A A A Accessibility A A A A

Blog

Advocating for those living with accessibility needs. Sharing experiences, raising awareness and understanding of how assistive accessible technology enhances and enables those in need.


Generation Accessibility - Grandad and Me

FullSizeRender
One thing most (god willing) will not avoid is growing old! It doesn't seem to matter how fit we are ageing brings new challenges. I have always had the best relationship with my Grandparents and since losing my Nannie 10 years ago I have grown particularly close to my Grandad and spend as much time with him as I can.  Grandad can be quite a grump but I love his wisdom and his belief in me.   The funny thing is although there are 55 years between us we have lots in common when it comes to how we get by on a daily basis. Grandad is not registered deafblind but he relies on assistive technologies similar to what I do and he doesn't even realise it! Grandad has worn reading glasses most of his life and they have gotten more and more magnified as he has got older.  ...
Continue reading
Rate this blog entry:
3082 Hits

Is your window open to inclusion?

Is your window open to inclusion?
Accessibility - Able to be reached, approached or entered via Oxford Dictionary  I found myself in the world of accessibility almost by accident.  I did not even realise I had specific accessibility needs until I began to go blind. In real terms I have accessed the world very differently to most because of need, however, I wonder how many really understand that they too use lots of features in accessibility. It seems that until things become "trendy" or "cool" they are sadly not in the majority of mindsets, so do we try to make accessibility trendy or just hope it becomes a part of early training and education? Can we really wait for "trendy" as our ageing population increases and their reliance on the ability to access life independently increasingly looks toward technology? Accessibility is not just about those with disabilities, it is for us all.   I myself have...
Continue reading
Rate this blog entry:
3134 Hits

Dynamic Text Fest - updated

Dynamic text galore! As we all know Apple products, get fairly regular software updates.  I had read and heard a few things about iOS 10, but was intending on waiting to experience it before making comments. A few instant differences, my text seems larger. I already had larger text enabled via Accessibility settings and with this some apps enable dynamic text so also enlarge text, however, in settings my text seems clearer, larger and bolder, very positive, though not all text size is consistent through all apps.  There was a lot of chat about a new iMessage. I couldn't imagine how it could be improved.  Instantly noticeable are now three symbols, the 'camera' symbol being instantly recognisable, however, the the other two symbols I had to scrutinise!   After some time zooming in I discovered the middle is 'digital touch,' like on Apple Watch, though this isn't quite as simple....
Continue reading
Rate this blog entry:
1945 Hits

Growing Knowledge means Growing Accessibility Kit!

Growing Knowledge means Growing Accessibility Kit!
I recently blogged about my preference of twitter and a few reasons why.  Following on from those comments I have been very fortunate to meet with some amazing people since using Twitter as a networking tool to raise awareness of Usher Syndrome, it’s challenges and what we need to access the world. One of many people who made contact with me after my applewatch blog was the inspirational Maneesh Juneja.   Maneesh who is a Digital Health Futurist would tag me in various posts he thought might be useful to me and, excuse the pun, opened my eyes to both interesting and useful posts enabling me to research new things I might never have known about and to access and consider how these things could work for people with Usher Syndrome, deafblind, blind and also those becoming hard of hearing or visually impaired. The main advantages I have found here...
Continue reading
Rate this blog entry:
3919 Hits

The Missing Linx2

The Missing Linx2
A few months ago I had what could have been a complete nightmare for me, I lost one of my treasured Linx2 hearing aids. I was distraught, I felt completely unbalanced, unnerved and worse I feared how I would replace the missing aid. Firstly I asked for help in searching for the tiny hearing aid in all the places I'd been along with my parents pulling apart our house as my poor sight is not very helpful when it comes to finding things, especially things so small. I was devastated it couldn't be found and to this date has not been found. I contacted ReSound and advised them I had lost one of my hearing aids and before I could ask about a replacement they told me I should not feel so awful and to visit asap for a replacement. I cannot tell you how relieved I was. A day...
Continue reading
Rate this blog entry:
2644 Hits

