Volunteers form the bedrock of our digital inclusion project and we are extremely fortunate to benefit from some fantastic people. Imtiaz Naqvi has been a member of Deafblind UK since 2015 and has recently embraced the dual volunteer role of information and awareness officer and digital ambassador with his trademark humour and tireless energy.
Imtiaz has been registered blind since he was 21 years old and has been raising awareness and campaigning for the rights of visually impaired and deafblind people in the Yorkshire region for over 20 years. He is winner of the coveted Bradford community star award, regularly works with Bradford Talking Media and is actively involved in many local organisations.
Imtiaz now supports Deafblind UK’s digital work by promoting accessible technology to the Deafblind community. Imtiaz is an expert in adapting hand held devices such as smartphones and tablets to make them accessible for Deafblind people to use.
He explains “Many older people are often intimidated by modern technology but with the right support they can find out how valuable it can be. It’s all about confidence building as well as teaching new skills.”
At a recent technology showcase to the Salford Deafblind group, Imtiaz captivated his audience with a demonstration of the latest specialist apps targeted for the deafblind community.
One such programme was KNFB reader – an app which photographs and reads aloud text from any written resource. Imtiaz said: “You can see how immensely valuable this could be to a visually impaired person who would otherwise need the support of another person to read a letter or important notice. This could be a household bill or perhaps a hospital appointment letter.”
Imtiaz has helped many Deafblind UK members to learnt how to send emails, browse the internet, listen to their favourite music tracks and manage their calendar appointments.
As one group member commented – “This is exactly what we need to learn!”
All this work is evidently making a huge different to peoples’ lives. Thank you Imtiaz!