Blind and low-vision individuals are helped by innovative technology in their day-to-day lives. The Be My Eyes app aims to make life more accessible for these people.
The Be My Eyes app connects blind or low-vision users in need of assistance to one of more than 1.8 million volunteers from 150 countries to assist over live video call. It is the largest online community for blind individuals.
Alexander Hauerslev Jensen, CCO of Be My Eyes, said common uses for the app include finding lost or dropped items, reading labels on household products and matching clothing combinations.
“We have several users using Be My Eyes to navigate college campuses,” Jensen said.
Jensen said Be My Eyes is used in so many ways that he never expected, but he did know that this app could help new students adjust to life in college.
“We believe that the combination of technology and human generosity can make the world a more accessible place,” Jenson said. “It is our belief that a combination of volunteers and companies can allow us to reach the masses.”
Barclay Bentley, assistant director for the Office of Accessibility, said Auburn is able to make its campus more accessible in simple but effective ways.
This includes truncated dots near transit stops that alert blind or low-vision individuals they are nearing the street, food lines marked with black retractable belts and Braille found throughout campus.
Bentley said blind or low-vision students are able to use text-to-speech software and recording devices to enhance the quality of their education, too. Most technology offered by Auburn for students who are visually impaired is centered around the classroom and not day-to-day living.
Bentley said the practicality of the Be My Eyes app on Auburn’s campus is fantastic.
“There’s no real vetting for who they allow to sign up as a volunteer, and that would be my only concern,” Bentley said.
He said the biggest issue in regard to accessibility for Auburn students is transportation.
“Our office is more focused on the in class and physical access,” Bentley said.
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