RealSAM – Making a Real Difference for Seniors Living with Sight Loss

Image of Guen Kendrick, the author of the article. Guen is smiling warmly while holding a cup

Being visually impaired myself and having worked with seniors living with sight loss for over 10 years, I’ve witnessed how difficult it can be to find a phone that’s easy to use. I can truly appreciate the difference RealSAM is making in the lives of people looking for accessible devices. 

My husband and I provided services for those who were blind and visually impaired living and working in our community. We ended up being the “go to” people for transportation, shopping, cleaning, organizing, online and AT assistance, and so much more, once, even searching for a perfect pet! We truly loved our work and often our clients became good friends.  

Help with phones was a frequent request. We experienced many transitions from home phones and flip phones that talked, to smartphones with inaccessible apps, complicated screen readers, and overwhelming settings. These transitions were daunting experiences, especially for the seniors. On the one hand, they were eager to try out what everyone else was excited about. On the other hand, they now needed to make calls on a flat device that supposedly did a whole bunch of other things and had no tactile buttons. There were gestures, taps and menus to memorise. 

At their providers’ retail stores, they were presented with the latest and greatest without any consideration for accessibility. We spent a lot of time setting up and going through the steps of getting their phones to do what phones are supposed to do – make calls! 

After gaining confidence with making and answering calls, they needed access to the phone numbers of the people they wanted to talk to. Adding contacts was a challenge. It took time and a lot of practice for them to be able to do this independently. Some Brailled step by step instructions. Others recorded sessions of us guiding them through the process. There was a misconception that a smartphone’s voice activated digital assistance could do this. It was a barrier that there was no simple way to manage their contacts.  

Today, RealSAM is making it easy by prioritising accessibility. Their friendly and easy to use voice-operated phones are real solutions for people struggling with conventional devices.  

RealSAM also takes the stress out of buying a phone. It can be done over the phone or online. RealSAM’s excellent customer support will take the time to guide you every step of the way, from ordering and setting up, to helping you get the hang of your new phone.

Unlike having to learn complex accessibility features, RealSAM phones are fully voice operated. There’s no need to memorise taps, gestures, and menu – there’s just the “tap to talk” button. You simply, “tap to talk” and the phone will make a little chime to let you know it’s listening. Then you tell it what you want it to do, “Call…” and it will do it for you. Having one button to deal with and being able to use your voice to do almost everything enables people to use their devices with ease and confidence.  

And yes, it’s possible to add contacts by voice. Just “tap to talk”. It will ask you for the name and the phone number, then add your contact to the list. It’s just as easy to search, edit, and delete contacts by voice. If you’re like me and you have a lot to add, RealSAM has an accessible customer portal where contacts can be added in or uploaded from a previous device.  

Having gone through these experiences, it’s exciting for me to see seniors living with sight loss regain their independence using RealSAM phones.  

 

By Guenivir Kendrick 

 

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