Thanks to some of the latest assistive technology available, a group of Vision Australia clients were given the opportunity to experience two of Sydney’s biggest attractions.
Organised by Samsung, the group of low vision clients were taken on a tour of the Sydney Opera House and took in the lights and sights of Vivid, using IrisVision technology to experience what was on offer.
Made up of experienced IrisVision users and those less familiar to the technology, it was an opportunity to showcase how assistive technology can support people who live with vision loss to participate in events they might not usually.
“A device like IrisVision can help somebody with low vision with every day things like reading their mail or identifying household items, which are important in supporting people to be independent, but it also has other benefits,” Vision Australia Orthoptist and Product Advisor Tony Wu said.
“Social inclusion is an important consideration as well and what this shows is how technology like the IrisVision can help give people with vision loss the opportunity to participate in the same cultural and recreational activities as anyone else,” Tony said.
Hugh Mackay, who lives with low vision due to macular degeneration, has been using IrisVision for close to six months and enjoyed the opportunity to use his headset to experience Vivid.
“Living with macular degeneration does mean my vision is a bit blurry, but it was fabulous to be able come along and look at everything tonight,” Hugh said.
When he’s not using it to check out tourist attractions, Hugh said his IrisVision has been key in allowing him to read again.
“I think it’s absolutely terrific, I use it for reading mostly and that’s been a big thing for me,” he said.
“Being able to read my bills and mail is great, I do a bit of volunteering at St John’s Ambulance and it lets me do the paperwork there. It’s probably been a couple of years since I was really able to read and it wasn’t something I really thought I’d do again.”
On the other end of the spectrum, it was Paul Seo’s second time using an IrisVision set and he’s intrigued about what such technology could mean for people who live with vision loss.
“This sort of thing is really intriguing and I’m pretty excited about what it could mean in the future for people,” Paul, who has lived with low vision since birth, said.
“I think as we go on something like IrisVision has the potential to replace glasses as something that people can just wear all the time to help them with whatever sort of task they need assistance with,” he said.
You can also find out more about other technology support by contacting our Adaptive Technology Team.