If you always think to volunteer for some good cause, but unable to take time out of your hectic schedule, here’s your chance. Download the Be My Eyes app right away on your phone and lend your sight to blind and low vision people through a video call.
Available in over 180 languages, Be My Eyes app basically enables visually impaired users to make a video call to sighted volunteers to get help with anything from simple tasks, like checking expiry dates or distinguishing colors, to more complicated situations, like navigating new surroundings or finding a lost item.
How it works:
Once the app is installed, you can register yourself, either as a sighted volunteer or a blind person.
When registered as a volunteer, you have to do nothing more than just to wait for your first call—meaning you’ll receive a call notification whenever a blind or low vision user requires some on-demand visual assistance. The first volunteer to answer the call request will be connected to the caller, so you need not to worry in case you’re unable to answer the call at that moment. As of today, Be My Eyes app has more than 3,100,000 sighted volunteers registered on its platform to help over 178,000 blind and low vision users.
Speaking of how this app works for blind or low vision users, the home screen of the app presents them with two options, i.e., “Call first available volunteer,” and “Specialized Help.”
Tapping on the first half of the screen, which reads “Call first available volunteer” prompts the app to send out a notification to several volunteers who speak the same language.
As soon as the first volunteer accepts the call request, they both get connected through a live audio-video call. The volunteer can then guide the caller through the caller’s rear-facing camera.
Telling you a bit about the “Specialized Help” option, it enables visually impaired users to get the help directly from the official staff of partner companies, namely, Google and Microsoft (in India), if they have any issues with their products and services.
Though the blind people are highly self-sufficient, sometimes they need visual assistance with certain tasks, like reading a document or picking up the right product while shopping. With Be My Eyes app installed on their smartphones, the help is just a tap away for them. Moreover, they no longer need to be dependent on their family and friends for small tasks that require visual assistance. Thanks to the growing Be My Eyes community, volunteers answer more than 90 percent of calls within 30 seconds.
So, if you know any blind or low vision user who already uses a smartphone, let him/her know about this app so that he/she can live more independent life.
Needless to mention, spread a word about this app and join as a volunteer to make the world more accessible for blind and visually impaired individuals.
Note: In case you don’t know how visually impaired people use a smartphone, here you go. Smartphones have an accessibility feature called VoiceOver on iPhones and TalkBack on Android devices. This feature enables visually impaired users to use a smartphone with a synthetic speech and touch-based interface. Not just that, iPhone users can ask the voice assistant “Siri” to connect them to a volunteer. They just need to say, “Make a call with Be My Eyes.”
Android users, on the other hand, can ask the Google Assistant to launch the Be My Eyes app. Visually impaired people can get adapt to this app by making one or two try calls.
Price: Free-to-download (No in-app purchases)