Practical Support

We've put together information and links to organisations working to make life in these times that little bit more fun, functional and accessible.

This page was last updated on Thursday 16th July 2020

Travel

Taxicard (delivery of essential supplies): London Councils has announced changes to the Taxicard scheme designed to help Londoners with disabilities during the ongoing coronavirus pandemic. Participating boroughs have agreed new flexibilities that will allow any Taxicard member to:

  • have drivers pick up and deliver essential supplies to them;
  • have friends, family members, or carers travel on their behalf using their Taxicard for the same purpose.

Money

Companion Card (payment card): NatWest, Royal Bank of Scotland and Ulster Bank have announced a new ‘companion card’ that will enable vulnerable customers and those in extended isolation to give trusted volunteers a way to pay for their shopping.

Tech

JAWS, ZoomText and Fusion (assistive technology) Sight and Sound technology is providing a 90-day free licence to JAWS, ZoomText and Fusion (including remote access to JAWS and Fusion). This is particularly useful for organisations who have VI staff who may now need to work at home but who don’t have the necessary software on their home PC. Apply via an online form on https://www.sightandsound.co.uk/90day or by emailing support@sightandsound.co.uk

SuperNova (assistive technology) To ensure that blind and partially-sighted children and young people have the assistive technology they need to continue their learning at home, Dolphin is offering every visually impaired student 3 months of free access to any edition of SuperNova.

Zoom (online meeting service) Zoom is a web-based video conferencing service that enables people to hold meetings remotely (with or without video) and to host webinars. The basic version of the service is free to use and information on accessibility features is available at https://zoom.us/accessibility

Zoom Conferencing and JAWS (video tutorial) Freedom Scientific have created a video tutorial on how to use Zoom with JAWS.

Meet Me Accessibly (Zoom audiobook tutorial) Meet Me Accessibly is a free audiobook by Jonathan Mosen on how to use Zoom. It is available to download from https://mosen.org/zoom/

Orbit Reader 20 (electronic braille display) RNIB and VICTA are working together to offer children and young people aged 0-29 who are registered blind or partially sighted a free Orbit Reader 20 electronic braille display (NB £40 administration fee applies). The Orbit Reader 20 can be used to read electronic books and other material in braille.

Sight and Sound Sight and Sound heavily discounted a lot of assistive technology at the start of lockdown ahead of their usual sale in July. Every so often there are additional offers on different assistive technology at http://www.sightandsound.co.uk/offers.

Staying active

Eyes-Free Fitness® (audio exercise programmes) Blind Alive has created audio exercise programmes designed to stretch, strengthen, condition and tone your body. The workouts are thoroughly described for people who need or prefer non-visual cues while exercising and they are free-to-download from Metro Blind Sport’s website.

#StayInWorkOut (audio exercise programmes) British Blind Sport has a variety of resources on their website to help people stay active during social distancing. Recordings of accessible workouts are available on their website and cover a wide range of activities such as Yoga, Pilates, Cardio, Bootcamp and Strength.

LOOK Active! Chris, the Blind Coach, from LOOK UK has created some great audio described keep fit videos for visually impaired children. You can find all the videos collated together on Metro Blind Sport’s website, alternatively check them out on the LOOK UK Youtube channel.