Blind Low Vision NZ offers training to help you learn basic keyboard skills and computer navigation with specialised software or hardware which magnifies the text, turns text into speech or displays the text as braille.

Our adaptive technology courses cover topics including word processing, spreadsheets, email and using the internet for accessing services, reading the news, social networking, shopping, travelling and accessing books.

We also provide training in the use of apple devices such as iPads and iPhones, scanning systems and specialised notetaking devices.

Technology options

Smart speaker

You can now read audio books and magazines from Blind Low Vision NZ with your Alexa, using Blind Foundation skill. With over 17,000 titles, Blind Low Vision NZ library features New Zealand and international audio books, and selected magazine titles produced in the Parnell studios. Just ask Alexa to find a book or magazine, and you can listen to the audio directly online. You can search by author, title, or just ask for a random book to start reading.

Screen readers

Screen readers read aloud what is on your screen. They also read out menu, file and folder information, and dialogue boxes. Screen readers work on PCs, laptops, tablets like the iPad, and smartphones.

Screen magnifiers

Screen magnifiers enlarge the size of what you see on your screen. You can also use it to customise what you see – colour and contrast, for example.

Electronic braille devices

You can use a standalone device or one that connects to your PC, laptop, smartphone, iPad or other tablet. Can’t read braille but would like to learn? Find out more in the Braille section.

Mobile apps

This is a world that just keeps on growing.  More and more apps to help those who are blind or have low vision are becoming available.

Available apps include a colour identifier, a money reader, GPS and book readers. Many apps not specifically designed for those who are blind or who have low vision are also accessible. These can provide access to bus timetables, newspapers, online shopping and banking, Microsoft Word and Skype to name a few.

Specially designed devices

Sometimes called adaptive technology, these devices have been developed with the specific needs of blind and low vision people in mind. They include scan-and-read devices, audio and music players, and personal organisers and diaries.

Suppliers

The following companies are NZ Suppliers of adaptive technology devices:

Work or study- adapting to your needs

If you are studying or working, you might need particular equipment, or modifications to existing equipment or a workplace environment, to suit your needs.  You may need some training. A Blind Low Vision NZ Employment Consultant can work with you around the process for this.

Eligibility and costs

Technology training and support is free for all Blind Low Vision NZ adult clients. School-age students may be eligible. This can be considered on a case-by-case basis when support is required outside the school curriculum.

For some courses you will need prior skills, e.g. a computer course will require keyboarding skills. One on one training can be provided to help you develop these skills. If you’re looking to do an advanced course, then you will need to complete a basic one first if you don’t already have the required entry skills.

There may be a small cost for some training materials.

To find out how Blind Low Vision NZ can help you with your technology needs call 0800 24 33 33 or email generalenquiries@blindlowvision.org.nz