(FREDERICTON – Oct. 18, 2018) With last month's release of the iPhone XS, XS+, and this month's release of the iPhone XR, as well as the release of many Android phone updates, the CNIB Foundation has a solution to put all those old smartphones to good use.
As users upgrade to newer models, Phone It Forward gives New Brunswickers a unique opportunity to donate their old smartphones, receive a tax receipt for fair market value, and empower people who are blind in the process.
"Many of our province's 10,000 individuals who are blind or partially sighted don't own a smartphone – at least not one that's advanced enough to help them in their daily lives," says Denise Coward, Executive Director for CNIB Foundation New Brunswick. "Phone It Forward lets us put an all-in-one communications and accessibility solution into their hands that will help reduce barriers and drive independence."
Donations are simple to make: a person or company registers their old smartphone(s) online at phoneitforward.ca, picks up a prepaid envelope, sends in their donation(s), and receives a tax receipt from the CNIB Foundation.
Through a partnership with Fixt Wireless Repair, donated smartphones are wiped to the highest data security standards, loaded with accessible apps and provided to New Brunswickers with sight loss who need them, along with technical training, discounted maintenance and data plan support.
Smartphones combine a number of accessibility tools in one, including:
• Accessible phone; calling, messaging, email, browser
• Access to print and audiobooks; DAISY book reader, Audible Kindle, iBooks,
• Access to real-time sighted assistance
• Talking object identifiers, colour identifier, barcode readers and calculators
• Talking health apps: glucose reader, blood pressure readout, heart monitoring
• Talking navigational and orientational GPS solutions
• Handheld magnification apps
• Talking money identifiers
• Talking product labeling solutions
"My smartphone is so much more than just a phone," says Jim Noseworthy, the CNIB Foundation's assistive technology specialist, who has been totally Blind from birth. “Using the phone coupled with accessible apps, I use it to: read my mail, make and receive calls, obtain talking turn-by-turn navigation using GPS, request sighted assistance via Aira, FaceTime, Skype, create and receive podcasts, and much more.”
For more information or to donate a smartphone to the CNIB Phone It Forward program, visit www.phoneitforward.ca.
Celebrating 100 years in 2018, CNIB is a non-profit organization driven to change what it is to be blind today. We deliver innovative programs and powerful advocacy that empower people impacted by blindness to live their dreams while tearing down barriers to inclusion. Our work is powered by a network of volunteers, donors and partners from coast to coast to coast. To learn more or get involved, visit cnib.ca.