Technology Is the Great Equalizer for People With Low Vision and #Blindness

Time To Be Bold (timetobebold.org), a national public service awareness campaign affiliated with The Independent Living Older Individuals Who Are Blind Technical Assistance Center (IL OIB-TAC), is helping the three million Americans 55 or older who are struggling with low vision regain their independence. With the goal of educating, engaging and empowering people in this demographic to utilize the free and low-cost services in their states, Time To Be Bold was created because less than 5% of the individuals with vision loss who are eligible for services actually seek them. 

“What I tell people and whole-heartedly believe is that we all have challenges and have to learn to be adaptable. Life goes on if we learn the adaptive skills and use of technology,” says Sylvia Stinson-Perez, director of the IL OIB-TAC.

Stinson-Perez and team created the easy-to-navigate, low-vision-friendly Time To Be Bold website to connect people to their state’s list of services that will give them the tools, technology, training and support they need.

“People with vision loss, including those who are totally blind, can learn adaptive skills and technologies to live safely and independently,” says Stinson-Perez. She adds, “People with very limited sight or blindness really benefit from a variety of technology options. I use audio, Braille, and many helpful smartphone apps on a daily basis. Technology is truly the great equalizer for people with low vision and blindness. It also takes a toolbox of technology, as there is no one device—yet—that provides all of the help you need. I am thrilled that mainstream companies, like Apple, Microsoft, and Google have made such efforts to include built-in accessibility into more and more of their products.”