Blind and Low Vision User Stories

With so many different products and assistive technologies available, it can be hard to figure out what will suit your needs and will help you to communicate with others. The below personas have been adapted from real experiences; however the names and stories have been changed.

1.    Francesca

Francesca suffers from a degenerative eye condition so that her eyesight is significantly impaired in her right eye, but less so in her left. She relies on the features on her smartphone to communicate effectively. 

During the early stages of this condition, she used the built-in screen magnifier on her android device to help her read the text. She has also changed the contrast of the screen, text style, and text size to help her interpret messages and send responses. These little changes helped her to navigate her device and communicate with others.

As her condition has progressed, she found that the handwriting to text keyboards allowed her to write a message without having to locate the correct buttons. Additionally, vibrating and audible alerts for messages, battery, and pressing a button or selecting an action was very helpful in make sure she received all messages and new what action was being completed. Additionally, Francesca uses the Shortcut app to create actions and tasks, like ordering an Uber to her house or calling her sister with just one tap, which can be activated by selecting an icon from the home screen.

The features on her smartphone are crucial for her to stay connected with others with her low vision.

For more information on the products and accessories that Francesca finds useful, visit the following links:


2.    Brett

Brett has been blind his entire life and from a young age he learnt how to read and communicate using Braille.

When he was younger, he was only comfortable using mobile or landline devices that had physical dialling keys with a physical indicator over the number 5. However, recently he purchased an Apple iPhone 8 with a touch screen and minimal physical buttons. Brett is able to control his device using the VoiceOver features. This includes vibrating and audible notification alerts, a screen reader which says out loud the items or features on the screen, a personal assistant which allows him to control the device using his voice, and many other features.

His smartphone allows him to send messages by dictation and have incoming messages read out loud. However, sometimes when he is at work or a public space and requires more privacy in his messages, he can connect to his Refreshable Braille Display. This connects to his mobile device using Bluetooth to show the text of each app or message on the screen and allows him to enter text using the 8-key braille keyboard.

Recently Brett has started using the built-in braille keyboard on his Apple smartphone, for when he is out and about and doesn’t have access to his Braille Display.

For more information on the products and accessories that Brett finds useful, visit the following links:

Visit the Accessible Telecoms Application Web Page to find out more about Braille Keyboard Apps, Shortcut Apps, and Personal Assistants

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