The following case study gives an overview of a client’s journey and how they are supported to become more independent by using  different technology solutions.


Vida is registered as severely sight impaired and was referred to me because she was really struggling to use her Android Phone and was also struggling with reading her private mail independently. When I made an initial phone call to discuss the issues, it became apparent very quickly that she was unable to use her phone for even basic tasks such as making phone calls, sending text messages etc and that she was also heavily dependent on her son or support staff to read paperwork to her, which was seriously impacting her communication as well as privacy and independence. I therefore decided to book Vida in for a home visit where I would go through a full technology assessment process with Vida and give her the opportunity to try-out different equipment which might suit her needs and allow her to become more independent.


During the visit, I demonstrated the Hark Reader text-to-speech device which takes a picture of any printed document and then reads it aloud to the user. Vida absolutely loved it and found it very easy to use. I also asked her some further questions regarding tasks she used her old Android phone for in the past in order to work out the best solution for her going forward. Vida explained that she found her old Android Phone extremely difficult to work and that she was now unable to see the screen. She also said that she used it for online shopping and loved watching videos on YouTube because she used to do a lot of crochet work. This brought me to the conclusion that the best option for her was to stay with an Android Phone, but that it needed to be more user friendly, so I demonstrated a Samsung Phone which had specialist talking menu-driven software called Synapptic installed on it. Using the Synapptic Software, Vida would be able to easily make phone calls, send text messages and get back to watching videos all about crochet on Youtube. The best part was that she wouldn’t even need to look at the phone’s screen to use it because the Synapptic Software reads all screen content aloud when you place your finger on any icon. Again, Vida was absolutely ecstatic with the device.


I concluded the visit by telling Vida that I would give her some time to think things over and I would call her in a week or so to review the situation. When I called, she had decided that both devices would be of immense benefit to her and she would like to order them. I arranged both orders and assured her that I would be on-hand to provide further training and support on both devices if required. She is now using both the Hark Reader and Synapptic Phone every day and is particularly enjoying reading magazines again, using YouTube and in particular, the freedom to make phone calls to family and friends independently, without the need to ask for sighted assistance.


For more information on the Hark Reader and Synapptic devices, click the links below.


Hark Reader: