Blog

  • Touching Words

    BY GUEST BLOGGER JACKIE BROWN

    For those wanting to use a good English dictionary that they can access in Braille and speech on a mobile device, then look no further.  At long last, the Collins English Dictionary and Thesaurus has arrived for the Hims BrailleSense products.

    Once installed on your note-taker, simply open the Collins and type in the word you want to search for.  You can select between the dictionary and thesaurus.  It is a simple to use application, and is very handy if you are a student, writer, or someone who loves playing spelling and word games.  Having the Collins on your Sense product wherever you go, without requiring an Internet connection to look up content, is very useful too.

    The Collins English Dictionary retails for £115 from Sight and Sound Technology Ltd, 01604 798070.  You will require your machine’s serial number and MAC address so the software can be assigned to your unit.  You will be Emailed a file containing the Collins, plus straightforward installation instructions that are easy to follow.

    This product does exactly what it says on the tin, and is a welcome addition to the Hims range of note-takers.  It also comes in additional languages.

  • Get the most from your Sapphire handheld magnifier

    In this video we look at the Sapphire handheld video magnifier and how this product could make the difference for you.

    http://youtu.be/UJsb0dGAoSA

    To find out more please visit the Sapphire product page at the following link: http://www.sightandsound.co.uk/shop/products.php?product=SAPPHIRE--Portable-Video-Magnifier

  • YesterdaysWishes: Voiceye Review

    As part of her 'Blind Life Hacks' series, Youtube star 'YesterdaysWishes' has reviewed the Voiceye Accesible Print software available from Sight & Sound Technology. You can hear what she thought of the product and how it can be used in the video below.

    http://youtu.be/Ecu2mNI_owU

    To find out more about this product please visit the product page at the following link: http://www.sightandsound.co.uk/shop/categories.php?category=Voiceye-Accessible-Print

  • Valued Partner of the Year Award

    We have exciting news!

    We are very proud to announce that Sight and Sound Technology has been awarded the very first Valued Partner of the Year Award to be given by HIMS (Human Information Management Systems).
    partner of the year

     

    2015 is HIMS 16th year in business and Sight & Sound Technology have been working with them as the UK distributor for their range of products which support the blind and visually impaired.

     

    It was great to be acknowledged by HIMS with this award and at the heart of our successful partnership is that both HIMS and Sight & Sound are passionate about making a difference to the lives of those who are blind and visually impaired.

     

    We look forward to continuing our working relationship with HIMS into 2015 and beyond as we continue to offer the highest quality products to our customers throughout the UK.

  • Sheffield Royal Society for the Blind

    Sight and Sound work in unison with private individuals, charities, educational establishments and commercial enterprises. Our products are designed to improve quality of life at work, during study and at home.

    len

    One of our sales team called in to see Sheffield Royal Society for the Blind (SRSB) last week to hand over some demonstration equipment to Mobile Information Officer Liz Bowman.

    SRSB have recently invested in a brand new mobile Information Unit, and our equipment will help to find the best solutions which make a difference to the lives of individuals who are either blind or partially sighted.

    Sight & Sound have donated a laptop computer with access technology software as well as a Ruby portable electronic magnifier. We were delighted to be able to support SRSB and their brand new information unit for blind and visually impaired people, which will enable them to demonstrate the type of technology that Sight and Sound provide.

  • Attention all JAWS users! Get to know your keystrokes…

    A ‘keystroke’ is a combination of keys that you press on your computer keyboard to use different functions. The large numbers of keystrokes are what makes JAWS such a user-friendly piece of screen reading software.

    If you are already a JAWS user you probably already have a list of the keystrokes which you use on a regular basis. The following are some of the most commonly used JAWS keystrokes for use on the internet:

    1. Back a page: ALT+LEFT ARROW or BACKSPACE
    2. Forward a page: ALT+RIGHT ARROW
    3. Go to homepage: ALT+HOME
    4. Refresh page and cache: F5
    5. List of links on a particular webpage that you’re on: INSERT + F7
    6. List headings on webpage: INSERT + F6
    7. List all Form fields (things you can fill in): INSERT + F5
    8. Move to address bar: ALT + D
    9. Read address bar: INSERT + A
    10. Insert placemarker: CTRL + SHIFT + K
    11. Move to next placemarker (area that you can mark a link, graphic or piece of text that you can then move to quickly): K
    12. Move to the next table: T
    13. List all the tables on the webpage: CTRL + INSERT + T
    14. List all edit boxes on a webpage: CTRL + INSERT + E

    While the above are likely to be keystrokes you are already familiar with, we want to make sure that you are using keystrokes to their full potential.

    That’s why we have put together the below list of some lesser known keystrokes, which should help to enhance the usability of JAWS even further when it comes to navigating around your computer.

    • INSERT+TAB: To repeat information about where you currently are
    • Insert+F12: Press once to read the time, and twice to read the date
    • INSERT+5: Reads the colour of the text and background
    • INSERT+2: Switches JAWS to read by character, word, both and none
    • INSERT+1: Turn on/off JAWS keyboard help (which is used to find out what keys do without carrying out the action)
    • INSERT+6: To bring up JAWS setting centre for your current application

    --

    To find out more about JAWS and what it can offer you, please visit the product page by clicking the following link: http://www.sightandsound.co.uk/shop/categories.php?category=Screen-Readers/JAWS-for-Windows

  • Get the most out of your ONYX

    In this video we find out more about the ONYX camera and a portable monitor – how to get the most out of this product and everything that it can offer users.

    To find out more, please visit http://www.sightandsound.co.uk/shop/products.php?product=ONYX-Deskset-HD

     

  • How to register as blind or visually impaired

    Here at Sight and Sound we are committed to finding the best solutions which make a difference to the lives of individuals who are either blind or visually impaired.

    In addition to the tailored products and training which we provide our customers, we are constantly striving to provide guidance and support which can add value to our customers. One of the things we are often asked is how to go about registering as a person that is blind or partially sighted.

    Registering as blind or visually impaired can open up a number of benefits which you will be entitled to, including:

    • Blind person’s personal income tax allowance
    • Reduction of 50% on your television license fee
    • Car parking schemes, such as the blue badge scheme which can be used in any vehicle that you are travelling in
    • Free loan of radio, CD players and CDs
    • Free postage on articles marked as “articles for the blind”

    That is why we have put together this short guide to give you five simple steps to register as blind or partially sighted.

    Step 1

    To register for either, you can choose to register with either your eye consultant or your GP. The reason you must go to an eye specialist is because first of all an ophthalmologist must certify that your eyesight cannot be improved medically (through glasses, surgery etc). The registration is entirely confidential.

    Step 2

    Your doctor will confirm which level of registration applies to you. There are two levels of registration:

    • Severely sight impaired (blind)
    • Sight impaired (partially sighted)

    Step 3

    The eye specialist will then send copies of your certificate to your doctor and your local social services operations.

    Step 4

    You’ll receive this letter in the post, but please note this is not the final step to becoming registered as blind or partially sighted.

    Step 5

    You must then confirm that you wish to be included on the register of blind and partially sighted. It is after you confirm, at this point, that you are registered.

    --

    If you would like more information on any of the issues raised in this blog then please get in touch and you might also be interested in our blog 10 things to know about losing my sight.

     

     

  • Sight and Sound Customer Story Mr. and Mrs. Sibley

    Mr and Mrs Sibley talk about how Sight and Sound have supported them throughout the last 18 years, and how the guidance made an impact on her life for the better.

    http://youtu.be/S80z-8rZyKE

     

     

  • Get the most out of PEARL

    In this video we find out more about the PEARL scan and read solution, along with OpenBook - how to get the most out of this product and everything that it can offer users.

    To find out more, please visit http://www.sightandsound.co.uk/p/pearl/

    http://youtu.be/MhRCzgWV-rI

  • Sight Village London Competition Winner

    A huge congratulations goes to Sarah, of South London, winner of the prize draw competition which we were running at Sight Village London.

    competition

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    Throughout the day we were inviting visitors to enter our prize draw and Sarah’s name was drawn at random shortly after the event. With the choice of a number of prizes available, Sarah has chosen a copy of Kurzweil 3000 as her prize.

    Kurzweil 3000 is award-winning educational software designed to provide literacy support in the classroom, at home, or in the workplace.

    Sarah said in response to winning the competition, “Excellent news! Thank you so much, I am very excited to receive this prize and find out how it can assist me in my daily life. I'm really looking forward to seeing what will be possible for me with this program to further my independence”

    We would like to say a big thank you to everyone who visited the stand during Sight Village London, it was great to meet so many of you and have the opportunity to discuss our products. And congratulations once again to Sarah, our competition winner!

    To find out more about Sight and Sound Technology products, please visit here: http://www.sightandsound.co.uk/shop/index.php

  • Customer Story - Mr Casling "I cannot praise Sight & Sound enough"

    Customer Testimonial
    Mr Dennis Casling

    As the UK’s leading provider of hardware and software to the blind and partially sighted, at Sight and Sound Technology we pride ourselves on working with our customers all of the way, from initial assistance right through to lifetime support.

    We are passionate about the levels of service we provide our customers, so we were particularly excited when Mr Dennis Casling contacted us to share some praise he wished to pass on to a member of our team for some outstanding customer service he had received.

    Mr Casling explained, “James Butler set up my computer. My old computer was falling apart, so James set up the new system in a way that was very accessible for me as a visually impaired user. Since then I’ve been back to them on several occasions either to solve issues that I have come across by using the new Microsoft Word, or around my emails, or to help me pick up my scanner.  And they are just extraordinarily good, efficient, to the point…marvellous! I cannot praise them enough!”

    We are committed to making the difference to our customers through knowledge, care and understanding, so to receive Mr Casling’s feedback was fantastic because it demonstrates that Sight and Sound Technology, our products and our people are having a positive impact on our customers’ lives, something which as a team we all strive to achieve.

  • Customer Story: Mohammed Rashid

    We spoke to Mohammed Rashid – a user of JAWS, Open Book and Braille Sense.

    Mohammed explained to us how he uses these products, how they make the difference to him in his everyday life and why Sight and Sound products are a “lifeline”.

    http://youtu.be/6LmzfcuzpCM

  • How this newsreader used JAWS

    Here is a fascinating interview from BBC Radio 5 Live in which a radio newsreader from Australia explains how she uses technology - including JAWS - to help her read the news.

     

    To find out more about JAWS, please visit here http://www.sightandsound.co.uk/search/?s=jaws&x=0&y=0

  • Get the most out of MAGic screen magnification

    In this video we take a look at the screen magnification software MAGic, what it can do and how you can get the most from everything this product has to offer.

    To find out more about our range of MAGic products please visit http://www.sightandsound.co.uk/shop/categories.php?category=Screen-Magnification/MAGic-Screen-Magnification

    http://youtu.be/VzWxLrb5C9k

  • Windows navigation and AfterShokz headphones

    At Sight & Sound we are passionate about innovative technology and solutions which can make the difference for the blind and partially sighted.

    So we were excited to read about the technology being developed between Microsoft and Guide Dogs that is designed to help the blind and partially sighted, navigate cities easier and safer. The technology relays navigation information to a user's Windows Phone, which then provides audio cues about their surroundings via a headset.

    Integral to this technology are the AfterShokz bone conduction headphones, which Sight & Sound are the distributor for in the UK.  These headphones are 'open ear' headphones - they hook above the ears and relay sound via the jawbone to the inner ear where the vibrations are interpreted as sound. The headphones mean the wearer can receive audio from a device whilst also being able to clearly hear the sounds from the environment they are in.

    A picture of bone conductive headphones

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    To find out more or to place an order for bone conduction headphones please visit our website at the following link: http://www.sightandsound.co.uk/shop/products.php?product=Aftershokz-Bluez-Bluetooth-Bone-Conductive-Headphones

  • 10 things I like about my U2 Mini

    BY GUEST BLOGGER JACKIE BROWN.

    The U2 Mini is so much more than just a note-taking device with 18 Braille cells.  In the few months I have had it, the Mini has become an integral part of my daily life, so I would like to share with you 10 of my favourite features.

    1.  Light, compact and fast - I fly to Scotland frequently from where I live in Northern Ireland, and find the Mini small and neat to carry in my hand-luggage.  And while waiting at the airport, I am able to delve into its many features to pass away the time.

    2.  Connectivity - using WiFi on the go is now essential, and the Mini is prompt at connecting within seconds of being turned on.  Similarly, I use Bluetooth to pair the Mini with my iPhone so that I have Braille at my fingertips whenever I want it for reading books or writing text messages.

    3.  Media Player - with 32gb of on-board storage, and the ability to use an SD card, I am also able to turn my Mini into a great music player that supports several file formats.

    4.  Epub files - the Mini supports this file format, which gives me access to titles I cannot open on my PC without additional software being installed to read them.

    5.  Email - when my PC is turned off for the evening, and I am relaxing in front of the TV, I can sit with the Mini on my lap responding to any Emails.  Similarly, when I am away from home, I can access my Email accounts using the Mini without being tied to a computer.

    6.  RSS Reader - if you are like me and love a variety of news and other information to be delivered when it becomes available, then this is possible to achieve on the Mini.  I browse on the device for the RSS feed of my choice and subscribe to it.

    7.  Excel Viewer - this is a very useful tool when I have an Excel spreadsheet I want to study as the Mini makes it possible for me to open and read such files.  This is a worthy function not available on other note-takers.

    8.  YouTube - a simplistic way to listen to a favourite clip or old programme.  I can open the application and search for what I am looking for.  Video content is stripped, leaving me with the audio that is streamed steadily to the unit.

    9.  DAISY - I can copy Talking Books onto the Mini and navigate within them to give me the full DAISY experience.

    10  Twitter - saving my favourite feature till last, this simple client is really great.  I can reply to, forward, search for and save tweets, as well as send Direct Messages, or click on links within posts.

    All in all, a great little box of tricks that costs £2,895, sold by RNIB and Sight and Sound Technology.

    --

    With thanks to Jackie Brown.
    To find out more about the U2 mini please visit our product page.

  • Making the difference for the Braille Guild

    We spoke to Freda, June and May from the Braille Guild to find out how Sight & Sound Technology and the Index Braille Embosser has made the difference for the Braille Guild when it comes to producing children's story books and much more.

    http://youtu.be/f4yE_g6iWtQ

  • Get the most out of Zoom Text

    A short instructional video showing you how to get the most from Zoom Text - an advanced screen magnification program making your computer easier to see and use.

    http://youtu.be/2H5sPH1bVdY

    Click here to sign up for Sight Village London as an exclusive Sight and Sound VIP, or call us on 01604 798070

  • The winner of the Sight Village Leeds Prize Draw!

     

    At each of the Sight Village events we hold a special prize draw for all attendees who sign up. Simply by entering a few details on a slip of card and putting into the competition box could put you in line for an amazing free prize!

    The winner is granted a choice of any one of the 5 prizes on offer (pictured below). A free upgrade for JAWS, Magic, Zoomtext, or Kurzweil 1000 or a Ruby handheld electronic magnifier!

    competition

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    Our winner from Sight Village Leeds in September was Joan Staves from Yorkshire. Joan was delighted to hear about winning the prize draw, and chose the Ruby handheld magnifier as her prize.

    The next, free to enter, prize draw will be taking place at Sight Village London in November! You can register as a Sight and Sound special guest below - or call us on 10604 798070.

    Click here to sign up for Sight Village London as an exclusive Sight and Sound VIP, or call us on 01604 798070

     

     

     

     

     

  • Computers and Laptops for the Blind and Visually Impaired

     

    Losing your sight or a severe decrease in the quality of your sight does not mean the use of computers and laptops is out of the question. In fact technology has made some fantastic leaps forward over the past 10 years providing us with intelligent software, specifically designed to facilitate the use of computers and laptops for the blind and partially sighted.

    As a company we are passionate about everything technological for the blind and partially sighted. That’s why we have created this useful guide to give you some valuable information to consider when buying a computer or laptop.

     

    What now?

    To begin with you will need to establish how strong your sight is.

    -          If you can read what is on the computer screen, but in order to do so you need to get very close or view one thing at a time in isolation. Or perhaps the clarity on the screen is not there for you, which could be down to the colour of the text.

    -          It may be that with some adjustment to the setting within the Windows operating system that this will be enough magnification to meet with your needs, however if this is not the case.

    -          Then Screen Magnifying software is what you would need for your computer or laptop, this will also give you the option to change the text colour, foreground and background colour of web pages and the like to assist you in the use of the PC.

    -          If in fact you cannot make out anything on the computer screen clearly whatsoever, with or without magnification – then Screen Reading software is what you would require for your computer or laptop.

     

    What is best for you?

    Screen Readers

    Screen Reading software is for those with very little or no sight. Essentially the software works audibly, a synthesised voice will read out anything which the computer user navigates to on the screen, so instead of seeing where they are on a screen, the user can hear where they are. Naturally with all screen readers some training is needed before hand to learn how to interact with the software – this would involve learning a number of different commands or keyboard shortcuts.

     

    We would recommend the most popular screen reading software, JAWS. You can get a demo version of JAWS to try it for yourself by giving us a call on 01604 798070.

     

    Screen Magnifiers

    Screen Magnification software, as previously mentioned, is for those with some useable sight. The software will magnify everything on the screen of the computer or laptop to a size of the users choosing – whilst ensuring the quality of the magnified text or image is not compromised. Many screen magnifiers also have options to alter the colour of the mouse pointer and screen colours, allowing you to choose the screen to be displayed in the colours which are the easiest for you to see.

     

    The market leading Screen Magnification software is ZoomText from AI Squared, and this is what we would recommend. Once again, a trial version of the software is available if you would like to test this software out. Please either give us a call on 01604 798070 or visit the website to download here: http://www.sightandsound.co.uk/shop/products.php?product=ZoomText-Free-Trial-Software

     

    The Full Package

    Here at Sight and Sound, we are not only able to offer you the Screen Reading and Screen Magnifying software but also the entire computer system and training as well. We are one of the only companies in the UK which is able to offer such a complete service for the blind and partially sighted.

     1. All you would need to do is start by telling us if you would like to purchase a desktop computer (something a bit more permanent that stays in one place), or a laptop computer (a completely portable computer).

    2. From there we will guide you through the different options of computers and discuss which software options would be best for you and your level of sight.

    3. Once we are certain that you have all of the specialist assistive software and hardware you need with your computer – we will then go about installing all of it onto the computer for you so that when your computer system is delivered all you need to do is plug it in and turn it on.

    4. Finally, we have our own team of highly experienced trainers. The trainers can either come to your house and train you there, meet you at a local place of your choosing, or provide training online through the use of the internet.

    5. Once you feel confident enough to go alone, we will leave you to it. Although if you ever run into any problems, we are the only UK supplier to offer a free telephone support service to all of our customers – so help and assistance is always just one call away.

    If you would like to arrange a demo in any of the aforementioned software or computers systems then you have a couple of options at your disposal.

    Either give us a call on 01604 798070, or get in contact.

    Visit us at one of our many exhibitions we hold all over the country (the details of which can be viewed here: http://www.sightandsound.co.uk/p/category/events/)

     

  • Get the most out of your Topaz...

    A short instructional video which aims to show you all the features and benefits of the Topaz, the market leading electronic desktop magnifier for the blind and partially sighted.

     

    Click here to sign up for Sight Village London as an exclusive Sight and Sound VIP, or call us on 01604 798070

  • 10 Sports for the Blind and Partially Sighted

    Being diagnosed as blind or partially sighted does not mean that you have to give up on your favourite sports, or sports altogether. In fact there are many sports which have been adapted for those who are blind or partially sighted, as well as entirely new sports only open to people with a sight condition. With that in mind we have put together a short list of 10 potential sports available to the blind and partially sighted, as well as all the details of how and where to get involved:

    1. Football: Football is still fully accessible and there are many sports clubs and schools all over the country who field competitive teams. Brought to the fore quite recently by the London 2012 Paralympic Games. It can be played either indoors or outdoors, using an audible ball and standard five-a-side goals. British Blind Sport (BBS) organises national competitions for both partially sighted and totally blind teams.

     

    British Blind Sport (BBS)

    Contact: George Ferguson

    T: 01926 424247

    www.britishblindsport.org.uk

    sportdevelopment@britishblindsport.org.uk

     

    2. Golf: Golfing for the blind and partially sighted has been one of the more popular sports over recent years. Sight and Sound even sponsored the Blind Golf Championships in 2010. The same equipment is used and the rules are almost entirely the same. All blind golfers are assisted by a sighted guide who ensures the club head is correctly positioned behind the ball, provides a description of the hole and the distance to hit the shot. The handicapping system for blind golfers also allows for full competition between blind and sighted golfers. There are 3 separate organisations who organise golf for the blind and partially sighted:

     

    The England and Wales Blind Golf Association

    t: 02476 414166

    www.blindgolf.co.uk

    enquiries.blindgolf@gmail.com

     

    Scottish Blind Golf Society

    5 The Round, Dunfermline, Fife, KY12 7YH

    Contact: Robin Clayden

    t: 01383 737 717

    www.scottishblindgolf.com

    robin@scottishblindgolf.com

     

    Northern Ireland Blind Golf Association

    Michael Gardner (NIBG Secretary)

    t: 028 9065 8593

    www.nibg.co.uk

    michaeljgardner@hotmail.com

     

    3. Tandem Cycling: Tandem cycling has also been rapidly increasing in popularity following the home nation’s success in the Commonwealth Games this year and can be pursued recreationally or as a competitive sport. There are a number of clubs and organisations in the UK for blind and partially sighted people. The best port of call is the Tandem Club who would be able to introduce you to contacts at a local level:

     

    The Tandem Club

    Contact: Peter Hallowell (Disabilities Liaison Officer))

    www.tandem-club.org.uk

    disabilities@tandem-club.org.uk

     

    4. Table Tennis: Table Tennis has been described as one of the easier sports to adapt to following a loss in sight. For many partially sighted people, table tennis can be played without any need for specialist equipment or modification to the rules. To find out more:

     

    British Table Tennis Association for the Disabled

    Contact through the website at www.bttad.org

     

    5. Swimming: Many swimming pools welcome swimmers with sight loss during public sessions, and will also provide special sessions for organised groups. As swimming for the blind and partially sighted becomes more and more popular there are an increasing number of regional, national and international competitions held every year. British Blind Sport (BBS) hold a swimming gala annually In Worcester for people of all ages. The Amatuer Swimming Association is the best port of call for those looking to get involved for the first time:

     

    Amateur Swimming Association

    Sport Park, 3 Oakwood Drive, Loughborough, Leicestershire, LE11 3QF

    t: 01509 618 700

    www.swimming.org

    customerservices@swimming.org

     

    6. Polybat: This is a sport designed specifically for totally blind people and is quite similar to Table Tennis. Polybat uses a rectangular table with raised edges and a wooden bridge stretching across the centre, from side to side, with enough room for the ball (small, with plastic beads inside) to pass underneath. Bats are square pieces of wood with a handle extension and the ball is struck from end to end, each player trying to defend their own sunken goal and score points by dropping their ball into the opponent’s.

     

    Overall it can be a fast and exciting game, played as singled or doubles, for fun or competitively. For more information get in contact with:

     

    English Table Tennis Association

    Norfolk House, 88 Saxon Gate West, Milton Keynes, Bucks, MK9 2DL

    t: 01908 208860

    www.etta.co.uk

    judy.rogers@tabletennisengland.co.uk

     

     7. Rowing: Rowing is a fantastic sport which can be enjoyed by the sighted, partially sighted, and blind alike – without any need for any specialist rules or equipment. There needs to be only one sighted person in the team and that is the cox. Rowing is one of the few sports in which people with sight loss can compete with sighted people on equal terms.

     

    British Rowing

    6 Lower Mall, Hammersmith, London, W6 9DJ

    t: 020 8237 6700

    www.britishrowing.org

    info@britishrowing.org

     

    8. Goalball: Goalball is another game designed specifically with the blind and partially sighted in mind and over recent years has been growing hugely in popularity with both men’s and women’s annual national competitions and involvement at international and Paralympic level.

    The game is played indoors on a rectangular “pitch” that has dimensions corresponding to a volleyball court. The goal posts are positioned on each team's base line; a heavy audible ball is used. Each team has three players who alternately throw the ball along the floor with the aim of getting it across the opponents' goal line. The defending team tries to prevent this by diving across and behind the ball. In competitions, all players must wear eyeshades that are impervious to light.

     

    Goalball UK

    t: 0114 223 5670

    enquiries@goalballuk.com

     

    9. Archery: This is another sport which has been successfully adapted for the blind and partially sighted audience. The equipment required is the same for fully sighted archers but there are a number of extra aids available if necessary. These vary but those commonly used are a block and board for positioning the feet and a vertical stand which grips an adjustable horizontal point of flexible material, for example, paint brush bristles for guiding the position of the hand of the forward aiming arm. Electronic aiming aids have also been developed but are yet to be adopted extensively.

     

    British Blind Sport Archery

    Contact: Peter Price (Secretary)

    www.bbsarchery.org.uk

    secretary@bbsarchery.org.uk

     

    Archery GB

    Lilleshall National Sports Centre, Newport, Shropshire, TF10 9AT

    t: 01952 677888

    www.archerygb.org

    enquiries@archerygb.org

     

    10.Mountaineering: Rock climbing and mountaineering are very physically demanded sports and are quite the step up from rambling, however there are some less challenging routes in the UK. A number of blind and partially sighted people take part in this sport with the help of sighted instructors and leaders. The Milton Mountaineers is a charity that specifically caters for visually impaired people from all over the UK and organises a yearly mountaineering expedition.

     

    Milton Mountaineers

    Contact: David Carrington-Porter

    5 Shelwick Grove, Dorridge, Solihull, B93 8UH

    t: 01564 779 233

    Mobile: 07814 844 227

     

    There are of course a vast range of sports for the blind and partially sighted other than the 10 listed above, everything from Cricket to Water Skiing. In order to find out more the best port of call is British Blind Sport, please find their details below:

     

    British Blind Sport (BBS)

    Contact: George Ferguson

    T: 01926 424247

    www.britishblindsport.org.uk

    sportdevelopment@britishblindsport.org.uk

    Click here to sign up for Sight Village London as an exclusive Sight and Sound VIP, or call us on 01604 798070

  • How JAWS and Sight and Sound Made the Difference to Me...

    We went and spoke to Marcia Holder to find out just how screen reading software JAWS and support and training from Sight and Sound, made the difference in her life for the better.

    Sight and Sound Technology: Making the difference through knowledge, care and understanding.

    To find out more about JAWS please visit our online store here: http://www.sightandsound.co.uk/shop/index.php

    Click here to sign up for Sight Village London as an exclusive Sight and Sound VIP, or call us on 01604 798070

  • Get the most out of your Ruby HD...

    Do not forget to sign up to become a Sight and Sound VIP at the upcoming Sight Village London. 

    Click here to sign up for Sight Village London as an exclusive Sight and Sound VIP, or call us on 01604 798070

  • The Blind Orchestra

    Have you ever heard or seen a blind orchestra?  The Inner Vision Orchestra are a group of blind and partially sighted musicians from all over the world who make up Britain's only blind orchestra.

    Watch the trailer (with audio description) below. Meet the cast and read more about these musicians who are celebrating the power of music to transform lives by visiting their website (link to Inner Vision Film website).  Audio description will help people with sight loss access the finished film.

    Blind Orchestra Link to Trailer with Audio Description

     

    Click here to sign up for Sight Village London as an exclusive Sight and Sound VIP, or call us on 01604 798070

  • 10 things I need to know about losing my sight

    Finding out that you are losing your sight can be a challenging and uncertain time. However there is a lot of support and advice available which is why we have put together a short list of ten different notes for those who are losing their sight, which could be useful or encouraging to know. At Sight and Sound we embody the responsibility this industry demands, aiming to help make a difference to our customer’s lives, through a combination of knowledge, care and understanding.

    1. What support groups are available for people with sight loss?

    There are a large number of different types of support groups available to people who are blind or visually impaired across the UK. The Royal National Institute of Blind People (RNIB) is the UK’s leading organisation for blind and visually impaired people – they have one aim, and that is to be there for everyone affected by sight loss (either directly or indirectly).

    There are also more specialist societies and charities such as Blind Children UK, Action for Blind People, the Macular Disease Society (MDS) and Sign Health (a healthcare charity for blind-deaf people).

     2. What can I get to help with my sight loss?

    Although it depends on the individual and their diagnosis whether there are any forms of medication which can treat sight loss – there is an extensive range of technology available which can help make those things that have become more difficult since sight loss has set in, become easier once again.

    3. Registering for Sight Loss

    Registration is entirely voluntary and confidential – even if you chose not to register it will not bar you from receiving help from social services. In order to register you would need to visit your ophthalmologist who will certify you as either severely sight impaired (blind) or sight impaired (partially sighted).

    You may be asking, why would I want to go to the trouble of registering my sight loss? Well there are some very significant advantages to be gained: There are a range of concessions available to help make life more affordable. In addition to this you may be entitled to some particular welfare benefits.

    If you have any questions whatsoever about certification or registration we would recommend calling the RNIB helpline on 0303 123 9999 or email helpline@rnib.org.uk.

    4. Do I need to notify my employer?

    It is important to notify your employer upon being diagnosed with any form of sight loss, although it depends on the job you are doing, for the most part the technology available today enables those who are blind or partially sighted to continue work as normal. Although you are not legally obliged to inform your employer – it is your choice. Additionally, you are protected by the Equality Act which protects you from different kinds of discrimination in the workplace.

    A fantastic tool for those who have questions about starting, or staying in work, following a diagnosis of sight loss is the Staying in work checklist.

    5. Are there schemes or support that exists to help me stay in employment or find employment?

    There is a range of support available, such as Access to Work - a scheme designed to provide advice and practical support, such as help in funding equipment, to people with any disability.

    There are also more specialist schemes available such as Work Choice and Work Programme – government run initiatives which help people prepare for, find, and stay in work.  For more information on all the government support that is available to you in relation to employment please visit the specially designed RNIB page: http://www.rnib.org.uk/information-everyday-living-work-and-employment-practical-support/government-support.

     6. What sporting and recreational activities are available?

    British Blind Sport governs most blind sport competition from local to international level and are the best point of contact to find out what is going on in your area. There are all sorts of sports available to blind and partially sighted people such as football, cricket, golf (via the English Blind Golf Association), and cycling – through to sports specifically designed for and played by blind and visually impaired people, such as Goalball.

