Harness The Power of Mobile Technology

Hand holding smartphone Here is the program Make the device.

Technology provides the same opportunities for people who are blind or partially sighted, but can only do so if it is available, accessible and affordable.  

Last month, the CNIB Foundation was thrilled to launch an exciting new program designed to provide equal opportunities for all. This is the Make the device program .

The Making the Machine program is the first initiative from our new strategic plan . It focuses on the key goal of “Harnessing the Power of Technology” by offering a smartphone to anyone who is blind or lives with vision loss who needs this type of device.

“Many people do not realize the powerful effect that a modern smartphone, especially an iPhone, can have on the life of a blind or partially sighted person,” says Norris Ma, who leads the launch of the program. program Make the device. “It’s amazing what just one device like this can do to increase battery life. ”   

In fact, the apps available for smartphones today allow blind users to do all sorts of things that previously were difficult for them, from reading prescription drug labels to taking them safely, detect colors or travel alone without danger.

While smartphones can change the lives of blind users, many people with vision loss do not yet have a sufficiently advanced model to help them in their daily activities. For some people, it’s hard enough to make ends meet. So the state-of-the-art smartphone is of course out of reach.

“The financial means of a person should never prevent him from living independently,” says Ma. “Hence the raison d’ĂȘtre of the program Render the device. “

The goal of Making the Device is to provide a smart phone to all Canadians with vision loss who need it.

How the program works

Individuals and businesses donate their used smartphones. As part of this program, we are asking individuals and businesses across Canada to donate their used smartphones. We accept all modern smartphones (although we have a special interest in iPhones) and give donors a tax receipt for the market value of each eligible phone offered.

We delete all data from devices and refurbish them. If the given phone is modern enough, Fixt, our technology partner (the Canadian leader in smartphone repair and refurbishment), will refurbish it and equip it with a range of accessible applications. If not, it will be sold and the proceeds will be allocated to the cost of a refurbished smartphone for a blind user.  

“We’re at the phone collection stage right now,” says Ma. “We are reaching out to potential donors across Canada, especially businesses, and asking them to donate their donations. devices, because we badly need them. We can then refurbish phones and offer them to those who need them. “

We give the phone to a person living with vision loss who needs it. Once the phone is refurbished, we offer it to a living Canadian with vision loss who is waiting to receive such a device. We also offer him individual training on how to use it.

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