A charity for the visually impaired has been running training sessions on technology to help combat isolation.
The Tech Talk programme, run by Assistive Technology Co-ordinator Andrew Coleman, has been bringing together people who would have otherwise been cut off by the pandemic.
Andrew is training visually impaired people to use a variety of specialist and everyday technologies including mobile phones as part of his work with Galloway’s, previously known as Galloway’s Society for the Blind.
Galloway’s Technology Group has been meeting via Zoom every Thursday since April 2020. About 65 people ranging between 35 and 90 with varying degrees of sight loss attend each week.
Andrew says these talks are key to erasing loneliness: “I’m pushing the subject of technology because it is such an enabler for anyone.
“It’s been a great way that we can get information out to more people at once and we can make some of our services more widely available to everyone who needs them.
“It’s important to know that it’s not just blind people that we support, it’s anybody that has a visual impairment.”
Galloway’s has not been able to provide face to face services for visually impaired people because of government Covid restrictions.
But Andrew says that by running the talks, people have still been able to connect: “We are working with visually impaired people to support them with this new way of living.
“We make everything accessible for everyone because we have people with of lots of different variants of a visual impairment.”
The Galloway’s Christmas Zoom had over 90 participants from across the North- West and Andrew is looking forward to continuing the talks through 2021.