    There are also a wide range of recreational activities available such as photography, music, pottery and crafts, drama and dance.

    7. How can I help make a difference?

    Everyday thousands of people across the UK are campaigning for local, national and international change. The RNIB has a network of over 5,000 campaign supporters across the UK – in order to get in contact with your local campaign officer and find out how you can make a difference for people with sight loss please visit this web page: http://www.rnib.org.uk/campaigning/campaign-your-area .

     8. How can I maintain my independence?

    Maintaining independence is at the forefront of the thoughts of many with sight loss. And here at Sight and Sound the preservation of your independence is the principle concept behind everything we do.

    As previously mentioned, we have an extensive range of solutions designed specifically to maintain independence, as well as a fantastic team of trainers, and an unmatched technical support team in the UK.

     9. Looking after your eyes moving forward…

    Regular visits to your optometrist (optician) are the best way to make sure your eyes are healthy. Although some sight-threatening conditions, such as Glaucoma, have no symptoms prior to sight loss, the majority of sight-threatening conditions do.

    The RNIB suggests 5 steps to ensure your eyes are healthy and you are at little risk of developing an eye condition:

    • 1. Regular eye tests - as suggested above, regular visits to your optometrist.
    • 2. Stop smoking – Smoking can double the risk of developing age-related macular degeneration, the UK’s leading cause of sight loss.
    • 3. Eat healthily and watch your weight – A well balanced diet can help delay the progression of cataracts or AMD. Whereas avoiding obesity can reduce the risk of developing diabetes, which can cause sight loss.
    • 4. Keep your eyes covered in the sun – UVA and UVB rays in sunlight can harm your eyes and can increase the risk of cataracts or AMD. Sunglasses, contact lenses with a UV filter or a sun shield are recommended by the RNIB.
    • 5. Safety first – DIY causes thousands of eye related injuries each year. Investing in protective goggles for these sorts of activities and also for certain sports is recommended in order to reduce that risk.

     10. Are there any events held specifically for people with sight loss?

    Sight Village is the biggest UK based event designed specifically for people with sight loss. Sight Village is held at 5 locations each year – Birmingham, Edinburgh, Glasgow, Leeds, and London.

    • Many exhibitors from around the world take part in showcasing their products and services.
    • Thousands of people attend each event throughout the year, and entry is completely free, guide dogs are also welcome.
    • Sight and Sound will be exhibiting at Sight Village London, which is next on the calendar on November 4th at Kensington Town Hall, London.

    Click here to sign up for Sight Village London as an exclusive Sight and Sound VIP, or call us on 01604 798070

     

  • Luke Hawes, raising money for Cancer Research UK

    One of Sight and Sound’s newest employees, Luke Hawes, has had all the hair on his head shaved off in order to raise money for Cancer Research UK. Luke, who works in the Workshop as a Workshop Engineer Apprentice has only been with the business for 6 weeks but has really taken to the Sight and Sound ethos, involving everyone in the business,  as well as his friends and family, in raising money for a good cause.  So far Luke has managed to raise over £240.00 for this fantastic cause. Congratulations Luke!

    Luke

  • Case Study - Michael and Daniel Smith 'Inspirational, identical twins'

    We spoke to a variety of our customers to see how Sight and Sound’s products helped make the difference in their lives. In this edition we focus on identical twins Daniel and Michael Smith, who within a year of each other were both diagnosed with Leber's Optic Neuropathy. Specialised technology such as the Topaz desktop screen magnifier and the portable Pearl scan and read camera were provided in order to help them finish their studies and ultimately enter the workplace.

    Michael and Daniel also took part in a Sight and Sound sponsored charity tandem bike ride to raise money for Blind in Business, you can read that full article here: Visually impaired twins cycle tandem towards their future.

    Click on the image of Michael and Daniel below, or the link beneath that, to discover the entire case study:

    Case Study - Twins

    02794 SAS Case Study Template_17_Twins

  • Case Study - Nicola King 'An entirely bespoke solution'

    We spoke to a variety of our customers to see how Sight and Sound’s products helped make the difference in their lives. In this edition we focus on Litigation Officer Nicola King, who needed to make the transition from Zoom Text screen magnifying software to Jaws screen reading software, following the complete loss of her sight. This proved to be an entirely bespoke solution due to the specialised systems Nicola had to use in her everyday work - with the selection of the product best suited for her needs and some very specialised training Sight and Sound made the difference.

    Click on the image of Nicola below, or the link beneath that, to discover the entire case study:

    Case Study - Nicola

    02794 SAS Case Study Template_17_Nicola

  • Case Study - Ian Ketteringham: 'Without Jaws, I wouldn't have this job'

    We spoke to a variety of our customers to see how Sight and Sound’s products helped make the difference in their lives. In this edition we focus on Ian Ketteringham and how screen reading software, Jaws, makes such a huge difference to him in his every day working life. Ian was diagnosed with Leber's Hereditary Optic Neuropathy, however Ian soon discovered that with the right technology and support at his disposal he was able to lead a fully independent life once again.

    Click on the image of Ian below, or the link beneath that, to discover the entire case study:

    Case Study - Ian

    small SAS Case Study Template_17_Ian

  • Case Study - Jilly Goddard: 'Good training and good products were my enabler'

    We spoke to a variety of our customers to see how Sight and Sound's products helped make the difference in their lives. In this edition we focus on Jilly Goddard and specifically how a combination of the right product (voice to text software) and a thorough training program enabled Jilly to excel in her role as a Coordinator of Individual Learning, at a secondary school in Twickenham.

    Click on the image of Jilly below, or the link beneath that, to discover the entire case study:

    Case Study - Gilly Goddard

    02794 SAS Case Study Template_17_Gill

  • Welcome to the all-new Sight and Sound Blog!

    Sight and Sound Technology have launched a brand new blog that will look to provide useful and involving content for the blind and visually impaired.

    Each week we will have a couple of new updates for you covering all sorts of industry views, news, and product reviews.

    Although this blog is new, one thing that will never get old is our commitment to making a difference through knowledge, care, and understanding.

    Watch this space.

    Blind person navigating path with white cane

     

  • Experience the redesigned TOPAZ 22 inch Desktop Video Magnifier

    For a limited time only and whilst stocks last, the TOPAZ 22 inch desktop video magnifier is now at a promotional price of £999.99 (excluding delivery and VAT, if applicable).

    Shop Now

    The TOPAZ XL is designed to provide the clearest, true-colour magnification possible for reading, making out cheques, writing letters and working on crafts and hobbies, while bringing the utmost efficiency when working with documents and a computer.

    • Comes with a 22-inch LCD flat panel monitor
    • Clear, vivid image
    • Ergonomic design with easy-to-use controls
    • Directed LED lighting for a bright work surface without glare
    • 8.25 inches of workspace under the camera
    • Extra large reading table for newspapers, oversized books, and handcrafts
  • Important Announcement from Ai Squared

    ZoomText 10.1 / Windows 8.1 Compatibility

    Microsoft will be releasing the Windows 8.1 update tomorrow (Thursday, 17th October). The current release of ZoomText 10.1 is not compatible with Windows 8.1 and will cause severe problems, rendering your system unusable and challenging to resolve. Therefore...

    • Do not install the current release of ZoomText 10.1 in Windows 8.1.
    • If you already have a Windows 8 system with ZoomText 10.1 installed, do not update your system to Windows 8.1 without first uninstalling ZoomText 10.1.

    Fortunately, Windows 8.1 is not an automatic update. You have to go into the Microsoft Store, search for it, and download it so this won't just happen to you out of the blue.

    And there’s more good news. In the very near future, we will be releasing a ZoomText update that includes support for Windows 8.1. We will let you know just as soon as it's ready.

