These are the stories of the individuals that we have been able to help. Please be inspired and make a donation so that we can continue with this great work and change even more lives!
Joseph (November 2018)
Joseph is 24 years old and suffered a Traumatic Brain Injury after being hit by a car last year.
He is now severely disabled and unable to speak. He requires a wheelchair and assistance with all aspects of his daily life and has been in a hospital rehabilitation unit for the past few months.
Joseph’s Speech and Language Therapist (SLT) said that he was able to type out sentences on his iPad to communicate his basic wants and needs, but he found the text too small and struggled. He then had a free trial with an iPad using the Predicatable app which he was able to use functionally to engage in conversation with people both familiar and unfamiliar to him.
His SLT felt that if he had access to this app on a permanent basis, it would help improve his communication and his overall well being.
Joseph was awarded a grant to fund the Predictable app.
David (October 2018)
David is 40 years old and worked as a chef from the age of 18 until shortly after his 38th birthday when, as a result of glaucoma, he lost much of his vison. He struggled to keep going but his vision deteriorated and he is now registered blind.
David has had to give up the job he loved but does not want the experience over the last 2 years to defeat him. He wanted to challenge himself to do something else and, since he as been interested in Accounts, he took a Business and Administration course which he passed and is now eligible to study for an Accounting qualification.
In order to continue with these studies, David needed a laptop with office applications and Zoomtext magnification software. This would also help him at home and in the future when he finds employment.
David was awarded a grant to fund the laptop, applications and Zoomtext software.
Russell (July 2018)
Russell is 4 years old. He is autistic and has global developmental delay. He is completely non-verbal with limited means of communication. Because he is unable to make himself understood, he becomes very distressed and upset.
His mother wanted Russell to have an iPad with the Grid Pad PECS application to help him communicate. He has used it on a friend’s iPad and he was able to create a sentence for the first time by pressing the relevant buttons. He said “I want crisps” and his face lit up when he heard the voice over saying it out loud!
Till now, Russell and his mum have been using the non-electronic version of PECS which is basically a system using pictures and symbols with Velcro stickers and a board, but they have found this very frustrating as it takes so long and these pictures and symbols have become damaged over time.
Also, since the iPad is small and discreet, it will easier for them to use it on the move and enable Russell to communicate with others. His mum felt that having the iPad with the Grid app will reduce his distress and create a sense of achievement when he can put together a sentence and be understood.
Russell was awarded a grant to fund the Grid Pad application.
Eliza (July 2018)
Eliza is 7 years old. She has an underdeveloped cerebellum and microcephaly which means that she is not able to use her hands, so needs help with every day care and she is also non-verbal.
Eliza attends Eye Gaze sessions twice a week at her school and is able to use it. She understands the concept of it and is learning to use the Grid 3 communications program.
Since it is only two 20 minute sessions per week, she is unable to practice and improve her learning and Eliza’s parents felt that, if she had the system at home, they would be able to teach her to use it every day. She would be able to choose her favourite games and then start building up her vocabulary and symbols so she can tell her parents what she thinking, how she feels and what she needs.
Eliza was awarded a grant to fund the EyeGaze Grid 3 application which can run on a laptop.
Eliza’s mum sent us this message:
“Eliza really enjoys using her EyeGaze and she is so pleased that she can tell us something then see our reaction to what she is saying. She is actually a bit cheeky by choosing words that would make us laugh together sometimes.
We are very grateful that you helped us. Eliza is very happy and me too. I can teach her how to communicate with us and it’s the best thing.
Lots of love, Eliza and her family”
Laura (May 2018)
Laura was born with complete bilateral blindness. She had to learn Braille when she was very young and, whenever possible, would use technology to help keep up with her studies and to read, which she loves.
She has a white cane and a guide dog, but craves more independence. She wants to be able to read train and bus timetables etc. when moving around so that she doesn’t have to rely on family and friends to provide so much support.
She is studying to become a therapist and will soon graduate. So far she has managed to do her course work using a computer and having family or colleagues read information for her.
