My name is Graham Page and I have been working at East London Vision for about 1 month. I am the Assistive Technology Advisor. This is a new role and in this blog post I will introduce myself and broadly describe what I will be doing.
So, a few words about myself! I have been working in the field of Assistive Technology, sometimes called Access Technology, since 1996. In those days, the World Wide Web had been invented but very few people other than academics really had access to the Internet or even Email. Were just starting to take off. I am blind myself and I was immediately struck by the potential of the World Wide Web and other internet services to provide me and other blind people with access to information and opportunities that just did not exist before. I clearly remember being unemployed in 1994 and being unable to look for jobs independently let alone apply for them. All the jobs were in the paper or on boards in the job centre and, in Preston; there was not even a job club to go to. This was not a good situation to be in at the age of 24!
In 2014, according to the Office of National Statistics, 38 million people in the UK access the internet every day and the number of people accessing the internet on a mobile device has doubled since 2006. Many vision impaired people do not have access to the internet however, and my experience is that many people with full sight assume that if you have difficulty reading the screen of a mobile phone or a computer then these devices are totally unusable for visually impaired people.
A large part of my role will involve helping vision impaired and blind people in the Elvis region to use and access devices of various kinds including desktop, laptop and tablet computers as well as a range of mobile phones. People have said they want to know more about these kinds of technology so I will be involved in giving advice and demonstrations as well as providing individual and group training.
Alongside this, many organisations such as libraries and education providers do not have equipment that is accessible to visually impaired people so that they can write essays, use email and browse the web among other things. I will be working with local organisations to help them implement accessible technology and provide training so that they can provide a more accessible service in general.
So if you have questions or want help with something related to technology please do contact me.
If I don’t know the answer to a question, or if there is a service already set up and providing the help you require, then I will certainly point you in the right direction!
My email is:
020 3697 6464