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Managing disability with the support of assistive technologies

After her diagnosis with Cone Dystrophy, Krystyna now uses the support of assistive technologies to maintain her way of life.

By cassandrastrakosch · 30/09/2019

With a long career in administration at the Newcastle Herald, Krystyna is no stranger to using technology. But, after being diagnosed with Cone Dystrophy, a condition which causes the cells in the cones of her eyes to die, Krystyna now utilises the support of assistive technologies to maintain her way of life and keep pace with the advancement of technology.

Krystyna attends technology classes at Vision Australia, where she learns more about the assistive technology that’s available to her. She says, “I’m very grateful to Andreas from Vision Australia for his patience and tuition in technology. The number of apps out there can seem overwhelming, so having a therapist from Vision Australia to assist me in the first place gives me the confidence to take it on at home. I’ve been introduced to a lot of ways that are making my life easier.”

Krystyna likes to keep up with the news and continues to read the Herald every day.

“I’ve learned to adjust the font size and contrast on each of my devices to make it easier to read. And when it comes to books, I’m now moving towards downloading audiobooks.”

The internet has also proven to support her with everyday tasks such as shopping.

“Most stores aren’t bright enough, and visually, this is a problem. Also, the print is so small on the labels that I find it easier to look online where I can adjust the font size and contrast, then I’ll go to the shops in person to purchase it since I already know exactly what I am looking for.”

Krystyna is also embracing smart home technology.

“Google Home often pipes up when we have conversations in the house. I often think, ‘I’m surrounded by AI and it won’t be long until I will just talk, clap my hands or stamp my foot and it will be all done. I think I’ll get the Robo vacuum cleaner with a Google voice next!”

“But seriously, please embrace technology as I have done. If you are interested or want to learn, it is the magic of all things. And it’s a wonderful tool to assist vision-impaired people.”