Technology: a lifeline during self-isolation
Since March 2020, many of the Vision Foundation’s funded programmes and plans have had to change. One of our partners, Kent Association for the Blind (KAB), went from running in-person support groups to setting up mobile offices and relying very quickly on the importance of technology.
*Kevin is in his seventies. He lives alone but is visited by carers twice a day, as he has very little functional vision after being affected by glaucoma and a stroke.
Like so many of us, Kevin would be lost without his smartphone. His specially adapted phone means he can stay in touch with friends and family all over the world and is able to request help from his carers and support team at KAB when needed.
When Kevin dropped and broke his phone in Spring 2020, he was suddenly cut off from his support networks, at a time when staying in touch from a distance became more important than ever.
Even when he got a new phone, he was unable to get it set up properly, so his carers contacted KAB to see if they could help.
Mark works in the Assistive Technology team at KAB. He explains:
“Following an individual Covid-19 risk assessment, I was able to do a doorstep home visit. This meant calling Kevin (on his home phone), to let him know that I was outside. Kevin was then instructed to put both the old and the new phone outside his front door in a bag for me to collect.
I returned to my car, cleaned down both devices with approved cleaning products, and set up the new phone. After testing that all was working OK, including the Wi-Fi and Kevin’s regularly used apps, I cleaned the products down again, left them on his doorstep and phoned the house again to tell Kevin they were ready.
After a few days, I called Kevin and he told me his new phone was working well. He was delighted to be able to contact his friends and family again – he told me it felt great!”
Thanks to your help, the Vision Foundation and our partners are able to keep supporting the most vulnerable members of the sight loss community, through the pandemic and beyond.
*In the interest of confidentiality, some names on this page have been changed.