ACT employee Angie Goodnight is a wiz with technology. She relies on technology for many of her day-to-day activities. We asked Angie to share the ins and outs of how technology is changing the way blind people are able to see the world.
My name is Angie Goodnight. Eighteen years ago I lost my sight due to an illness. In today’s world just about everyone uses some kind of technology. In my day to day life I do not know how I could do what I do without the great items I use to read e mail, keep track of my daily appointments, pay my bills, check my banking account, , send text messages, and much more. I use a Toshiba laptop at work with the assistance of a software program designed for the blind called Jaws. It is a screen reader program that reads everything out loud to me. This allows me to do anything on the computer sighted people can do using only my keyboard. At home I use a Mac Book that my husband recently purchased for me, however I am still in the learning stages of using a Mac verses a Windows computer. It also has a screen reader on it. Mac uses a program called Voice Over. The Voice Over software is built right into all Apple Products (I Phones, I Pads, and I Pods). I have an I phone that I absolutely love! What would we do today without cell phones? Just because I am blind does not mean my cell phone is any less important to me!
I use my phone for everything, talking, texting, web searches, GPS, Facebook, checking e mail, calendar.
There are many Apps designed for people with visual impairments. there are 2 in particular that I’d like to share with you. The first one is called Tap Tap See. I can take a picture of anything, and the app will tell me in great detail what the picture is. Example… I took a picture of 3 people standing. The app described a picture of 2 women and 1 man… all are smiling, and they are standing against a blue cinder block wall. This app will also identify color. There are apps for reading currency and detecting when lights are on or off in a room. You can also find apps that will make it possible for a person to read a document such as mail. I also own an Apple Watch which is totally accessible with Voice Over.
The items I briefly highlighted in this blog make it possible for me to have gainful employment at The Ability Center, as well as interact with family and friends through social media and allows me to text my children or husband. It makes me happy to know when it comes to the technology at my fingertips I am able to do anything a sighted person can do other than drive a car, but that is coming!