How an iPad helped Anita’s independence

The novelty of being able to make calls on her own helped Anita gain an incredible skill...

Anita headshot, in garden

Anita's story (shared via Erica - Rehabilitation Officer)

“Anita is an exceptional lady, who has been with Henshaws for over 25 years. Living in a Housing & Support home, and using Disability Support Services, Anita has really maximised her independence and is always keen to learn new skills.

Anita has dual sensory loss, meaning that she is registered sight and hearing impaired. She is a dual hearing aid user and mainly uses British Sign Language (BSL) along with some of her own signs to communicate.

Anita is very close to her family, and visits often. Since they don’t live locally, Anita’s mum calls her weekly for a catch up, but always had to rely on staff interpreting the conversation for Anita. Anita’s keyworker thought that video chatting technology could allow Anita to communicate directly with her mum, and that’s where we came in.

Anita likes a challenge, and learning to use an iPad certainly proved an interesting experience! I worked with her to get her comfortable with touching a screen, and the novelty of seeing her face in front of her.

Anita using her iPad
Looking over Anita's shoulder to see her iPad screen

After a few practice calls, Anita is now able to call her mum whenever she likes. Her mum waves at her, shares a few basic signs, and gives her little tours of her home, showing her what she’s been up to or things she’s bought.

It’s made such a difference – she feels more independent, and loves not relying on staff to make and interpret calls. She’s so confident using a iPad, she even bought her own. Staff supported her to choose the model, and of course she picked a colour in red, her favourite colour.”

Anita is an amazing lady. Through training and learnt routes, she travels independently in the local area. Every opportunity is open to Anita, and she's always looking for ways to develop her independence even further. She decided to take up waterskiing, which she loves, and we can't wait to see what challenge she'll take on next."

Erica - Rehabilitation Officer, Disability Support Services

Anita hugging Erica

We have offered Housing & Support Services for people with visual impairments for over 25 years. Alongside our specialism in sight loss, we also support people with a wide range of disabilities to live more independently. Our services are based in normal houses in local communities, in ordinary residential areas.

In our Registered Residential Care Homes we can provide 24-hour care for long or short term stays, including Reablement, where people stay with us for a short period of time (typically 6-18 months) to build their skills and re-establish their independence. We also offer Supported Living, and a new Home Support & Domiciliary Service, supporting people to live more independently in their own home or tenancy, and access community activities.

Log in or register to download

We can't do it without you

Henshaws rely on voluntary donations; our work just wouldn’t be possible without people like you. Your support empowers local people living with sight loss and a range of other disabilities to increase their independence, achieve their dreams, and go beyond expectations.

Donate now