In order for Laura to progress, she felt that an iPad which has Voice Over functionality, would help with her work, enabling her to access important information, as well as carrying out research and sending emails to colleagues. And since the iPad is small enough, she can carry it around with her to help her while she is out and about.
Laura was awarded a grant to fund an iPad.
Craig (April 2018)
Craig is 18 years old. He has a profound learning disability, motor and sensory skill problems, cortical visual impairment and symptomatic epilepsy. He is mostly wheelchair bound and requires 24 hour support for all aspects of his personal care and basic needs. Craig has limited ability to make choices.
In his final year at school, Craig began a period of assessment using the EyeGaze device with specialised software. Using his eyes to control this device, Craig was able to participate in a number of activities and he demonstrated his understanding of cause and effect.
Now he has left school, his parents and care manager felt that if Craig had permanent access to an EyeGaze, he would further develop his ability to interact with his support workers – it would give him a “voice”, enabling him to communicate his own choices and desires, make himself understood and help him engage in stimulating learning activities.
Craig was awarded a grant to fund the EyeGaze system.
Craig’s father sent us these pictures and video of Craig and he told us “Craig enjoys clicking on the cells with Kylie Minogue, the Red Hot Chilli Peppers and The Simpsons, which we often encourage at the end of a session. He is also working on the car programme where he likes putting the wheels on the car, and we are working on other parts.
We never thought it would be possible for Craig to get so much interaction and even learning from a fantastic piece of kit”.
Zahava (October 2017)
Zahava is 16 years old. She has bilateral dystrophy with functional visual loss. Her main difficulties are reading (she loves to read and is an aspiring author) and day to day activities such as using public transport, shopping, preparing food etc.
Schoolwork is especially challenging for Zahava; she is studying for her exams and struggles to read printed text.
She had tried various magnification devices with limited success, but then she trialed the Orcam MyEye device and was immediately hooked. This is a wearable device which reads any printed text on any surface including newspapers, books, restaurant menus, supermarket products and street signs, instantly relaying it to the user through a built-in mini speaker.
Zahava’s mother very much wanted to provide Zahava with the Orcam device so that she could enjoy books again, complete her studies, go out with her friends and generally become more independent.
Zahava was awarded a grant to help fund the Orcam MyEye.
And she recently sent us an email in which she says “Earlier this month I receive the Orcam MyEye which you so kindly helped to fund. It’s something I knew would help me massively and without your help I would never have been able to get it. Since getting it I’ve been able to gain a level of independence that has already had such a strong impact on my day-to-day life. I wanted to write to you in order to say the biggest thank you. I am I honestly so very grateful to you for this and it has already had such an impact on my lifestyle that is solely due to your generosity…”
Daniel (June 2017)
Daniel is 19 years old. He has cerebral palsy, epilepsy, global developmental delay and chromosomal disorder. He is wheelchair bound and totally dependent on his family and carers for all aspects his daily life.
Daniel has no verbal communication but understands what is being said to him. He communicates through smiling and by having people close to him interpreting his behaviours and levels of movement/agitation.
Currently Daniel has access to a children’s hospice where his Occupational Therapist (OT) is helping with his transition for when he has to leave at the age of 21. They trialled the EyeGaze system to see if it could support Daniel as a communication tool and allow for skills development as well as enabling him to play and socialise through games and activities.
Daniel immediately understood how to interact with EyeGaze and showed evident enjoyment, concentration and understanding of cause and effect. Based on this, his family arranged to loan the system for one month to see if Daniel could engage with the system at home over a longer period of time.
With the help of his sister who personalised the system for his needs, Daniel was able to develop and improve his skills and this has been a very positive process for the family as a whole. His OT observed him using EyeGaze in his home environment and noticed he was playing more complicated cause and effect games and could pick out words and pictures to relay his choices to his family. She felt that continued use of EyeGaze would allow Daniel have more choice in his day to day activities and would enable him to further develop his skills.
