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#23 Be My Eyes -

Be My Eyes is a smartphone app to help those with low vision. With a phone call, someone who needs help “seeing “something can use the camera on their phone and show a sighted volunteer what they are trying to identify.

To use the app, you must have a smartphone.

Below is a link to a video from the BBC which demonstrates how a blind person can call for help with a problem. For example, the lady in the video wants to repair a hole in a pajama top. She needs green thread and can’t determine which spool of thread is green.

She calls the Be My Eyes number on her smartphone and a volunteer answers with his smartphone. She explains her problem and shows her container of threads to the camera on her phone. The volunteer tells her the green spool is at 3 o’clock. The lady with low vision points to a spool. The volunteer says, “No. Go up 2 spools.” Problem solved.

www.bbc.com/news/magazine-39056979

We want to wear matching socks. Millie solved the problem by always wearing black socks – “black goes with everything”. But the volunteers can help solve this problem with a phone call.

Blind people might be reluctant to ask others to check their fridge searching for expired foods. Millie used her sense of smell to detect food that needed to be pitched, but as she got older, her sense of smell diminished. Volunteers can read the expiration date to the one who wants to check it.

Volunteers are from all over the world, so time isn’t an issue. Help is available 24 hours a day. There are many more volunteers in the program than those who ask for help. If you want to volunteer, don’t expect to be overwhelmed with requests.

If you google Be My Eyes, additional videos and reviews are available. By the way, all the reviews I read were positive.

Here’s another link to learn more from the American Federation of the Blind. www.afb.org/afbpress/pub.asp?DocID=aw160202

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If you have a smartphone and want to help blind people, why not volunteer? If you do, please share your experiences on the contact page of this website. I will tell others what happened.

Are you blind and want to try out the app? There’s no limit to how many times you can use this free app. Please let us know what help you received on the contact page of this website.