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"Be My Eyes" App - Lending your vision to the blind or visually impaired


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#1 britechguy

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Posted 19 May 2018 - 12:04 PM

In real life one of the ways I eke out a living is as an assistive technology tutor for screen reading software and magnification software for individuals who have significant visual impairment or are blind.  As a result, I participate in several online groups related to screen reading technology.  The other day on one of those groups someone made reference to using Be My Eyes when setting up either Windows or BIOS/UEFI or similar where a screen reader could not yet be active to provide feedback.

I had never heard of it before, and then someone mentioned Be My Eyes again in private messages in response to a post I made regarding Accessibility Development & Testing Resources.  After checking out their website, and signing up as a volunteer, I really felt that they do deserve as much publicity and word-of-mouth promotion as they can get.  I have absolutely no affiliation with, other than as a volunteer, or financial interest of any kind in Be My Eyes.

The concept is simple, allowing blind or low vision individuals to use their smartphones, and specifically their smartphones' video calling capability, to connect with a volunteer when they are in a situation where "only vision will do," and there are a lot of cases where there is no substitute for vision.  I signed up as a volunteer and have only received one call over the last several days, and it was for something simple, needing to have the expiration date on a carton of eggs read, but it was really simple to do and certainly has a "feel good" payback for those of us who are sighted volunteers.

Let your sighted friends, relatives, and other associates know about Be My Eyes and ask them to take a look at their website and to consider becoming a volunteer and let your blind or low-vision friends, relatives, and associates know about it to sign up as a user.  I was not certain how frequent incoming requests might be, but it appears that the size of the volunteer base makes is such that no one is going to be inundated and every call for assistance is sent out to multiple volunteers and whoever answers first handles the call.  It's an easy way to lend an eye, so to speak, to someone who needs one at the moment.

 

Brian  AKA  Bri the Tech Guy (website in my user profile) - Windows 10 Home, 64-Bit, Version 1803, Build 17134 

     . . . the presumption of innocence, while essential in the legal realm, does not mean the elimination of common sense outside it.  The willing suspension of disbelief has its limits, or should.

    ~ Ruth Marcus,  November 10, 2017, in Washington Post article, Bannon is right: It’s no coincidence The Post broke the Moore story


 

 

 

              

 


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#2 Rocky Bennett

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Posted 19 May 2018 - 01:24 PM

Thanks Brian. That sounds like a great app and one that I will keep in mind when I have to help a visually impaired individual.

 

Rocky


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#3 britechguy

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Posted 19 May 2018 - 01:39 PM

Thanks Brian. That sounds like a great app and one that I will keep in mind when I have to help a visually impaired individual.

 

Rocky,

 

         Thanks for the feedback.   I do need to make clear, though, that this app does not work like a straight video call app in that the blind or low vision user cannot choose their helper for any specific "call" they place and sighted helpers cannot "call out," period.   There is a mechanism that allows the blind or low vision user direct choice for very specific business or technical issues, but that's it.

 

          If someone needs something like the expiration date on their carton of milk read or to be told whether they have the blue shirt they think they have in their hands they can only press the Call first available volunteer button and have the call made to an app selected group of volunteers in the correct time zone and language group.  Whoever answers the call first on the volunteer side takes it from there.

 

          Since most smartphones have some sort of video call app (e.g. Google Hangouts) or can easily install one that's what you'd use when you are calling out to someone specific to assist them or they needed you, and only you, for some sort of assistance.  For most of us, even those of us who volunteer on Be My Eyes, that would only apply within our personal circle of friends and acquaintances.   What I like about the app is that I can help a random stranger.


Brian  AKA  Bri the Tech Guy (website in my user profile) - Windows 10 Home, 64-Bit, Version 1803, Build 17134 

     . . . the presumption of innocence, while essential in the legal realm, does not mean the elimination of common sense outside it.  The willing suspension of disbelief has its limits, or should.

    ~ Ruth Marcus,  November 10, 2017, in Washington Post article, Bannon is right: It’s no coincidence The Post broke the Moore story


 

 

 

              

 


#4 r.a.d.

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Posted 19 May 2018 - 01:59 PM

Good to know, thanks.
I just emailed this app to the president of our sizable 55+ community for dissemination throughout, as many folks and groups here are both interactive within and outer active in the surrounding areas.
Bleepin' desert rat retiree in climes yet to fry brains (knock on cactus).

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#5 britechguy

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Posted 19 May 2018 - 04:58 PM

r.a.d.,

 

           Thank you for forwarding this information on.  If there was ever a "many hands [eyes] make light work" situation this is it.  I believe the Be My Eyes website says they currently have 900K volunteers spread around the world.  I am actually surprised that I managed to pick up a call from them!


Brian  AKA  Bri the Tech Guy (website in my user profile) - Windows 10 Home, 64-Bit, Version 1803, Build 17134 

     . . . the presumption of innocence, while essential in the legal realm, does not mean the elimination of common sense outside it.  The willing suspension of disbelief has its limits, or should.

    ~ Ruth Marcus,  November 10, 2017, in Washington Post article, Bannon is right: It’s no coincidence The Post broke the Moore story


 

 

 

              

 





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