Is it really July already? Soon we’ll blink and it’ll be next year.

Yesterday Angela and I went to an information and equipment day in Totton organised by Open Sight the local society for VI people who cover Hampshire. First, getting in to the building was a challenge; when we arrived at the correct place there was no signage to direct exhibitors and attendees to the back door.  Once we had found where to go all went well.

The room was busy with different exhibitors ranging from The Macular Society to all the big companies who create and sell lots of different magnifiers and reading machines. I spoke to nearly everyone and found it very useful, not just for the charity but for myself as well.

We were stood at the Sight and Sound stand and as the exhibitor wasn’t there at the current time Angela was explaining to me what there was on the table.  She suddenly picked up a piece of equipment and passed it to me to see if I could identify what it was; I didn’t know the exact name but recognised that it was some form of braille note taker.  As soon as we started looking at it he came back over and spent time with us giving me an introduction to the Braille Sense Polaris.  The Polaris is the newest Braille note taker from Sight and Sound. It has a braille keyboard, complete integration with the Android software, giving you the choice to use the apps and programs of your choice to complete tasks.  I would describe this as a cross over between a traditional braille note taker and a tablet that can be controlled by using the keyboard or between the keyboard and the braille display there is also a touch bar to enable you to do touch gestures like you would on a smartphone device.

This device is something I really want for work so am going to apply for it using the Access to Work scheme. I have a braille note taker but this is very out of date and the software on it runs on Windows XP which is now running into problems as you are aware of no software can always be kept up to date and will eventually stop working.

Another interesting piece of equipment that I found about on the day was Cyber Eyez. Cyber Eyez are smart glasses which contain Android based wearable computers in which you can install apps including Netflix and iHeartRadio, technically advanced stuff! Find out more at www.cybertimez.com.

In the next few weeks I am holding two workshops here at the centre; the first is looking at kitchen gadgets such as the Tower Airfryer, this is on Tuesday 10 July from 13:45 to 3PM. The next workshop is an introduction to Synapptic and this is on Tuesday 24 July from 13:45 to 3 PM. If you are interested or know someone who could benefit from attending either of these workshops please call our office to book a space on 023 8076 9882.  Please call ASAP to guarantee your place as they are going fast.

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