Assistive Technology

Welcome to the Assistive Technology section of our website. Here you will find information about software and hardware which can assist you in the use of a Computer, Smart Phone, Tablet, Smart Speaker and more.

We employ an Assistive Technology Specialist, Gary Eady, who is responsible for providing guidance, information, support and training to people between the ages of 16 and 100, who have a vision impairment, in the subject of assistive technology software and hardware.  He is also responsible for the content on the Assistive Technology section of our website, as well as coordinating a small team of ICT volunteers and being blind himself, can fully understand the frustrations of trying to use technology with reduced vision.

A little bit about Gary….

Gary Eady picture

I am now in my eighth year working for Sensory Services by Sight for Surrey.  Prior to this, I worked as a freelance ICT trainer and consultant, and prior to this, for the RNIB as a Technical Communications Trainer.  In total, I have been working with partially sighted people for 25 years.

One of the things I enjoy the most in my role is seeing people learn to use technology to help fulfil day-to-day tasks.  With the advent of Smartphones and Smart Speakers, this is beginning to happen more and more.  What is even more satisfying though, is seeing people in their 80’s and 90’s use technology with a degree of confidence and success!

I offer support over-the-phone, through Remote Access software and via email and can even carry out certain training activities remotely, such as using an iPhone or computer.  A little ingenuity is required, but it is most definitely possible.

People can also book to see me at our offices in Fetcham for demonstrations and to try out technology for themselves.  Additionally, I can visit people at their homes if this is more appropriate.

Gary is able to support you with a wide range of specialist software and hardware solutions, including:

Screen Reading:

  • Windows Narrator
  • JAWS for Windows
  • SuperNova Screen Reader
  • NVDA (Non Visual Desktop Access)


Screen Magnification:

  • Windows Magnifier
  • SuperNova Magnifier with Speech
  • ZoomText with Speech
  • Dolphin Guide and Guide Connect

Smart Phones and Tablets:

  • Apple iPhone and iPad with VoiceOver (screen reader) and Siri
  • Android Smart Phone and Tablet with TalkBack (screen reader)
  • Specialist Apps for the Blind
  • Synapptic software
  • Blind Shell Classic Smart Phone

Smart Speakers:

  • Amazon Echo with Alexa
  • Google Home with Google Assistant

Employment Support:

Gary can also provide specialist support for those who are in employment and who may be struggling with their Assistive Technology. In addition, he can support by providing information on the government scheme Access To Work, which supports people with disabilities in the workplace.

Let’s Talk Tech

Gary also runs a series of tech webinars, designed to show anyone with a vision impairment how to use all the accessibility features on their tech equipment, so they can continue to use their iPhone, iPad, laptop, or computer with ease. A full list of theses webinars can be found on Lets Talk Tech Schedule for 2024

ICT Volunteers:

Gary is also responsible for all ICT Volunteers who work for Sight For Surrey. He provides each volunteer with a hands-on introduction to Assistive Technology, as well as providing handouts on the subject of specialist technology. Our ICT Volunteers can offer support in the setup of a computer, Smart Phone or Tablet and Smart Speakers such as Amazon Echo and Google Home. In addition, our ICT Volunteers can support in the areas of diagnosing and fixing problems with printers, broadband rooters and email accounts.

For further information, please contact Gary Eady, email: or by telephone on 01372 377701.

Let’s Talk Tech!

Let’s Talk Tech is a webinar, delivered by Gary Eady, Access Technology Trainer at Sensory Services by Sight for Surrey, using the Zoom Cloud Meetings platform. It runs on the last Wednesday of each month, with the exception of August and December. The webinar usually runs between 11:00am and 12:30pm (except April and June) and concentrates on a range of topics to do with technology.

Webinars for 2024

The webinars for 2024 are as follows:

22 May – Using Seeing AI, the Multipurpose App

In this webinar, Gary will discuss and demonstrate the popular app called Seeing AI.
This app has many features, including the ability to read text from wall posters and
doors, scan and read documents, identify food products, read hand-written text and
describe the world around you.

26 June 
What can I do with an Amazon Echo and Alexa

In this webinar, Gary will discuss and demonstrate the range of Amazon Echo Smart
speakers and the requirements for getting one to work. He will also go through many
of the things that can be achieved using Alexa, Amazon’s voice assistant.

24 July 
A Delve into iPad and iPhone Accessibility Features

In this webinar, Gary will discuss and demonstrate the features built-in to an iPad or
iPhone, designed to help people with vision impairments. These include zooming in
and out, inverting screen colours, large text options, dictation and the built-in screen
reader called VoiceOver. In addition, Gary will discuss and demonstrate some of the
best apps for people with vision impairments.

25 September 
Getting the Most out of Siri and the Google Assistant

In this webinar, Gary will discuss and demonstrate Siri (Apple devices) and Google
Assistant (Android devices). These are both voice assistant apps and can help you
to become more productive and achieve common tasks, using just your voice.

30 October 
Using the VoiceOver screen reader on your Apple iPhone or iPad

In this webinar, Gary will discuss and demonstrate the VoiceOver screen reader,
which is built-in to all Apple iOS devices (iPhone and iPad). This gives a blind person
access to all of the features available on the device, as well as access to hundreds
of specialist apps that make the lives of people with vision impairments much easier.

27 November 
Synapptic, the app that makes a Smartphone or Tablet easy to use

In this webinar, Gary will discuss and demonstrate the Android app called Synapptic.
This app presents all of the features in large print with a high-contrast colour
scheme. It also speaks out the menus and other screens as you navigate. It’s the
ideal app for a person who is either new to using a Smartphone, or can no longer
use their device due to sight loss.

To book a place on any of these webinars, please call Sensory Services by Sight for
Surrey Helpdesk on 01372 377701 and state which webinar you would like to join.