Blog

  • 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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