VIP World Tech and Social weekly meeting - summary 

The list of topics:


Experiences of the VIP on the topic

  • I get lots of news from multiple friends and it is a busy period to be online. To check the validity of the news, I see the source of the news. The BBC and ITV are two trusted sources for me. Also, I hear sky tv, religious channels, sports channels. These days the bombardment of news is making it difficult to sleep.

  • Any religious groups say that it is God's wish. so, I know it is fake or when people make favorable claims, I get cautious. 

  • E.g of fake news: the debate around 5G and 4G 5G has a wave that is stronger. It will affect our health badly and decrease the immunity system.If you can stick with 4G then just use it.

Digital experiences of VIP on the topic

  • Most of the respondents accessed the news on TV. They do not trust the content forwarded on mobile but do hear them out when or if they are open the notifications. Using Youtube or FB for news is minimal with the participants (50+ years old).


Experiences of the VIP on the topic

  • VIP kids learn to play with braille. There are board games such as ludo, snakes & ladders, and chess, having.pieces with dots. For e.g in Ludo, the pieces are based on different shapes rather than color. In Chess, the pieces have specific signs such as white pawn has 2 dots and black none. 

  • Tactile Cards, Domino, and Monopoly with braille and large prints are quite famous among the kids. Crafts are commonly used to engage kids and Lego pieces and structures are quite useful for learning and playing games. 

  • For outdoors or more physical involvement, ball games such as Football, Tennis, etc have a bell that makes a sound.

Digital experiences of VIP on the topic

  • Text/ speech-based - Google/ Alexa gives a description and guides - an adventure - quizzes . There is a variety of options available depending on the ability and age group of the child and their exposure. 

  • VIP kids are more inclined to do audiobooks; kids can look at Alexa and get free audiobooks, Audible has a children link to access books for free such as the Harry Potter series. 

  • RNIB reading services previously called Easy drive or overdrive provides a lot of audiobooks. TV does not explain and help to imagine stuff but the audio is more imaginative.


Experiences of the VIP on the topic

  • A participant shared that she prefers to go with a friend once a week to buy groceries. But currently, in the lockdown, she is shopping with friends or ask her daughter to order groceries.

  • Sometimes, she does her shopping over the phone - Sainsbury. But in lockdown, she sends the list to neighbor, daughter, or a friend by texting the list.

  • Another gentleman always does his shopping in person because he likes the opportunity to buy products at a reduced price. Only stationary shops have this possibility because of the expiry date. The price for a discounted product is even 1/3 of the product value if you go to buy at certain times of the day. He does shopping in Tesco and Poundland shops. Even in lockdown, he likes to go there by himself.

Digital experiences of VIP on the topic

  • Not satisfied with shopping online, given the difficulties and problems with the security code (bank). Most times the security code is expired.I do a bank transfer to my daughter. Give cash to my neighbor or friend. Taking out the money in any atm machine only with a friend around for safety.

  • Another participant shared that he doesn't do online shopping because he doesn't feel very confident about it due to additional bank transfer problems. I don't use voice over in the phone so when there is a text with code, I cannot see it or hear it. 


Experiences of the VIP on the topic

  • Some people put their profiles on dating websites or other people meet in federations for the blind organizations - Its an annual event, a long weekend full of entertainment - 95 guests last year - wine tasting- technology talks- Zumba- country dancing - music- disco night - cabaret - An opportunity to meet new people and socialize. The majority of the VIP would like to date other VIP. 

  • An assistive technology instructor shares, “I have introduced VIPs- I speak about their personality- I am matchmaker- share phone numbers- wish there is an easy website - technology is tough and don’t know if it’s trustworthy. One of the best things is that you judge people on their personality and not just looks.

  • “Some of the nicest people I know are not the most good looking”.

Digital experiences of VIP on the topic

  • Our community members mentioned about Happily,, a dating platform for people with learning difficulties and disabilities. 

  • Lots of forgeries and cheating online is common with VIP. Some people register as VIP and have coerced VIP to give money based on false relationship promises; a guy wasted 6 months and also send money. It’s dangerous but also happens with people with sight. However, VIP may be more vulnerable. 

  • Can technology match relationships ever? Is Tinder accessible?


Experiences of the VIP on the topic

  • An audible app that reads the whole book. Audiobooks are books that are recorded - play like a role-play with voice changes of different characters. It feels like all characters have come alive. Users can come back and forth and stop, play as they like. This can be used with Amazon Echo. 

  • Easy reader is the service by RNIB to read audiobooks and it is accessible. They switched from overdrive to easy readers. All books are free now for VIP by RNIBJust call them- register and they will set it up. RNIB reading services 

Digital experiences of VIP on the topic

  • Daisy- It was a machine that reads the disc or memory stick, a bit old stuff. 

  • Kindle- I am not so happy with Kindle. it does not translate very well.

  • Ways VIP can read letters:

  1. Seeing AI, only for iPhone

  2. Voice dream reader - voice dream scanner (GBP 24 one-off payment)both need to go hand in hand. Hold the phone on top of the paper and the app just reads the text but not the image.

  3. Be My Eyes- just used it a couple of times, which tins are tomato or which tins are salt…didn’t need to use it as I didn’t need somebody else’s eyes for. If I do, I  call my friend or son-in-law for stuff. It is useful if you don’t have someone to answer.

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