    If it's too late and you have already updated to Windows 8.1 with ZoomText 10.1 and encountered this problem, please read our knowledge base article for steps to resolve the problem, or contact our support team 01604 798070 option 3.

  • Blind Trio conquer highest mountain in Great Britain

    Sight and Sound Technology Three Peaks Challenge

    3 Peaks

    An incredible amount of team spirit, hard work and determination was behind the successful ascent of Scotland and England’s highest Peaks; Ben Nevis and Scafell Pike. Sadly we were forced to abandon the final leg (Snowdon) due to unexpected, atrocious and dangerous weather conditions.

    The 3 Peaks challenge ended earlier than expected when the weather closed in whilst we undertook the 2nd leg; the ascent of Scafell Pike in the Lake district. Driving rain and 70mph winds made Scafell almost impossible and on more than one occasion we were close to turning back. A number of the team were blown to the ground by the force of the wind and the horizontally driving rain reduced visibility to a few metres at times. The same weather system was over Snowdonia and together with the fact that our final peak ascent to Snowdon would be in darkness, the team decided that it would be too dangerous to be on the mountain in those weather conditions.

    Day 1 began well, the weather at Ben Nevis was good and the team reached the highest peak in Great Britain roughly on schedule after 3 ¼ hours. The descent was a different matter, darkness had fallen and the steep rough terrain made it hard for some of our visually impaired team members to see the paths. At times it took two people to guide. We made it down in 4 hours, two behind schedule but raring to go for the 2nd leg. By the time we arrived in Cumbria conditions had worsened and they continued to deteriorate as the team made the tricky ascent over loose shale and rock at the summit.

    It was still a massive challenge, great team bonding exercise and a tough test even for the experienced climbers in the team. Most importantly we raised almost £4000 for the Blind in Business charity and we all arrived back safe, if not a little disappointed that we could not complete the challenge. We plan to return to Snowdon as a team to finish the last leg as soon as we can get back together.

    Now time for some rest and muscle rejuvenation – Well done to all who took part, the drivers that clocked up over 1,000 miles and had hot meals at the ready after each descent and of course to all of those who have supported us with their good wishes and kind donations. There is still time to donate, just visit our Just Giving page.

  • Sight and Sound Technology celebrate BVCA Management Team Award

    BVCA Management Team Award

    Sight and Sound Technology was delighted to receive their BVCA Award for the ‘Venture Capital Backed Management Team of the Year’. The award was accepted after a wonderful evening at the award ceremony in Marriot Grosvenor Square Hotel in London on July 4th 2013. Recognising the positive impact that the company has had on the British and Global Economies, the award commends the achievements of the management teams and appreciates their creativity and leadership.

    Glenn Tookey, CEO of Sight and Sound Technology commented:

    “To even be shortlisted was exciting - winning it was another thing entirely, and the whole team at Sight and Sound Technology is immensely pleased with this recognition.”

    BVCA Management Team Award

  • Northampton Herald and Post - Blind trekkers to take on Three Peaks Challenge

    STAFF from Northampton company Sight and Sound are assisting a group of visually impaired people taking on the Three Peaks Challenge.

    The trek organised by the Moulton Park-based business will be undertaken on August 16 in aid of Blind in Business, a charity dedicated to helping blind and partially-sighted people into work through training and employment services.

    The event is being organised and supported by Sight and Sound Technology, the UK’s leading provider of hardware and software for the blind, visually impaired and those with learning and reading difficulties.

    A team from Sight and Sound Technology will also be embarking on the Challenge. To read this article in full, please visit http://www.northampton-news-hp.co.uk/News/Northampton-News/Blind-trekkers-to-take-on-Three-Peaks-Challenge-20130706090005.htm

  • Freedom Scientific Announces New RUBY XL HD Handheld Video Magnifier

    (St. Petersburg, Florida – May 16, 2013) – Freedom Scientific today announced a new version of its popular RUBY handheld video magnifier, the RUBY® XL HD. The new magnifier has a larger screen, high-definition image, and enhanced functionality to meet the needs of today’s low vision consumers.

    The RUBY XL HD has a 5-megapixel camera to produce a high-definition image displayed on the 5-inch screen, so more text can be displayed at one time, making reading easier. Weighing in at just 10.5 ounces, this ultra-portable device can go anywhere with ease. Use the built-in tilt stand to read books, magazines, and mail. Use the flip-out handle as you would a traditional magnifier to view cans, medicine bottles, package labels, and even items high on a shelf or notices on a wall. With its 3-hour rechargeable batteries, continuous magnification from 2x to 14x, and a wide range of viewing modes, the RUBY XL HD combines convenience and flexibility as the leader in the next generation of handheld video magnifiers.

    “The RUBY XL HD extends the functionality of the previous generation of RUBY,” said Brad Davis, Freedom Scientific’s Vice President of Hardware. “It has more of everything people love about our video magnifiers, including a bigger screen, sharper image, and more video modes, while still weighing only 10.5 ounces. It’s easy to save magnified images for later reference, such as phone numbers, serial numbers, or pictures of your grandchildren. You can save up to 80 pictures and even send them to your computer via USB.”

    The RUBY XL HD is priced at £595 and is available for purchase now. For more information including specifications, visit RUBY XL HD or call 01604 798070.

    The RUBY XL HD is part of Freedom Scientific’s complete line of low vision products, including:

    About Freedom Scientific

    Freedom Scientific is the leading worldwide provider of assistive technology products for those with vision impairments. The Company sells its products worldwide and has offices in Florida and Switzerland. The Company’s products have been translated into 24 languages and are available in 55 countries. Freedom also has a line of software products for those with learning disabilities.

    Freedom Scientific®, TOPAZ®, MAGic®, RUBY®, SAPPHIRE®, ONYX®, SARA™, PEARL®, and OpenBook® are trademarks or registered trademarks in the United States and/or other countries.

    The names of actual companies and products mentioned herein may be the trademarks of their respective owners.

  • Blind team take on Three Peaks Challenge

    A team of blind participants will undertake the Three Peaks Challenge on 16 August 2013 in aid of Blind in Business, a charity dedicated to helping blind and partially sighted people into work through training and employment services.

    The team will include Daniel and Michael Smith, 21-year-old twin brothers from North London, who, whilst studying at university, lost their sight within a year of one another after developing a rare genetic condition called ‘Leber’s Hereditary Optic Neuropathy’ (LHON). Alan Lock is also set to join the team. Alan is a former Royal Navy Officer who has worked with Blind in Business for a number of years. In late 2003 he began to suffer from Macular Degeneration which rapidly destroyed much of his vision and cost him his military career. Despite this, Alan has completed 10 marathons including the 151 mile Marathon Des Sables in the Sahara Desert and in 2008, set a Guinness World Record, raising over $80,000 for charity when he became the first visually impaired person to row across the Atlantic Ocean.

    The event is being organised and supported by Sight and Sound Technology, the UK’s leading provider of hardware and software for the blind, visually impaired and those with learning and reading difficulties. A team from Sight and Sound Technology will also be embarking on the Challenge.

    Daniel and Michael said: “We are excited about embarking on this challenge. An integral part of our respective rehabilitations has been giving back to those who have helped us over the past 12 months. Proving to ourselves that we can find our limits whilst not being able to see that well has proved to be a great confidence boost."

    Glenn Tookey, CEO of Sight and Sound Technology, commented: “We are thrilled to be part of the team taking on the Three Peaks Challenge. Completing the climbs will be a tremendous personal achievement in itself for us all and it is hoped that we can raise a substantial amount in aid of Blind in Business.”

    Split into two sub-groups, the first team aim to complete the trek in sub-24 hours and the other team in plus-24 hours.

    The team is scheduled to complete a trial walk on 10 May 2013 prior to the Three Peaks, which will involve climbing Mount Snowdon in a target time frame of four hours.

