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Sep 24, 2015

Tech-talk: Predicting the Future With Rylan Vroom

We are so happy that Rylan Vroom (Access Technology Instructor at Balance for Blind Adults) will be sharing his wealth of technology knowledge and know-how at this year’s Vision Quest. We are so thankful that Rylan will be speaking at both the London Vision Quest this Saturday, September 26th and again at the Toronto Vision Quest on October 17th, where he will be joined by Alex Deans, inventor of iAid.

To get us thinking about technology, we asked Rylan some questions. Although we’re sure he would have made a great philosopher, we’re glad that he’s using his technological talents to help make the world a better place for people living with visual impairments.

Why do you think that technology can change the life of someone living with vision loss? How does technology impact your life?

Rylan: Without technology, someone with vision loss is at a serious disadvantage. Without braille, a person couldn’t read and write. Without global positioning systems, a person’s ability to travel is severely limited. Without access to computers and the internet, a person’s ability to get a job or create one for themselves becomes nearly impossible. Without technology, my best shot at making a life for myself would probably be as a musician or storyteller, like Homer in ancient Greece. Technology has given me a somewhat more level playing field and enabled me to make a decent life for myself.

In 2015, what was the coolest new technological development for people living with vision loss?

Rylan: would have to say the indoor navigation technology that is starting to hit the market. Previously, I could never properly navigate a place like a shopping mall because GPS doesn’t work inside a building. Now that we have the ability to deploy indoor navigation beacons, I may end up better at finding something in the Eaton Center than a sighted person.

Do you have any predictions about the future of technology? What do you think is coming next?

Rylan: Absolutely! Bring on the autonomous vehicles! Apple is even working on a self driving car.

Do you have a question for Rylan? If you can’t make it to Vision Quest – send them in!

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