I have many different things that I use to do my work, many of them are specific tools for people who are blind or partially sighted like a braille display for example. But there is one tool that I can not rave about enough. This tool has made a huge difference in how I am able to get my work done, keep on task, keep organized, be efficient and so much more.
The one thing I can not make it through a work day without is my iPad. My last iPad died a few months ago after 3 years because I used it to death literally. And in the short time that I was without my iPad for work I realized how much I rely on it for so many things during the day. It is my note pad, my post it notes, my calendar, my sanity when things get busy and there is too much to keep in my head.
Some of my favourite apps on my iPad that make it my favourite tool are many of the Office 365 Tools that we use at work; Outlook, One Note, Microsoft Teams, Word, Excel, One Drive and so on.
The one that I use the absolute most is by far One Note. I have always been someone who writes things down in some way as my vision has never been super the way I do that has changed. When I got my first iPad I was using Pages that came on the iPad and I still use it for some things but One Note has been a game changer for me.
I am able to make different NoteBooks for the different things that I am working on, and within those notes I am able to create different sections and different pages. So it is really like a binder but an accessible version. I have a To Do list that is great I create a new To Do list for each and every week and there I add in all of the things that I need to work on I also take notes for many of my meetings on that document to keep all my work for that week together. This has been really good with Voice Over because in Pages or Word you have to select the text to find out if it is highlighted or bolded or anything like that but with One Note I am able to highlight text with say pink and then when I arrow down through the bullets it will say “highlighted” . I can also create tick boxes but I really like to highlight what is done it just works best for me.
I use Voice Over on my iPad with a Logitech case that has a keyboard that is on it. This set up means that it is much more convenient to take it to meetings and when travelling for work and so much lighter than a laptop. Because so much of what we do now a days is cloud based that means that there is so much more that I can do on my iPad and not have to use a computer.
Beyond One Note and Office 365 on my iPad I use it for my calendar, email, reading books, keeping all my recipes for home, keeping track of my kids school things, editing videos, writing my blogs so many things. I am also able to hook my braille display up to it and read books via braille with I really love doing and it is much more convenient than a bulky braille book.
I feel like many people when they are in a work environment don’t realize that people who are sighted many of them carry a note book to meetings and take notes, and keep themselves organized that way. As a person who is blind you need to find what that equivalent is for you. Going into a meeting with nothing to write anything down is not going to help you be successful, no one can remember every little thing. Even though many of us have to remember so many different things every single day we need a tool that will put us on the same playing field as out co-workers.
For me, my iPad has been my most important tool in getting my work done. I think it is so important to find what works for you, it may not be an iPad but I am sure we all have a tool that will work for us and make us more efficient and organized whether we are sighted or blind.
Until Next Time,
Ashley and Danson