My San Francisco Adventure

My San Francisco Adventure
San Francisco had been on my long list of places to visit and I was lucky enough to go on a girls only adventure with Mum and my younger sister Lily. Going away and out of my comfort zone can be very stressful, whether I am alone, with Unis or with others. To deal with the anxiety I often feel I use my travel experiences as a mission to find who and what is accessible in my world.   Whilst I’m concentrating on the good, bad and acceptable it gives me something to think about rather than feel anxious. Our journey begins at Heathrow Airport and our flight with Virgin Atlantic.  Virgin were advised I am deafblind on booking and that safety instructions in large print be made available.  They were also advised I am most comfortable to board first to avoid the crowds which are uncomfortable. I was escorted...
Continue reading
Rate this blog entry:
4178 Hits

Molly Watt - Speaker at Camp Digital March 2016

Molly Watt - Speaker at Camp Digital March 2016
Job Title:    Spearheading The Molly Watt Trust,                    Ambassador for Deafblind Charity Sense                  Advocate for those living with Usher Syndrome, Sensory                  Impairments and Hidden disabilities.                   Published author and illustrator of 2 children’s books.                  Keynote and Motivational Speaker and keen Blogger.                   www.mollywatt.com                   www.molly-watt-trust.org                  twitter @mollywatttrust              I am 21 years old and registered deafblind as a result of Usher Syndrome.  Usher Syndrome is varying deafness and blindness.  The blindness is retinitis pigmentosa.  There is no cure. Usher Syndrome is not just...
Continue reading
Rate this blog entry:
2389 Hits

Playing Pad Pro Pencil

Playing Pad Pro Pencil
As a naturally creative person I was particularly excited about the arrival of the iPad Pro and Pencil but I did have the usual reservations that go with somebody with only 5 degrees of vision and big screens. When I opened the box and saw the size of the screen I was very apprehensive as big is not necessarily better for somebody with tunnel vision, especially a tunnel as small as mine. On taking the tablet from it’s box I was surprised at how light it was and how much a bigger version of my iPad air. Switching on the iPad Pro the screen clarity was profound, even to me and it was big! Strange as it might sound, as poor as my eyes are I notice differences, I guess because I have to look so carefully and scan everything it is rare for me to miss something new or...
Continue reading
Rate this blog entry:
3225 Hits

No Sight, No Sound, No Social Media!

No Sight, No Sound, No Social Media!
Being born with a condition is very different to acquiring one, I have the experience of both! I was born deaf, hearing aids from 18 months old, audiology appointments, speech therapy and a specialist teacher of the deaf for support.  It was all I knew until I was 12 years old and it all worked very well.  It all changed when I was diagnosed with Usher Syndrome. I was told I'd go blind but that it would be a gradual process, for me I went from perfect sight to registered blind in two years, I have been one of the unlucky ones. I was born with perfect sight and being deaf meant I used my eyes to compensate for my deafness. I relied on my eyes to lipread, to learn to speak, I could see facial and body gestures which helped me understand mood, happy, sad, angry.  Often when in...
Continue reading
Rate this blog entry:
9516 Hits

Tools to Navigate Usher Syndrome

Tools to Navigate Usher Syndrome
I wrote about my very early experience with my Apple Watch and I'm continuing to use it, experimenting with the apps that I am able to access and those I think can be helpful / useful to me as a deafblind, guide dog owner. My Apple Watch certainly isn't an expensive gimmick to me. Taptics is definitely the most amazing accessibility tool for those with dual sensory impairment. At the moment it is very rare to find anything with good accessibility for the deafblind.  Up until now it has been very much for the blind or the deaf and single sensory impairment consideration often does not work for those with Usher Syndrome. Unis my gorgeous guide dog has made my life easier, making me more independent, she gets me from a to b safely, however, Unis can only go where I ask her to. Unis knows familiar routes, which is...
Continue reading
Rate this blog entry:
8509 Hits

Awareness, Accessibility and Technology = Independence

Awareness, Accessibility and Technology = Independence
I should make people aware of the type of blindness associated with Usher Syndrome is called Retinitus Pigmentosa (RP). The characteristics of RP usually start with night blindness, followed by a progressive loss of peripheral vision, so tunnel vision and what we see varies in different light conditions too and not just light to dark but from room to room, outside to inside in brightness and glare, environmental changes that just happen, yes, it is a nightmare! Of course I'm no expert on these things so the following is me talking about myself and just an outline for those reading my blog. Again everybody with the condition is different, I was very unlucky to have been registered blind or I should say registered Deafblind at just 14 years old and being already deaf it was the most distressing time of my life - that's possibly a blog for another time....
Continue reading
Rate this blog entry:
11866 Hits