There’s no way I could do that without my dog.
— Nathan Quinell
A FREE expo of futuristic aids for those with low vision will be held next week at Tweed Heads.
Organised by Guide Dogs and Quantum RLV, the expo will test-drive hand-held electronic magnifiers, text-to-speech devices, audio books, screen-reading software and braille keyboards.
Guide Dogs will also display long canes and electronic devices like Miniguides, which are hand-held obstacle detectors that work like a reversing sensor on a car.
Guide Dogs regional manager Jeremy Hill said those with low vision who sought help and learnt how to use aids were more likely to maintain their independence.
Tweed-based mobility instructors will be on hand to talk about free services offered by Guide Dogs.
“Some of the equipment can be used in the home and other technologies are portable and enable the user to read price tags, signs and labels in the shops,” he said.
Nathan Quinell, of Pottsville, who has 360 degree vision loss, said since he acquired his guide dog Keno in May he has been able to travel to cooking lessons in Tweed Heads.
“Getting around to and from Club Latitude - there’s no way I could do that without my dog.”
Before Keno, Mr Quinell used a long cane.
“On my mobile phone I use different things like Siri, so I can hear text messages and can hear emails coming through. I think aids definitely help,” he said.