As a woman who is blind, I often am challenged by needing one more hand. I usually have one hand occupied either holding my guide dog’s harness or a white cane, or holding a guide’s elbow. Then add on a purse, other items to carry, and my cell phone! There lies the challenge – I need another hand or a solution for something I carry.
Women often feel this challenge more acutely because we have fewer pockets and belts to carry the load, so planning ahead and thinking through how we need to use each item is critical. I could carry my cell phone in my purse, except when I need it out for locating street crossings, pedestrian directions, or information about stores nearby. Ideally I need it in my hand or at least out for easy use.
My latest solution to this problem is a cross-shaped iPhone holder that leaves the screen ready and available to use, mounted on a lanyard with easy release clip to change the heighth at which it hangs. I especially like it for using GPS on my phone as I can bring it up just below my chin, allowing me to hear both the gps information and environmental cues for travel.
Since folks who are blind are increasingly using smart phones for travel (GPS and magnification) such tools have become essential trappings in our daily lives!
The source for the lanyard I chose is: http://iphone-lanyard.com/Site/iPhone_Holder.html
Pat Pound is a disability consultant from Austin, Texas who has used technology for many years, starting a training unit for people who are blind in the ’80′s. She worked for the State of Texas for many years and shaped disability policy including information accessibility. She is now “retired” but that just means she only does work she likes! She is a weaver, game enthusiast, and has trained teachers of visually impaired kids regarding use of IOS devices. “My own blindness has lead me down many interesting paths and it’s such fun now to see how technology can improve our lives!”