This morning I had a visit from Tony Shrub who works for Sight and Sound Technology. He brought me a MiniVision mobile phone for demonstration in our resource centre.

How many of you remember the old-style mobile phone that had no touch screen and a numerical keypad?  The MiniVision is exactly that, a retro phone with up-to-date software.  Fully accessible to someone with limited or no vision.  The screen reader and large font will give you freedom to make calls, read and send text messages and more.

This device has an easy layout and has been created for blind and partially sighted people.  Most phones on the market today have accessibility features but are not designed specifically for people who have sight loss.  This phone bucks the trend and has gone back to basics.

What you can’t do with this device is send and receive emails, but you can check what colour your clothes are, keep a diary and use an alarm.  This old-fashioned looking mobile has the capability for you to dictate messages and call a phone number or someone in your contacts list.

From a first glance I was impressed with this phone and although I like using my iPhone, I do feel that for others who don’t like smartphone technology then this is definitely something you should contact me about.

Using this phone reminded me of when I was about 10-11 years old and because I went away to a specialist boarding school for visually impaired children my parents gave me a mobile phone, that didn’t have any accessibility features what so ever.  I learnt to text using the numerical keypad so, I could text family but couldn’t read their replies.  My dad did once say that he got what I was trying to say in my messages if you ignored the extra 6’s and 0’s that were also included in my texts!

The MiniVision mobile phone costs £349.00 excluding VAT and is VAT free if you are registered as blind or partially sighted.

Here at Southampton Sight I will be holding demonstration sessions throughout March.  Please phone me on 023 8076 9882 to book your place or email me at support@southamptonsight.org.uk

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