Tag Archive for Apple Watch


Everyone has their own ‘must haves’ or ‘can’t live without’ items.  And maybe mine aren’t that dissimilar, I have very little specialised kit to cope day-to-day.

In no particular order, here are my 10 MUST HAVES:

  1. One Touch Kettle
  2. iPhone
  3. Apple Watch
  4. Compact Dome magnifier
  5. Wrap-Around Polarised Sun Glasses
  6. Power pack
  7. Amplicomms Amplified Bluetooth Neck-loop
  8. Notepad/Pen
  9. Book
  10. Dog Bowl

ONE:  One Touch Kettle:  I like most can’t start my day without a cuppa.  My cuppa of choice is Herbalife Thermogenic Peach Tea; and although there are fantastic gadgets like liquid level indicators and tipping support for enabling VIs to pour a normal kettle, my kettle isn’t a specialist bit of kit.  It is simply a water saving, energy efficient way of pouring just one cup of water at a time.  I don’t even need to lift it.  I simply set the cup size (all my mugs are large-so this is easy) press the button and when the water has heated, the water is dispensed automatically.  With no risk to me….. This also means it is safe for my children to make them or me a cuppa (although this novelty has really caught on yet!)

TWO:  iPhone:  Apart from the ‘usual’ needs for a smart phone to call, text and access maps; my iPhone is an AMAZING piece of accessible tech.  With the standard, ‘Notes’ ‘camera’ ‘Magnifier’ ‘Siri’ in addition to the ‘added at source accessibility features my phone is fully accessible’.  It is more than ‘just a phone’ it is a Canera, A CCTV Reader, a pocket sized PA, with the addition of recent apps such as ‘See Al’ ‘Big Spender’ ‘Station Master’ I have all the information I could possibly need at my finger tips means that nothing is ever far away.

THREE:  Apple Watch:  Just as my phone my Apple watch is an extension of the support I gain from Mac based products.  And actually my increased feeling of safety that my watch offers me, helps me to feel more confident in my surroundings.  With the use of haptics I can set a route on my phone that then gives instructions through vibrations on my wrist.  I have my watch set to enable me to zoom in on the screen, to read and send messages and even answer calls.  In addition to making contactless payments enabling me to keep my phone and purse both safely kept in my bag.

FOUR:  Compact Dome Magnifier:  This is my bewest piece of ‘kit’ that I actually received from the LVC (low vision clinic) at Moorfields Hospital recently.  It is a small Perspex domed magnifier that gives 2.5 magnification, which in the scheme of things isn’t much, but with a flat base and a domed top it enables the light to be increased and this has just as much importance to me as the magnification.

FIVE:  Wrap-Around Polarised Sun Glasses:  To protect my eyes from bright sunshine and glare. (Non-prescription)

SIX:  Power pack:  So that I always have a back up should I be using a lot of the apps on my phone and therefore depleting battery life.  As my phone running out is so much more than just ‘not being able to make a call’

SEVEN:  Amplicomms Amplified Bluetooth Neck-loop:  THIS IS a specialist piece of kit, this works with my hearing aids to support me.  I can stream calls direct to my ears (which works brilliantly for guiding from the ground when I climb)  I can listen to music or audiobooks (as I previously had done before hearing aids)  I can also use the amplification button on the front to enable me to hear a person stood in front of me in a loud, busy environment.  Or tune into a local ‘loop’ connection what is being said clearer and directly into my ears.

EIGHT: Notepad/Pen:  Because sometimes I like to jot down ideas for blogs or make notes and sometimes I like to not use tech.

NINE:  Book:  Just like the notepad, I like to just do the simple things, to enjoy escaping from the world for a few moments (after all with my magnifier and the right lighting, I can still read)

TEN:  Dog Bowl:  clearly this one isn’t for me, but with my faithful guiding girl I need to ensure that I can meet her needs and ensure that just like me, she is hydrated.

So, these are my lists.  And at times I will add other items to them and other times I may not include them all.  But I do start each day with a cuppa and I never leave home without my phone or watch (which probably isn’t any different to any other person in today’s society)  I am sure if you asked another VI they may have different items they consider important.

I just wanted to share with you mine.

i hope you have enjoyed.

Sightloss, Technology and Me

Steve Jobs, the founder of Apple believed that technology should be accessible to all.  So, when designing the Apple Mac, MacBook Pro, iPad and even iPhone he included accessibility; features that allowed those with impairments to work and use his products (with a little tweak) the same as everyone else.

For me, it is the ability to magnify and navigate both my phone and iPad with voice over.  A feature that literally single handedley save my sanity on a city break (Manchester madness) back in late 2014.

And has helped to keep me sane pretty much each and every day since.  I believe that I was most definitely born in the right age, the technological age that is!

I have always been a ‘mac’ !! Since studying at university, when Apple Macintosh’s were for all things design and PCs were for all things administrative.

I was also very fortunate to be bought an iPad many years ago (now) but before that, way back when they were originally released, it took me a long time to even consider an iPhone…. It had no key pad, it had no buttons, and it most certainly did not have a little raised dot on the number 5 for me to be able to work out where my fingers where…..

It was only when Nokia removed their navigator phone from the market, that I joined the world of iPhone.

And since then, the world has developed further, there is now the Apple Watch, sadly a product that is out of my price range, but has been used and trailed for the support that it offers for people with sight loss.  A friend, Molly Jane Watt has found it a great advance in technology, especially for her as she has additional sensory loss as a person with usher syndrome, a condition often also known as deafblind. Where in her instance she was born with significant hearing loss and then found her sight deteriorating.  Apple Watch and Molly is where you can read her personal blog, (this is set to open in a new window, so you won’t loose me!)  I wouldn’t have even known where to look to discover some of the fabulous and FULLY ACCESSIBLE features that can come in such a discrete, yet powerful ‘watch’ .

i wouldn’t have had the courage or ability to make it on my own in a city I didn’t know; I Wouldn’t have contemplated making London my ‘city of choice’ when South West Trains have discounted fares were it not for google maps and quirky little apps like Staion Master, developed with parents, those with disabilities and additional needs in mind.  Offering detailed information about each tube station, some quirky facts and even a 3D map with step count and floor plans to make it easier for me to navigate myself and familiarise myself with the stations before even going on them.

Yes, google maps and such apps are available on Android phones, but is this simple triple tap of the home button available to make my phone accessible for me?  A feature that can be set up for anyone of the accessibility features, be that sight loss, hearing loss, conflictive loss or even setting up assisted touch.

Me and my iPhone are inseparable now, but not because of emails or Facebook or even now Pokémon Go (which I have absolutely no understanding of) but for making and receiving calls, for typing and listening to text message and most importantly for giving me clear, instructions on my location, my ways to get from where I am to where I want to go and even recalculating such a route, should I miss a turning or get myself confused.



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