How GuideConnect Helps - Rosemary's Story at Kent Association for the Blind

Having macular degeneration, Rosemary thought she could never use a computer, but now uses GuideConnect to live a more independent life. Find out more at Twitter: Facebook:


Rosemary: My name is Rosemary Gibson. My eyesight deteriorated in 2008. I had been told that I’d had Macular Disease, but I’m determined to have a life and be independent for as long as I can.

The consultant that diagnosed me sent me to a Low Vision Clinic. I said to her “oh I do wish I could find an organisation for people with Macular Degeneration.” And there was the lady from KAB with her table, with all the things that they could offer you. And that’s how I got in touch with KAB.

Steve (KAB Assistive Trainer): At the KAB, our aim is to rehabilitate people back into being able to use access technology after they’ve lost their vision. Re-training people or training people from scratch using various screen readers. Both in smart technology and with the computers.

Rosemary: I didn’t want a computer, I’d never had a computer. But, when Peter came and put GuideConnect on for me and I really couldn’t believe it. It’s so much easier to use.

Peter Coe (KAB Head Trainer): GuideConnect is a software that makes the computer easy to use. It’s tile driven which actually takes you through step-by-step. So, making it simple and easy to learn.

Steve: If you’re learning with Windows then there aren’t really many prompts as to where to find things. Whereas GuideConnect, if you’re learning and you’ve missed a point or you’ve gone past just simply by using the arrow keys, it’s very easy to get back on track and be able to navigate.

Rosemary: I love the icons, the big icons, you can have them really big if you need to. It helps me to keep in touch. Mostly emails to my family because they’re not close. You can just go and think “ooh, I’d like to tell them that” and just quickly do an email to tell them something.

Steve: As well as being able to send emails, there’s an excellent web browser which is now obviously far more accessible and far more straight forward to use.

Rosemary: I do scan my post and things like that. With hand written, or doctor’s appointments.

Steve: Also the Address Book is straight forward to use and access radio stations, that’s obviously very popular.

Rosemary: I’m a great, great fan of the old time dance bands and love the BBC program Classical FM, or Classic FM on a music.

GuideConnect: Playing BBC Radio three. Press enter to pause.

Steve: The other great innovation of course is the remote because you haven’t got lots of different shortcut keys.

Rosemary: I got the remote virtually at the same time as I got GuideConnect. Because my eyes are slowly getting worse, it is an extremely handy tool of living as far as I’m concerned. I couldn’t imagine life without it now.

Peter: The main goal of Kent Association for the Blind is to allow people to have their own independence. We’re celebrating our 100th anniversary this year and GuideConnect is the first software that’s actually allowed people with all levels of skills to be able to use a computer again.

Steve: Once they’ve got that confidence, you will then find that they are achieving things they probably would have never achieved through Windows, simply because the way that this is laid out just encourages them to move forward.

Rosemary: It’s extremely good for me, and I’m sure for people like me, who are not as experienced with computers as all the younger people are. I find that the GuideConnect keeps me in touch with my family.

Narrator: Find out more about GuideConnect and free training for Sight Loss Centres at