Elizabeth East and guide dog Yates
Elizabeth East and guide dog Yates

Adaptive technology training helped Elizabeth East assist her friend in an emergency.

Elizabeth and her guide dog Yates were walking with her friend and her dog. As directed by her Guide Dog Mobility Instructor, Elizabeth and Yates were following her friend, about 3 metres behind her. Suddenly Elizabeth heard a loud crash.

Her friend had collapsed on the pavement. A man came to assist but had left his mobile behind, however Elizabeth was able to help.

Two and a half years ago, she had completed an Adaptive Technology Training course with the Blind & Low Vision NZ on using the Voice Over features on her iPhone.  Elizabeth was able to use Siri and voice over to call an ambulance.

“My training really paid off. Being able to help someone in an emergency is a very practical and important example of why everyone should persist and get the training you need to do the basics on a smartphone.”

In her mid 60s, she said she had reservations about learning a new skill.

“I thought I might be too old. Before getting an iPhone, I just had an old Nokia, so everything was completely new.”

Some of what the training covered was sending and receiving text and calls using voice over. Once she had called the ambulance she was able to read the instructions that were texted to her on how to care for friend until the paramedics arrived.

She urges everyone thinking about getting some training to persist.

“It’s about repetition. This is a skill that you are going to use every day so once you learn it, you’ll never forget it, and being able to help a friend out in an emergency shows how much it can pay off.”

Her friend is now recovering from her fall and is on the mend.

Are you interested in adaptive technology training? Call us on 0800 24 33 33 or email info@blindfoundation.org.nz