Daniel was awarded a grant to fund the EyeGaze system.
Daniel’s transition worker sent us this message: “This is Daniel using his eyegaze at home. Daniel enjoys lots of different games especially the games which they have personalised with his families faces, noisy and bright games. Daniel likes playing games on the eyegaze with the whole family, particularly with his sister.
The eyegaze allows Daniel to play independently as well as with his family. This is hugely important as he requires support from his family with all areas of his life.
Daniel uses the eyegze most days and is learning new skills as well as enjoying trying new games and activities. Having the eyegaze has helped Daniel keep busy and occupied and allowed him to be involved in activities with the whole family”.
Daniel says “Thank you for all your help and support in getting me an eye gaze computer”.
Charlie (May 2017)
Charlie is 4 years old. He is severely autistic, he has global development delay, significant special educational needs and is non verbal.
Charlie needs constant care and supervision for all aspects of his daily life. He is easily distressed and finds it difficult to interact with those around him.
His educational psychologist noted that, on occasions, Charlie managed to use apps on his support worker’s iPad. She has now recommended that he have one of his own with special applications as that would help him develop attention skills and enable him to make choices and communicate his preferences.
Charlie was awarded a grant to fund an iPad.
Charlie’s father sent us this message: “Charlie loves his i pad, and takes it everywhere with him, the first picture his him with his auntie as his using a communication app I think on his ipad and showing his auntie what he has on there and what he can do with it, and he communicates well with people he shows the app to, but only a few close family members, and the second picture was of Charlie this morning very cheekily watching peter rabbit whilst nobody was looking he likes the music it on it, and then he goes and finds the animals on a animal sound app he has, and laughs a lot.
We are most grateful for this wonderful ipad it has been a life saver in a some tricky situations, and Charlie is a very very lucky boy,
And we are very very grateful to you and your charity”
Asemah (May 2017)
Asemah has a rare condition called LOGIC syndrome which causes excessive growth tissue to develop in various areas including the larynx and eyes. This has resulted in breathing difficulties, speech impairment and severe visual impairment; she is registered blind.
Asemah wants to improve her quality of life and increase her independence. She loves to read and is currently doing a poetry workshop and also learning creative writhing.
She requires the Prodigi Connect (video magnifier and text to speech conversion) with a distance camera which will enable her to see objects around the house and on kitchen shelves, enabling her to become more independent.
Asemah was awarded a grant to help fund the Prodidgi Connect 12. Two others charities also provided grants.
Asemah sent us this message: “I require high colour contrast, magnification and speech output to be able to read and navigate devices due to my limited sight. Therefore I could not use any other video magnifier as they had no voice guidance. The Prodigi Connect 12 was the ideal solution for me with its 12″ display allowing for greater magnification, the larger variety of colour schemes for high contrast, voice guidance to navigate through the options and most importantly reading mode to allow me to listen to my work / books.
I am still getting used to this new piece of equipment but it has great potential and benefit. I am very excited to explore its other features. I love its versatility and how I can use it in multiple situations e.g whilst baking, in poetry workshops or just reading at home.
I am so very grateful to the Janki Saye Foundation for choosing to support me as I was really struggling to gather the funds for this very expensive assistive technology. Janki Saye Foundation are very kind, understanding and hardworking charity.
Thank you very much to all the team.”
Reisy (November 2016)
Reisy is 5 years old. She has Global Developmental Delay, Dyspraxia and ADHD.
Due to her limited communication skills and uncertainty about how to respond, she presents difficult and challenging behaviour. It is felt that her frustration in not being able to express herself exacerbates the situation and results in tantrums.
She is at as special school and teachers have identified a language program called Makaton which uses signs and symbols and will help make Reisy’s social and educational experiences more enjoyable. It will also help her develop her vocabulary so that she can ultimately improve her speech and language skills.
Reisy was awarded a grant to fund the Makaton symbols program.
Jordan (September 2016)
Jordan is 2 and a half years old and has a rare form of cancer (Childhood Central Nervous System Atypical Teratoid/Rhaboid Tumour). He will be in and out of hospital for the rest of his life.
