Guide Dogs launch new Tech Selector on behalf of the Vision Partnership to empower people with vision impairments to achieve greater independence

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Over 2 million people in the UK live with sight loss and technology plays a pivotal role in enhancing their independence.

With the advent of smart home devices, artificial intelligence applications, mobility aids, and orientation apps, people with a vision impairment (VI) are experiencing newfound freedom both within and outside their homes but some people still struggle to identify the right tech that is relevant for them.

Guide Dogs has been working with a range of sight loss sector partners and people with lived experience of vision impairment to tackle this problem and are proud to announce the launch of the Tech Selector.

Available on Guide Dogs website alongside the existing Technology web pages, this innovative tool is poised to empower individuals with VI by delivering personalized recommendations for tech products and services tailored precisely to their needs. Its aim is to reduce the need for human assistance giving more independence and freedom to navigate technology suited to them.

A recent customer insight study conducted by Guide Dogs, RNIB and the Thomas Pocklington Trust highlighted that 60% of people with VI felt it was quite or very important for there to be changes and improvements to training to use technology to its full potential. This rose to 70% for the development of new smart technology and apps to support people with VI.

Similarly, the working group of charities has identified the digital issues faced by the sight loss community, ranging from a dearth of information and confidence to limited access to training and professional support.

"Tech Selector represents a significant leap forward in our mission to foster greater independence and accessibility for individuals with vision impairments. By streamlining the process of discovering and selecting accessible technologies, we aim to minimize the barriers that often impede the adoption of these life-changing solutions."

Sarah Brandwood, Senior Product Manager at Guide Dogs

Designed to cater to both newcomers and seasoned users of accessible technologies, Tech Selector promises to dramatically reduce the time and effort required to explore available solutions. The tool offers a seamless and intuitive experience, ensuring that individuals with vision impairments can harness the full potential of technology to enhance their daily lives.

"Accessibility should never be an afterthought; it should be at the forefront of every technological innovation, With Tech Selector, we are not only bridging the gap between technology and accessibility but also empowering individuals with vision impairments to embrace a future filled with possibilities."

Sarah Brandwood

Marie Howarth, from Oldham was born with a rare sight condition called primary congenital glaucoma and is registered as severely sight impaired. As a young child she had no sight in her right eye and some sight in her left eye. She went to a mainstream school and could read and write. When she was about six and a half years old she had surgeries to release pressure which resulted in a detached retina and she lost her remaining sight.

Marie has been involved with Guide Dogs since her early twenties when she was partnered with her first guide dog. Her second guide dog, Bertie, has just retired so she’s using a cane while waiting for her third Guide Dog.

As a young woman with a vision impairment, Marie says her life is massively improved by two things – her guide dog and technology.

“I use technology in almost every part of my life. I couldn’t be without my Apple iPhone and I manage my home with smart technology, and use various apps and devices in my daily life. The accessibility of third party apps can still be a bit hit and miss. I always try free apps first, and I’d never pay for an app unless I could be sure it’s completely accessible.

“I’m a real advocate for using mainstream technology. Specialist technology can be so expensive and I don’t think people with a vision impairment should be penalised and have to pay more just to use tech. When I use mainstream tech, it also means that if something goes wrong with it or I can’t find something, I can always just turn off the VoiceOver and pass it to my sister or someone. If it was specialist tech she would have no idea how to use it.


The Tech Selector is a web-based tool that will be hosted on the Guide Dogs website on behalf of the Vision Partnership and the wider sight loss sector. It will enable people to find a list of technology products, apps and software that could be useful to them. People can select a number of different category filters to tailor the search results to best fit their needs and circumstances.

Once someone has identified potential technology solutions that would suit them, as well as self-contained information on the Guide Dogs technology hub, the site will also signpost people to further information from a range of national and local sight loss organisations.

For more information about Tech Selector and its impact on the lives of individuals with vision impairments, please visit the Tech-Selector Tool section of the Guide Dogs website.


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