    -ENDS-

    Notes to editors

    Sight and Sound Technology is the UK’s leading provider of hardware and software to the blind, visually impaired and those with learning and reading difficulties. They work in unison with private individuals, charitable organisations, educational establishments and commercial enterprises to help users fully realise their potential. Their product solutions have been specifically designed to improve quality of life at work, at study or in the home.

    For more information on Sight and Sound Technology please visit: http://www.sightandsound.co.uk

    To arrange an interview with Glenn Tookey, CEO of Sight and Sound Technology or any of the team, please contact cassie@zoodikers.com

    To sponsor the team, please visit: http://www.justgiving.com/sightandsound3peaks

  • Sight and Sound Technology announced as winners of Midlands BVCA Award

    The award for Venture Capital-Backed Management Team of the Year has been  won by management buy-in buyout of Sight and Sound Technology limited, the Northampton-based provider of hardware and software to the blind, which was backed by Catapult Venture Managers.

    Sight and Sound Technology Ltd, the UK’s largest distributor of assistive technology for the blind and visually impaired, strive to provide the best solutions and support to improve the lives of those who have a sensory or age related disability and today are a leading player in a highly specialised market, looking after over 35,000 customers with a range of needs.

     

    Glenn Tookey, CEO of Sight and Sound Technology commented: “We are thrilled to have been selected as winners by the judging panel at BVCA. We are dedicated to providing support to our very special client base and this award recognises the effort that the management team and employees put into doing the right things in the right way, every day.”

     

     

    -ENDS-

     

    Notes to Editors

    For more information on Sight and Sound Technology please visit http://www.sightandsound.co.uk

    Sight and Sound Technology is the UK’s leading provider of hardware and software to the blind, visually impaired and those with learning and reading difficulties. They work in unison with private individuals, charitable organisations, educational establishments and commercial enterprises to help users fully realise their potential. Their product solutions have been specifically designed to improve quality of life at work, at study or in the home.

    To arrange an interview with Glenn Tookey, CEO of Sight and Sound Technology, please contact katie@zoodikers.com

     

  • How Old Age Technology could help stop a demographic time bomb

    Sight and Sound CEO Glenn Tookey talks to the BBC regarding assistive technology.
    Original story on BBC Business news website.

  • Sight and Sound Technology Train Isle of Man Teachers on Assistive Technology

    Sight and Sound Technology, the UK’s leading provider of hardware and software for the blind, visually impaired and those with learning and reading difficulties, have begun their training programme with 37 schools in the Isle of Man.

    Training will take place in clusters of 5 primary schools and 1 high school, with an aim of training teachers how to use every feature and function of the Kurzweil 3000 computer software for Mac and PC.

    This initiative aims to provide a solution to students who require assistance in reading, writing and learning, with the main goal of the initiative being to improve grade attainment and employment prospects of students on the island.

    Funded by The Department of Economic Development of the Isle of Man Government, the scheme will also include training teachers on the use of the Universal Library which is based “in the cloud” and can be accessed from any web browser or through an Apple iPad “app”. This allows students, teachers and communities to share Kurzweil documents and content. The iPad application, also allows access to K3000 documents whilst on the move.

    Joyce Monroe, Senior Educational Psychologist, comments: “This is a versatile and flexible technology that has great potential for all students. It will be particularly useful for students who have any degree of literacy difficulty, because it will help them to access the content of text by removing the barriers to their learning. This technology fits in well with the Island's new Dyslexia Policy, which emphasises the need to remove the barriers to learning that text poses for some students.”

    Glenn Tookey, CEO of Sight and Sound Technology, said: “We are thoroughly enjoying training teaching staff at the schools in the Isle of Man. We truly believe that this initiative will improve the quality of life for all users. We are looking forward to carrying out our second phase of training very soon and continuing our support to the Isle of Man’s school literacy initiative.”

  • Buy with Confidence at Sight and Sound

    Sight and Sound Technology, leading UK provider of hardware and software to the blind, visually impaired and those with learning and reading difficulties,  has reinforced their commitment to standards of excellence after being accepted onto the Northamptonshire County Council ‘Buy with Confidence’ scheme.

    The scheme provides consumers with a list of businesses who have made a commitment to trade fairly, and is Trading Standards approved.

    Glenn Tookey, CEO of Sight and Sound Technology Ltd, comments; “We are thrilled to have been accepted into the scheme, which recognises our commitment to delivering an excellent and fair service to all of our clients”.

    He adds; “At a time when the local authority is investing in schemes such as the Independent Living Initiative, it is really important for us to be recognised as a credible organisation that allows people to have a voice, choice and control over any support they need in order to maintain an active, healthy and quality lifestyle”.

    The scheme, which was launched in 1999 by Hampshire County Council, has since partnered with fifty Local Authority Trading Standards services across the UK.  In order to qualify for the scheme, organisations are subjected to a variety of rigorous assessments.

    Whilst approved by Northamptonshire County Council, the scheme stipulates trading standards and codes of conduct for practice nationally.

    In an industry where customer support is paramount, Sight and Sound Technology continually strive to provide Best of Breed products and unrivalled customer support.  One satisfied customer recently wrote; “…On a totally different scale was Sight and Sound Technology, who are a great deal more geared up to deal with visually impaired people, and have a better understanding of our needs.  I would personally recommend this company for any computer knowledge, as their after-sales and backup service leaves other companies way behind.”

    For more information about the scheme, please visit their website.

    -------ENDS------

    Notes to Editor

    • Sight and Sound Technology is the UK’s leading provider of hardware and software to the blind, visually impaired and those with learning and reading difficulties. They work in unison with private individuals, charitable organisations, educational establishments and commercial enterprises to help users fully realise their potential. Their product solutions have been specifically designed to improve quality of life at work, at study or in the home.
    • To arrange an interview with Glenn Tookey, CEO of Sight and Sound Technology, please contact katie@zoodikers.com

     

  • Visually impaired twins cycle tandem towards their future

    Identical twin brothers Michael and Dan Smith, aged 20, recently cycled tandem 570km from London to Amsterdam to raise funds for UK charity Blind in Business.  The route started with London to Calais on day one, onto Gent, Rotterdam and Amsterdam over the course of 4 days. Michael and Dan were guided throughout their route by five sighted guides, all medical students at Barts and the London School of Medicine.

    The brothers were sponsored by Sight and Sound Technology, the leading UK provider of hardware and software for visually impaired and blind users, and managed to raise over £16,000 for the charity. Dan Mitchell, Training and Fundraising Manager at Blind in Business, said: “Cycling from London to Amsterdam is a gruelling challenge for any person, and an endurance challenge that many sighted people would steer clear of.  For two virtually blind twins, it’s shown their true determination to succeed.  We are extremely proud of the Smith Twins and the rest of the cycling team, and I’m sure this won’t be the last we hear from them!”

    In 2009, Michael Smith first noticed changes in his sight; “My symptoms came on suddenly – one day I was in a lecture and I could not make out the projector in front of me, it was really hazy,” he explains.

    Having lost 70%-80% of sight in his left eye within a matter of weeks, he was forced to leave university and discontinue his first year studying Medicine at Barts and the London School of Medicine. Following his decline in sight, Michael’s diagnosis was slow, however after a genetic test Michael was diagnosed with a rare genetic condition ‘Leber’s Optic Neuropathy’.

    Unfortunately less than a year later, his twin brother Dan suffered the same fate whilst in his second year of studying Aeronautical Engineering at University of Bristol. Although devastating for Dan, he was able to continue his studies due to the technology that was now available to him. At least now they knew which technology was available, how to access it and they understood all the processes required, thanks to organisations such as Sight and Sound Technology.