This cancer has affected his ability to speak so the only way he can communicate with his family and hospital staff is using flash cards.
Jordan’s family wanted to give him the Grid 3 application to run on an iPad. The software can be personalised to his specific needs, enabling him to use his eyes or touch the screen to communicate with people around him.
Jordan was awarded a grant to fund the Grid 3 sofware (the iPad was donated by another charity).
Robyn (September 2016)
Robyn is 18 years old. She has Mosaic duplication (chromosome duplication) and Spina Bifida. She is wheelchair bound and has no functional verbal communication.
At school she was given the use of an iPad with the Prologuo2go communication application. This enabled her to do her school work and it also supported her social interaction.
As she was about to leave school and transition into a day care facility, her mother and teachers were very concerned that, without the iPad, she will no longer be able to communicate effectively. This would impact her ability to become more independent.
Robyn was awarded a grant to fund the iPad and the Prologuo2go app.
Robyn’s mother wrote us a letter in which she says “I would like to take this opportunity to say thank you on behalf of my daughter and myself for the iPad that has enabled Robyn to have a voice.
It has given Robyn independence to communicate with others, for example simple things like asking for a drink or what she wants to eat. She enjoys showing new people her new voice.
We are hoping she will go from strength to strength and use it more everyday.
Robyn’s Speech and Language Therapist (SALT) tells us “The iPad and app have allowed Robyn to access another means of communication. Robyn now has the opportunity to develop her skills of social communication in terms of telling others her opinions and feelings and commenting on things, which without the communication aid would perhaps be limited. Since receiving the communication aid, we are working alongside Robyn to program and organise the app, which Robyn is taking ownership of and thoroughly enjoying. Robyn is making such positive progress with navigating through the app in order to develop her communication skills. This is assisting her to develop her own voice by promoting confidence and increasing Robyn’s sense of identity”.
Kye (August 2016)
Kye is 9 years old. He is autistic, has learning disabilities, sight and hearing impairments, hyposensitivity disorder and asthma. He requires constant care, support and supervision.
The family is extremely isolated and only interact with others when absolutely necessary. Kye’s Occupational Therapist believed that an iPad with various apps would be beneficial to him as it would provide him with some independence and help develop his communication, fine motor and cognitive skills.
Kye was awarded a grant to fund an iPad.
His mother sent us this message: “Since Kye has had the iPad he has developed vastly. He is much more confident and is beginning to try new things (even within his local community). His learning and speech have improved with him communicating with Siri for answers, which was just merely a dream 12 months ago.
Whilst we have a way to go, I am not able to thank you and the charity enough, for giving Kye a whole new chapter in his life. It may be only an iPad to some, but the learning and interaction it has given Kye is absolutely amazing, if not life changing.
Thank you from the bottom of our hearts”
Ethan (November 2016)
Ethan is 5 years old. He has global developmental delay and autistic spectrum disorder. He relies on an adult for all of his basic needs and, as he is still unable to express himself verbally, he communicates his needs by leading an adult by the hand.
He is at a special severe learning difficulties school where they have been encouraging him to communicate using an iPad with the Picture Exchange Communication System (PECS). They felt it would help Ethan’s development enormously if he were to have an iPad with PECS at home as it would help him communicate and interact with his family.
Ethan was awarded a grant to fund an iPad.
His mother sent us a message of thanks: “Thank you for the help your organisation gave us in getting Ethan an iPad.
Ethan has benefited immensely in having the iPad, we are currently trying to get Ethan used to PECs to support his communication and having the app on the iPad at home to replicate what he is doing at school is helping in Ethan’s understanding.
Ethan also suffers from anxiety in new environments or noisy places, before we were unable to attend social gatherings with Ethan due to this anxiety, with the iPad which also has his favourite learning apps and music he is now more at ease in social gatherings as he can use the iPad to distract himself from the situations around him until he feels confident enough to explore his surroundings.
