How technology transforms lives

Posted: 30/10/2017 | Scottish War Blinded

Sandra Graham of the rehabilitation team at Scottish War Blinded, discusses how the team get the most out of new technology to transform the lives of veterans with sight loss. 

Our roving Rehabilitation Officer Sandra Graham describes how new technology is making a real difference to people’s everyday lives.

Sandra works across the whole of Scotland and ensures as many veterans with sight loss as possible get free equipment to help them with their everyday lives. Her role focuses on visiting veterans who for whatever reason can’t visit one of our Centres.

Sandra says:

“My role is to assess people in their own homes and get to know their needs, hopes and aspirations. 

I find many people are using equipment which is no longer suitable for them or is out of date - hindering rather helping.

Scottish War Blinded can provide the latest hand-held CCTV magnifiers, which can do so much more.  These modern devices don’t just enlarge print but can use different colours which make it easier for certain people, and can even read the information for you. The new versions are much more portable and easier to use than their predecessors.  

This can make such a huge difference and help some people to be able to read their own mail for the first time in ages, read recipes or sell by dates, and even to read the newspaper again. It's wonderful to see this technology help people to grow in confidence.”

Sandra finds there is often a fear factor involved in new technology, especially with older people.

"Part of our job is to break this down, and to make people see how simple these bits of kit can be to use."

Sandra and her colleagues keep up to date with the latest gadgets and gizmos and know when improvements become available, and update the range provided by Scottish War Blinded.

All of our equipment comes free of charge for all of our members if it would make a difference to their life.

“It is amazing to be able to work with people to get the equipment which suits them, whether that is a piece of technology, or simply a cane and the training to use a cane, which helps them to feel confident enough to get out and about again.”

Sandra added:

“To see people being able to do their hobbies again, or to look at family photos they maybe haven’t seen in a long while is very special.  This is an absolutely amazing job. To be able to make a real difference in people’s lives is so rewarding. It is such a privilege.” 

If you are caring for someone with sight loss, who has served in the Forces, we can offer advice and equipment. Call 0800 035 6409 to find out more.