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What We Do

Case Study

Technology Support

elderly man with mobile phone

‘Mr Ashton’ is a 64 year old man who is very independent but was struggling with his current mobile phone. He could only ring a small number of contacts by using the speed–dial keys and remembering which number people were allocated to, and could not read or write text messages. The current phone was essentially carried for emergencies and for people to contact ‘Mr Ashton’, rather than him getting in touch with people. ‘Mr Ashton’ remarked that he felt a bit "out of touch" having a phone that he couldn’t really use, and having never been able to read or write text messages.

We worked together to find an appropriate talking phone and trained ‘Mr Ashton’ up over a number of sessions – including text messaging which was particularly beneficial, and sending his first text message was a monumental achievement!

Now ‘Mr Ashton’ is keeping in touch with friends and family across the country via text and never off the phone – "I’m almost like a teenager!" Since then ‘Mr Ashton’ has had the confidence to trial talking computer technology and regain the use of old touch–typing skills thought long forgotten. From both the use of the mobile phone and now email, ‘Mr Ashton’ has become even more independent and less isolated.

image: www.freeimages.com/Valerio 2005

How we can help

Tameside Sight provides a range of freely available services for people who have sight loss.

Some of the services we provide:

  • assistance with reading mail
  • an initial home visit by staff to explain what we do and what is available for a person in their individual circumstances
  • guiding and transport to medical appointments by volunteers (including hospital appointments in surrounding areas)
  • advocacy - helping people have their voices heard and opinions listened to, particularly with large organisations for example, talking to a utility company about a problem bill and working to find a reasonable solution
  • assistance with form–filling
  • advice on where to obtain information on eye conditions
  • information about different aids, including the opportunity to use some of our demonstration models
  • help to arrange the purchase of equipment - contacting the company and ordering a product, setting it up and expaining how to use it
  • basic computer assistance
  • referrals to other useful organisations or groups
  • "odd jobs", done by volunteers, such as changing light bulbs or batteries and other non-skilled activities that someone will normally do themselves if sight is not an issue
  • help with recycling equipment used by visually impaired people for example, magnifiers
  • Eclipse Magazine, available in print or on audio CD to members and service users

If you wish to use any of the services we offer, or be included on the Eclipse mailing list please give us a ring on 0161 343 4090.

Case Study

Home Visit


‘Mr and Mrs Dukinfield’ are both in their 90s and have been married for almost 60 years. ‘Mrs Dukinfield’ has had sight problems for the last 10 years but has not asked or wanted for help – she doesn’t like "officialdom" to "interfere"! We were contacted by the local Police Community Support Officer who was very concerned about the couple. We made a joint visit with the PCSO and, with a little gentle persuasion … the results were:

  • ‘Mrs Dukinfield’ has been referred to the council’s vision impairment team
  • ‘Mrs Dukinfield’ is now receiving Tameside Talking News
  • ‘Mr and Mrs Dukinfield’s’ dangerous chip pan has been replaced by a safer electric deep fat fryer by the Fire Service after our referral
  • ‘Mrs Dukinfield’ now has a white walking cane (signalling her vision impairment as well as helping with mobility) so she doesn’t have to hang on to Mr Dukinfield "for dear life"!
  • ‘Mr and Mrs Dukinfield’s’ gas oven is being replaced by a safer electric cooker

The couple now know they can contact Tameside Sight for help, support and impartial advice and speak to someone by name whom they trust.

image: www.freeimages.com/Julia Freeman-Woolpe rt, 2007