The iPad has also helped Ethan’s skills in browsing and concentration on educational programs, he uses the Fisher Price children’s apps to learn numbers, letters and animals. He is also now able to listen to his favourite songs which calms him.
I look forward to the new skills that Ethan is learning from having the iPad . Thank you for changing our lives.”
David (November 2016)
David is 8 years old. He has Angelman Syndrome, epilepsy, hyperactivity and sleep disorder. He is completely non-verbal and, because he cannot communicate his needs, he becomes frustrated which leads to him engaging in harmful activities such as hitting himself on his legs.
His speech and language therapists have recommended the use of the Prologuo2go communication app to help David make himself understood and to give him a voice, both at home and in the community.
David was awarded a grant to fund the Prologuo2go app.
Kinjal (June 2016)
Kinjal is 15 years old. She has muscular dystrophy and severe scoliosis which means she is profoundly disabled, but intellectually unimpaired. She is wheelchair bound and has to sit in a reclined position for most of the day as the scoliosis compromises her breathing and swallowing.
Kinjal is totally dependent on her mother for all her physical day to day needs such as bathing, eating and drinking.
Kinjal was awarded a grant to fund high end technology – Grid Pad Eye communication aid with MyGaze Tracking camera which will enable help her control her wheelchair, access her computer and enable her to complete her homework without the aid of her mother, who has to hold her books.
Kinjal sent us a message of thanks:
“Hello, my name is Kinjal and I am writing to thank you for funding my eye gaze equipment.
I am a 15 year old girl with muscular dystrophy who needs an adult’s help for all my daily tasks due to my physical condition.
I am really thankful to you for funding my eye gaze, dragon speech and other necessary bits. It will help me with my writing, doing my homework at home and lots of other things without an adult’s help all the time. You have made me more independent and confident with this device. This will be more beneficial for me because it will allow me to do my work in a tilting position, which is a better position for me to stay in. This will also help my scoliosis problem and help save my back from getting worse.
Thank you once again for trusting and providing this equipment to me. I am extremely grateful for what you have done and I hope you continue to help other children like me in the future.”
Henry (July 2016)
Henry is 5 years old. He has autistic spectrum disorder and global developmental delay. He is unable to care for himself, needs help to cut up his food and requires a special needs pushchair when outside. He lives in his old world and gets very upset when his routine changes.
Henry was awarded a grant to fund an iPad with special applications which will help him to communicate and learn motor skills.
His mother wrote to thank us: “Henry and my family would like to say a huge thank you to the Janki Saye Foundation.
The summer holidays are a confusing time for Henry. Every day he forgets why he is not going to school. With the Social Stories Creator app we have been able to create a story with pictures to explain to Henry his new routine. PECS Phase III app has been instrumental in improving Henry’s communication skills. Often Henry is unable to find the words, but he is able to flick through the themed folders of images we created until showing us what he wants.
During the summer holidays it has also been extremely useful to give Henry the iPad when I need to occupy him while getting a house chore done, such as washing up or doing laundry. Henry especially enjoys using the Cbeebies app, Meet the Alphablocks, and All Aboard the Dinosaur Train.
I look forward to Henry’s school adding educational apps to aid Henry’s learning. Thank you again for this generous wonderful tool.”
Alfie (July 2016)
Alfie is a young man who suffered a severe traumatic brain injury following an assault in 2013. He has been in a brain injury centre since June 2014 and has received intensive neuro-rehabilitation for extensive physical and communication difficulties.
He use a wheelchair, has severe dysarthria and his speech is mostly unintelligible. He used a low tech alphabet chart to communicate in the beginning, and was managing with that but it proved difficult for his communication partner to follow what he was saying. He was then given the loan of an iPad with the Grid Player app installed and he used this very successfully around the centre and also out in the community.
Alfie was awarded a grant to fund an iPad with the Grid Player app and a wheelchair mount for use at home once he has been discharged from the brain injury centre.