    Blind in Business directed the boys towards Sight and Sound Technology. As leaders in cutting-edge technology and revolutionary new ways to aid the visually impaired, Sight and Sound Technology have been able to give them the help they need with support from their highly skilled trainers and technical support desk.  Michael is now a Geography undergraduate at Kings College, London.  He plans to convert to Law and study the GDL and LPC within the conversion. He has an internship this summer with law firm Ashurst.

    Michael Smith comments: “At first I struggled to adjust to life without my sight, it was very difficult to come to terms with. But with the help and support of Blind in Business and Sight and Sound Technology, the transition has been made a lot easier. Dan and I are happy that we could take part in the bike race to thank the organisations for their hard work.”

    Sight and Sound Technology have been training Michael ever since in using technology and software programmes such as JAWS (screen reader software), ZoomText (screen magnifier software), TOPAZ (desktop magnification) and Kurzweil 100 plus scanner (text to speech software and scanner). Dan also uses similar technology with the addition of PEARL and Openbook, a text to speech software and capture.

    Glenn Tookey, CEO of Sight and Sound Technology explains: “It’s a privilege to work with such inspirational boys. They are determined to complete university and get good jobs despite being left almost completely blind.  Our technology is enabling them to regain some independence and continue their studies in a bid to fight the condition which has so heavily affected their lives.

    “We are very proud to have sponsored them for the race and will continue to support them in the future.”

    Ends

    Notes to Editor

    • For more information on Sight and Sound Technology please visit http://www.sightandsound.co.uk
    • Sight and Sound Technology is the UK’s leading provider of hardware and software to the blind, visually impaired and those with learning and reading difficulties. They work in unison with private individuals, charitable organisations, educational establishments and commercial enterprises to help our users fully realise their potential. Their product solutions have been specifically designed to improve quality of life at work, at study or in the home.
    • To arrange an interview with Glenn Tookey, CEO of Sight and Sound Technology, please contact katie@zoodikers.com
    • For further information on Blind in Business visit http://www.blindinbusiness.co.uk
    • Blind in Business ask for one simple thing.  They want more undergraduate and graduates to work with throughout the UK, to help them into their first job.  All their services are free.  They have a proven-track-record of helping people into good jobs, in marketing, IT, law, teaching, anything but driving a bus.

     

  • Sight and Sound Technology to showcase latest Assistive Technology at BETT 2012

    Sight and Sound Technology – the leading UK provider of hardware and software solutions for visually impaired and blind users, as well as users with learning and reading difficulties, will be showcasing the latest cutting-edge assistive technology at BETT 2012 (http://www.bettshow.com).

    The latest versions of the world’s leading software solutions for the visually impaired, JAWS and ZoomText, will be showcased.

    JAWS 13, from Freedom Scientific, improves its reading sophistication and user experience with new features such as; Convenient OCR – advanced Optical Character Recognition for text in image formats – giving blind computer users access to PDF files, DVD menus, application setup screens and other material that were previously inaccessible; and Results Viewer which provides a faster and easier navigation experience of existing features such as Research It.

    ZoomText 10, the latest version from Ai Squared, includes a significant upgrade with four new features, including the; ZoomText Camera, which provides users with an inexpensive CCTV alternative; Background Reader, which allows spoken text to be read aloud in the background for multi-tasking; Enhanced Web Finder, which provides a faster, efficient web navigation experience; and the ZoomText Recorder, which lets users create audio files from any text on screen to be transferred to portable device(s) for access on-the-go.

    The latest version of the popular text-to-speech learning tool for users with learning disabilities, Kurzweil 3000 Version 13, which will also be on the Sight and Sound Technology stand, is now available to users with an unlimited web licence and a fully integrated simplistic ‘cloud’ service called Firefly.

    Glenn Tookey, CEO of Sight and Sound Technology, explains: “BETT is well known for its long standing tradition of showcasing the best available assistive technologies to the public. Our reputation has been built on the same approach, working with customers to take advantage of technology to provide the right solutions and support. Keeping up with the fast pace of technology development is always a challenge, but we continue to build our Master Distribution relationships ensuring that we are able to offer choice, best of breed products and great support to our customers.”

    In addition to software, Sight and Sound Technology will be showcasing hardware solutions at BETT including The PLEXTALK Pocket, which uniquely provides portable DAISY playback, recording and tracking, as well the ability to record in MP3, WAV and other audio file formats, to users with print disabilities.

    Bruno Cozette, International Account Executive of PLEXTALK comments: “We are very pleased that our DAISY player and recorder, the PLEXTALK Pocket, is now available through Sight and Sound Technology. Sight and Sound Technology are a passionate team with expertise in innovative and high-quality products, making mainstream technology accessible to people who are blind or visually impaired and for those with learning and reading difficulties.”

    Freedom Scientific's Scanning and Reading Appliance/CE, or SARA™ and SARA CE™, the user friendly solution for users with low vision and little computer experience, now features the ABBY FineReader® in its OmniPage® OCR engine, increasing the accuracy and speed of character recognition and playback to the user.

    Freedom Scientific’s TOPAZ® XL HD, brings high definition to desktop video magnification. The TOPAZ® XL, which has become an indispensable tool for users with visual impairments, now offers High Definition clarity at below two times magnification levels, fitting more text on the screen, and removing the nuisance of repeatedly manoeuvring the magnified document under the camera. With Freedom Scientific’s optional GEM™ software, low vision users can bring the magnified image to their PC, control the TOPAZ XL HD from their keyboard, and see the magnified document and their application on screen simultaneously, enabling multi-tasking and increased productivity.

    The new TOPAZ XL HD line offers 20-inch, 22-inch, and 24-inch widescreen models, as well as 17-inch standard monitor and camera only models.
    Sight and Sound Technology will be exhibiting at BETT 2012 on stand SN40 in the SEN zone.

  • Improving the quality of life on the Isle of Man for those with disabilities

    Sight and Sound Technology to assist in the introduction of the Disability Discrimination Act 2006

    Sight and Sound Technology has been chosen to assist in the introduction of the Disability Discrimination Act 2006 (DDA) in the Isle of Man.

    The leading UK provider of technology and solutions for users who are blind, visually impaired and have difficulties learning and reading, Sight and Sound has been commissioned by The Department of Social Care as consultants to assist them to scope the economic impact of the implementation of the act.

    Hon Chris Robertshaw MHK, Minister of Department of Social Care in the Isle of Man comments: “I am committed to implementing the Disability Discrimination Act in order to promote the interests of all people with a disability in our community…. Sight and Sound has demonstrated it has significant experience and insight from the implementation of similar legislation in the UK and elsewhere, hence Sight and Sound is ideally placed to help my Department determine the best way forward that balances the interests of individuals with those of local businesses and other organisations on the Island, some of which will need to make some changes in order to comply with the Act...”

    Glenn Tookey, CEO of Sight and Sound Technology, said of the company’s involvement: “We’re pleased to be selected by The Department of Social Care and to be involved in such important legislation for the Isle of Man. The Disability Discrimination Act 2006 seeks to improve quality of life for people with disabilities, which underpins the ethos of our day to day work as a business.”

    To achieve this, Sight and Sound will conduct a survey of key organisations in the public, private and third sectors in order to understand the effects of the DDA on these stakeholders. The findings will then be reviewed by The Department of Social Care, and brought before the Council of Ministers and the High Court of Tynwald in the Isle of Man for approval.

    The study, which should be completed by January 2012, is fundamental for compliance with the Government‘s requirements regarding new and amended legislation.

    In addition to the survey, Sight and Sound Technology will review similar implementation projects in the UK and will support the Department of Social Care who will hold a briefing event on Thursday 3rd November 2011 at the Barrule Suite, Tynwald Legislative Building to capture a wide range of views from the business community, governmental departments, and the third sector regarding the introduction of the DDA.

  • Blind Golf Championships 2010

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