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Volunteer for the blind while staying at home

Are you looking for very flexible, but fulfilling, volunteer work while you are social distancing?

Social distancing is vital to slowing the spread of COVID-19. This pandemic is changing the way we live our lives through social distancing, and finding ways to give back can be challenging. The good news is, you can still give back virtually to blind and low vision people around the world.

How about helping individuals without leaving the very spot where you are standing or sitting? How about positively impacting a person’s day with a minute or two effort?

More than 200,000 blind people worldwide use a smart phone app called Be My Eyes, which connects them with sighted individuals to help them answer questions us sighted folks take for granted.

When they need to match their clothes, read an expiration date on food, navigate an unexpected sidewalk repair site, or complete any of the other infinite tasks we do every day that require eyesight, they can press a button on the app that alerts Be My Eyes of their predicament.

Calls are immediately made to ten volunteers. The first to answer helps the user. If you cannot answer the call it will be answered by someone, so you should not feel guilty. It is one of the most amazing uses of The Crowd.

Be My Eyes was started up by Hans Wiberg in Denmark four years ago. Being global, it has the advantage of reaching across all time zones. If an English speaking user needs to know something at three in the morning Mountain Time, you will not get the call. It can go to Britain, Australia, or to an English speaker living in any daylight in the world.

The calls are anonymous, although you can exchange names with each other, and the volunteer answers to a Face Time-like video. The user utilizes video to show the item or space they need help identifying. When they get the answer they need, say a pleasant goodbye and continue hanging your picture or whatever you are doing.

Download the app for free on your phone, and visit www.bemyeyes.com for information.


Originally Published on 50 Plus Marketplace (Updated and edited since originally published)

Matt Kissane, Director of Listener Services 

Audio Information Network of Colorado. Providing blind & visually impaired individuals with audio access to reading materials. 303-786-7777, ext. 108 or matt@aincolorado.org/ 

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