His Speech and Language Therapist (SLT), tells us “Alfie is getting on very well with his new iPad and is now finally able to clearly get his message across to any communication partner.
This is particularly important as he has now moved on from his inpatient rehabilitation to a residential home, and is hoping to soon move in with his partner and their baby boy, who was born in June.
Alfie is determined to continue working with the SLT to improve his speech clarity, but in the meantime he is very grateful to have the option to use his iPad to communicate all the important – and not so important – things he would like to say! Thank you very much for making this possible for him.”
Greg (July 2016)
Greg is a young adult who has visual impairment, learning difficulties, epilepsy and kidney failure. He is a wheelchair user and is non verbal making it difficult to communicate with the world around him.
Greg was awarded a grant to fund the Little Step By Step switch communicator which enables him to communicate with the people around him and helps to improve the quality of his life.
His mother writes “The Little Step By step switch purchased for Greg through the very generous technology grant from the Janki Saye Foundation has made a great difference to Greg’s daily life.
His old one was broken beyond repair and he could no longer record a message at his day services to bring home to us & we couldn’t record a message saying what he had been doing each evening and at the weekends for Greg to ‘tell’ at his day services….– he is great at understanding cause and effect and we use this a lot to help him communicate with his support workers and to help him experience and understand he can affect his environment.
Using the communicator gives him great pleasure and also teaches turn taking, which can again be used in other ways to help Greg engage with the world around him. Visual impairment can be a very lonely experience and very frustrating for Greg not to be able to communicate his needs and this switch goes a long way to keeping up his communication skills. It also gives us as parents a way to engage with Greg and to help us all to communicate better.”
Kyle (March 2016)
Kyle is 11 years old. He has language impairment, multi sensory disorder, autistic traits and learning difficulties. These conditions make his life difficult and hinder both his educational and social growth.
Kyle was awarded a grant to fund an iPad so that he can use assistive applications recommended by an educational psychologist and his speech and language therapist.
His mother writes “We want to thank you all for providing Kyle with the ipad, he has been able to use it to do his school work on, practice with his speech and language and boosting his confidence….you have made such a positive impact on Kyle’s life and future development.
Before kyle struggled doing his work as he can barely write, spell or draw, but that has all changed with the amazing apps on the ipad, he actually looks forward to learning now. We are very grateful for all that your charity does.”
Ian (June 2016)
Ian lost the sight in one eye following an accident at the age of 15. The vision in his other eye has since deteriorated and he is now registered blind. His sight loss affects every part of his day to day life and impacts his independence.
He had been employed in a workshop for the blind but lost his job 4 years ago when it closed down. Following that his wife died having been ill with cancer .
Ian now feels ready to return to work; he desperately wants to find a job but lacks the necessary skills.
While volunteering at an RNIB resource centre, Ian has learnt how to use a computer with software called Zoomtext that will enlarge and read out what is on the screen for him. He also uses a keyboard which has bold, high contrast letters on it. Ian gives up many hours to volunteer at the centre; he does a fantastic job of supporting other people who have lost their sight and is an asset to the team.
Ian was awarded a grant to fund a computer with the Zoomtext magnification software so that he can develop IT skills at home and also have access to email, online shopping and social media. This will all help to provide him with a degree of independence and become less isolated.
Ian sent us a letter of thanks in which he says “I would really like to thank the Janki Saye Foundation very much indeed for the grant you have provided for me for my computer, it means the world to me I cannot thank you enough.
Your help is invaluable to me without this computer and software zoom text I would not be able to use a computer, in my quest to gain employment. There is nothing that I would like more than to make the people who have supported me and also invested a lot of time in me over the last 12 months very proud. I would especially like to thank Suzanne for all her hard work in making this happen for me…and also the rest of the team at Action for Blind People in Hanley Stoke on Trent
I would just like to say your foundation really does change people’s lives please keep up the fantastic work so that more people like me can benefit from your hard work once again thank you very much indeed.
