Supporting Visually Impaired people with minor tech issues

With a huge number of local organisations now delivering services online in response to the current pandemic, it is crucial that visually impaired people are supported to stay connected and equipped with knowledge and information to overcome simple tech issues.

Many people experience minor tech issues with their phone, tablet, smart speakers, laptop or PC that can mean they become disconnected from services, friends and family. We have developed this guide to support you to help your users stay online and keep connected.

Where to refer your users for support

RNIB – Delivering a national free tech support service (RNIB Technology for Life Coordinators) accessed through their general support telephone Number: 0303 123 9999 or Email: tfl@rnib.org.uk. They have a team of 12 advisers who work on rota basis and a call back will be arranged if no one is available to take the call.

Henshaws – Offer a free support helpline & web-based resources.  Their Helpline can be accessed by calling: 0300 222 5555 and we have included some of their useful web resources:

  • Apps – There’s a whole variety of apps available for your phone that can help you to overcome the issues that sight loss brings. Find out more here.
  • Getting connected and keeping informed using technology. Find out more here.
  • Technology – Lots of options to explore. Find out more here.
  • Apps eBook – Download our eBook featuring 40 apps for someone with sight loss. Find out more here.

Developing a tech support service

Advice/peer support from Visionary members

The following organisations are delivering local tech support services are happy to share their expertise with other Visionary members:

Galloways (Lancashire & Sefton)

During COVID-19, Galloways Assistive Technology assistant provides remote support over the phone, video conferencing and can subject to consent, remotely access a service user’s device to diagnose and resolve issues. Contact Rachel Watkinson.

Galloways now also have an Alexa Skill available on Be My Eyes.

For more information visit their website. 

Christopher Grange (Merseyside)

The Grange’s HUB TECH HELPLINE is a free phone and email service supported in part by volunteers. To find out how this works and discuss how to introduce a similar service into your organisation get in touch with Mike Bailey.

South Lakes Sight Support

Their dedicated Assistive Technology Co-ordinator Tim Ward offers advice and support on a remote basis on all aspects of assistive and mainstream technology. To find out how the service operates contact Tim Ward.

Kirklees Visual Impairment Network

The Network provides phone-based technical support for smart phone, tablet or laptop. They can also help if people would like to learn something new. Contact Christine Stephen to find out how their service works.

Halifax Society for the Blind

For those without internet connected devices Halifax Society offer phone-based support as an alternative using a service called Speakserve. Other platforms are available and these services will need to be paid for by the organisation. To find out more, contact Pete Hoey.

Thank-you

Thank-you to all those Visionary members who have contributed to this resource. If you have any feedback, would like more advice or have any other resources which you would like to share across the Visionary network then please get in touch with us.

Download guidance

You can download the above guidance as a word document by clicking on the icon below.

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