should be properly indicated with the relevant tags for screen reading applications to translate to users the intended function of the control.

Regions should also be properly indicated, such as the navigation bar or, the content region or the main region.

Font sizes and colour contrasts should also be taken into account for users who utilise vision enhancement services. Guidelines exist for different platforms in order for developers to optimise apps for accessibility, such as W3C’s Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG).

As part of our service, we offer digital accessibility consultancy and user experience testing, in terms of accessibility for the visually impaired. Please contact us to learn more about how you might be able to implement or improve accessibility of your existing applications and content.

Our Instructors

Chia Hong Sen - Trainer and Consultant

Chia Hong Sen
Trainer and Consultant

Dallon Au, Trainer, IT (freelance with GDS)

Dallon Au
Trainer, IT (freelance with GDS)

Read More About Our Instructors

Videos

Boarding the correct bus

Boarding the correct bus can be challenging for persons with visual impairment, especially when there are many buses alighting at the same stop. Here we have Stefanie practicing the different ways she learnt, through our Orientation and Mobility (O&M) training, to successfully identify the right bus. She could either solicit for public’s assistance or use bus application via the smartphone. Before she boards the bus, she also checks with the bus driver if it’s the right bus. To board safely onto the bus, it can be tricky not knowing where the door is. Hence, practicing proper cane skills is important to know how to hop on and off the bus safely.

Posted by Guide Dogs Singapore Ltd on Thursday, 18 March 2021

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