INTERESTING

This Brilliant App Idea Allows People To "See" For Blind and Low-Vision People

by Rachel

There are many things that able-bodied people don't realise are difficult for non-able-bodied people. For one thing, installing ramps into building so people who use wheelchairs can enter. However, the problems with living in an able-bodied world extend further than that. There are so many things that people don’t realise others struggle with; simple because they never have.

Luckily, there's an app for everything these days; truly. This app, called “Be My Eyes,” allows sighted volunteers to sign up and receive video calls from people who experience blindness and help them with simple tasks. The app is available for both Apple and Android devices.   

The app has been gaining a lot of attention on social media.

The founder of Be My Eyes, Hans Jørgen Wiberg, said:

“It's my hope that by helping each other as an online community, Be My Eyes will make a big difference in the everyday lives of blind people all over the world.”

The website describes ten common ways that people use the app

Including, but not limited to:

  1. Finding lost or dropped items 
  2. Describing pictures, paintings or other pieces of artwork 
  3. Matching or explaining colours 
  4. Reading labels on household products
  5. Reading on computer screens if websites are inaccessible or screen readers are not available
  6. Shopping in supermarkets 
  7. Identifying the expiration date on perishable food packages
  8. Familiarising yourself with new places 
  9. Distinguishing between food items 
  10. Finding out when public transportation (busses, trains, etc.) are departing or arriving

The app sends volunteers a notification when someone requires their help

These are hard enough for people who can see; surely there should be an alternative for people who can't?

Most of the tasks are simple things most of us wouldn't think twice about

Users have helped people match outfits

And blind people are grateful for the help!

And blind people are grateful for the help!

It makes life easier for people

It makes life easier for people

And, overall, the reviews are positive!

And, overall, the reviews are positive!

It helps people regain some of their independence

It helps people regain some of their independence

So many things are inaccessible; you just don't realise if you've never had a problem accessing it

So many things are inaccessible; you just don't realise if you've never had a problem accessing it

The app has over two million volunteers!

It's an incredible idea, which started in Denmark in 2012. Hans Jørgen Wiberg, a visually impaired person, was working with the The Danish Association of the Blind, and realised that people often need help with basic, every day tasks.

His friend told him that he video called his friends and family for help. This was the inspiration behind Be My Eyes. But instead of having to depend on family and friends, the app uses volunteers from around the world.

From reading ingredients on products...

... To helping someone pick a matching outfit.

The app gives people the confidence to ask for help

People were initially hesitant to try it out...

Volunteers and users both love the experience!

The fact that there are so many volunteers is amazing!

The testimonials speak for themselves

What are you waiting for?! Download the app today!

Find it in the Apple app store here and on Google Play here.

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