All the best
David (April 2016)
David has Multiple Sclerosis and his functional ability to use his hands to use a keyboard on a laptop/computer has declined. This means he is unable to use his computer which he requires to retain his independence in dealing with financial affairs, emails and social media.
David was awarded a grant (in partnership with the MS Society) to fund the PCEyeGo system which allows him to access his computer using his eyes.
The PCEyeGo technology has enabled David to regain his independence.
Jasmine (February 2016)
Jasmine is a young adult with a number of complex conditions, including selective mutism, autism, dyspraxia and dyslexia and anxiety disorder.
The selective mutism means that she is unable to communicate with others outside of her family home, and within the home she only communicates with her mother (who is her voice) and her sister.
Her condition makes her extremely vulnerable when she is outside her home and, without her mum, she is unable to tell anyone if she is hurt or in pain.
Jasmine was awarded a grant to fund the Prologuo2go communications software for her iPad.
Her mother wrote to thank us and told us this would make a huge difference to Jasmine. She says “the Prologuo2go will open up her world a little to help her communicate with her teachers & family members. We are sure it will give Jasmine the confidence to communicate in a way she feels comfortable”.
Harry (February 2016)
Harry is 13 years old. He has autism, global developmental delay, epilepsy and various other conditions.
This means he struggles with communication as he is non-verbal with the mental capability of a small child.
Harry was awarded a grant to replace his old iPad so that he could continue to watch his DVDs, which is his main pleasure, and to communicate with his family using the Prologuo2go communications software.
His mother thanked us saying “you have made a young man VERY happy indeed”
Jessica (January 2016)
You may already have heard about Jessica from our campaign news and video. She is a young adult who was born with Angelman syndrome, which causes developmental delay and lack of speech and also affects her co-ordination and cognitive functions.
We launched the campaign to raise enough money to provide Jessica with an EyeGaze machine which enables her to communicate and express herself using her eyes to control the cursor. With your support, we have raised £4,000 so far.
Having reassessed Jessica’s needs and capabilities, her mother decided that a solution using iPads and assistive communication software would go a long way to opening up Jessica’s world. So we awarded Jessica a grant of £2,000 to fund a sturdy iPad Pro with Prologuo2go for home use and an iPad mini with Go Talk Now, Pictello and Scene Speak which she can use when she is outside.
Patrick (June 2015)
“By having the Prodigi Duo 2 in 1 electronic magnifier it provides the foundation for seeking full employment and allows me as a visually impaired person to rebuild my confidence and reconstruct my life”.
Patrick is a professional building services design consultant engineer who worked on award winning projects including Imperial College Business School, Ealing Studios and the Madrid Law Courts. He was also very active in the community as a school governor and football coach.
In 2009 he suddenly lost his sight and became registered blind. He took ownership of his guide dog Rufus in 2013. He says that the suddenly loss of his sight left him devastated. And losing the ability to read led to further despair, anger and depression. He then became associated with the Digital Tuesday for Visually Impaired People (DTVIP) group at the local library where he was provided with the opportunity to turn despair into hope. He learnt to touch type and use computers and, after many years, he was again able to access email.
Patrick now volunteers with different R&D organizations in developing software and equipment for the visually impaired.
He tells us that the government provides An Access to Work grant to pay for practical support if you have a disability, health or mental health condition, but this grant is only available if you are already in employment, become self-employed or start a business.
As an unemployed visually impaired person, Patrick is not eligible for a government grant. This means that assistive technologies are off limits to him, creating a further barrier to seeking employment. He wants to re-join the ranks of the employed as a consultant but, as he goes to meetings and events, it is clear that he requires someone to accompany him to read documents or he has to have the papers transcribed to CD format which he then has to commit to memory in advance of the meeting.
Patrick was awarded a grant to fund a Prodigi Duo 2 in 1 (desktop and handheld) reading device which will enable him to access previously inaccessible materials such as job postings, research papers and specialist/reference books. The handheld device also stores documents which he can then take to meetings.
Patrick now has what he needs to achieve his goal of seeking employment so he can continue his work as a consultant and also help other visually impaired people.