AccessWorld Teaser: New Accessibility Support Options Courtesy of Google, Microsoft, and Be My Eyes

Date Posted: 03/16/2018

by Bill Holton AccessWorld Correspondent

If you have never tried the free Be My Eyes app stop reading this post and download it immediately. The app is available for both iOS and Android, and if you don’t have a mobile device, the Be My Eyes service may just be reason enough to get one.

Be My Eyes uses a network of volunteers to offer the blind remote assistance via a smartphone video camera. Volunteers are available 24-7 to answer questions that require vision, from “Can you help me set the thermostat?” to “Is this my blue or yellow blouse?” Be My Eyes is also an excellent resource when you need help with a Windows computer that has gone mute. The problem may be something as simple as an error message that needs to be cleared, or perhaps you have accidentally turned off the sound.

Some computer issues can be a tad more technical, which is where a different resource can help. The Microsoft Disability Answer Desk can be reached at 800-936-5900, where they can help solve most Windows PC problems. With your permission a technician can even connect remotely to your PC and take control to help out. Of course in order for the Answer Desk to connect they need you to get the process started from your end. Which can be a problem, especially when you call because you can’t get your PC to speak.

Happily, there is now a new solution. The folks at Be My Eyes recently introduced an Expert Help option, designed to connect their users not to volunteers, but to professionals who can offer just that: expert help. The first company to sign up was Microsoft. Which means you can now use BE My Eyes to initiate an Answer Desk session, and the support rep can actually view your screen as though they were sitting in your chair.

Want to learn more? Check out the article “New Accessibility Support Options Courtesy of Google, Microsoft, and Be My Eyes” in the March issue of AccessWorld, where we also introduce you to a brand new personalized accessibility support option from Google.

Additional Information

My Experience with Using the Be My Eyes App

Be My Eyes App Let's You Help

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