It’s like a Laptop for people who are blind and deaf.
A new device is helping to connect them with technology.
It’s called a BrailleNote Apex.
The black device, smaller than a laptop, allows 90-year-old Agnes Allen, mother of three, grandmother of nine to communicate in a whole new dimension.
“It’s changed my life in that I have a quick easy way to communicate to people,” said Allen.
With the BrailleNote you can scroll the internet, read books online, put contacts in a contact book, write emails, calculate bills, and do much more.
“As they type into the device it will speak to them and it will show them in Braille what they’re inputting,” said Steve Famiglietti, Allen’s trainer who is with the NEAT Center at Oak Hill.
“If information is coming in like an email they can read it line by line on the display.”
“Giving them access to email, internet and social media allows them to communicate with family and friends and stay connected,” said Arlene Lugo with Access Through Technology/iCanConnect.
Before using the BrailleNote, Allen was using a Braille typewriter to mail letters. She couldn’t send emails and she could only communicate with people who understood Braille. The Apex lets her communicate to anyone and everyone. Two to three hours a day Agnes Allen is like a teen on the internet, call her hip and in-the-know, she uses it to send emails to family members for the most reasonable reasons, sort of.
“It will be a quick conversation…can you please pick up some milk,” said Allen’s daughter, Barbara Logsdail.
A college graduate with Master’s degree in Arts and Sciences, Allen was a teacher for many years, even an author and now you can add connoisseur of technology to the list.
“People who are my age and those who are not my age are missing out when they don’t take advantage of these new opportunities that are available to us.”
She’s a perfect example that it’s never too late to learn something new.
The National Deaf Blind Equipment Distribution Program provides people with combined hearing and vision loss with instruments like the BrailleNote Apex.
The Apex is free, people just have to apply through the program which is known as iCanConnect nationwide and Access Through Technology in Connecticut.