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


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...
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My ears, my eyes, my Apple Watch

My ears, my eyes, my Apple Watch
My whole life has always evolved around technology, starting with analogue hearing aids at 18 months in order to access sound. I cannot imagine life without hearing aids, I've had them forever.  School was full of speech therapy, small group work and one to one with my teaching assistant, not forgetting my trusty radio aid that I needed to hear the teachers voice without background noise. I had to wear it in a bum bag that Mum kept as trendy as possible but there was no pimping the hideous wires that connected my hearing aids to the radio aid, I hated it but accepted it because even back then I knew if I couldn't hear I was excluded from normality. At 20 I have been through several generations of hearing aids as technology has progressed.  I remember being in year 3 when I was one of the first in my...
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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....
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My Apple Watch after 5 days!

My Apple Watch after 5 days!
Having known about the Apple Watch for some time and knowing lots of my friends were planning to buy one, I was sceptical as my needs are quite different to that of those of the sighted and hearing.  I have to rely on specific accessible features. However, I was curious as Apple products have been more than just up market gadgets to me, they really have been my access to the many things most take for granted but that those of us with deafblindness, particularly struggle with. I was born deaf and registered blind when I was 14.  The condition I have is Usher Syndrome Type 2a. I am severely deaf and have only a very small tunnel of vision in my right eye now so I was concerned not just about the face size but how busy it would appear to me and also if there would be an...
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