EYECAN Solutions was hosted at the newly renovated Westlea Centre over two days at the beginning of October.
Visitors attended during the time slots appointed to them, to help manage footfall and to ensure that everyone received the attention they deserved.
Despite the negative impact Covid has had over the last year and a half, it provided EYECAN with the opportunity to completely transform their base in St Martin. Visitors were greatly impressed with the new venue and looked forward to future EYECAN Solutions events being held at Westlea Centre.
Westlea Centre boasts an accessible interior, with appropriate lighting and colour contrast throughout. The Demo Room had different works of art - created by EYECAN members – on display, whilst a wide range of the latest equipment is also on display.
EYECAN’s Rehabilitation Officer, Chris Frost, and Sight Support Officer, Agnetta Nerac, spent most of the event demonstrating the variety of equipment and technology that is available to people with sight loss, making their lives easier and more independent.
Some of the equipment included everyday items like lamps. More advanced items included Explore 5 & 8 handheld and free-standing digital magnifiers (with 5” or 8” screens). These are small, easy-to-use magnifiers that offer versatile contrast and font size options.
The larger Humanware Reveal 16i full HD digital magnifier was also on display. It has all the functionality of other desktop digital magnifiers and would be ideal for a student needing to use a smaller and more portable device. The different functionality options also enable users to access text and information.
IrisVision and Acesight VR were the other two magnifiers demonstrated, both of which are easy to operate, lightweight, high quality, wearable magnifiers. These magnifiers are designed to help users with sight loss, particularly when watching television, reading, seeing faces and tackling hobbies and tasks while stationary.
Seeing AI, an innovative iPhone and iPad camera app, which uses different modes to read printed text and currency, was also introduced to visitors. This app can describe physical objects, including photographs, providing details such as colour and the position of objects within the image. The Short Text channel, speaks text as soon as it appears in front of the camera, making cooking instructions, menus and notices accessible. One user described the experience as being a little like having a Swiss army knife, with a variety of tools that can support independence in daily living.
Visionaid and Humanware were on hand to provide visitors with online presentations of their products and equipment. Meaningful presentations were shown from Blind Veterans, the charity supporting service veterans with sight loss, as well as Guide Dogs.
Local services were represented by the Diabetes Retinal Screening service, the Stop Smoking Service, and a Health Services dietician, whilst the Stroke Association, Headway, My Guide (an off-shoot of Guide Dogs) and the Macular Society represented charities.
EYECAN also took the opportunity to showcase its other services and people had the opportunity to learn more about welfare and advocacy as well as work supporting wellbeing, art and craft and social activities.
Medical supply business, Technicare, also had a stand, and generously sponsored refreshments that were offered to all who attended.