How one app is changing lives of the visually impaired

‘It humbles me,’ one reviewer says

A man on a phone. (Photo by Thirdman.)

There are countless apps that help us do all kinds of things in our daily lives, but there’s one app that is actually helping people who are visually impaired with what some people don’t have to think twice about.

Not only is the Be My Eyes app making a difference in the daily lives of those who are impaired, it gives sighted people a chance to volunteer in a way they can truly make an impact.

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A person who is blind or visually impaired can connect on the app via video and audio with a sighted person, who can help them with tasks as simple as figuring out the color of a shirt and the expiration date on a gallon of milk, to more important tasks, such as getting the temperature off a thermometer or reading someone's mail to them.

The app has rave reviews by people in the visually impaired community who are using it.

“The help these apps give you as a blind/visually impaired person is indispensable and invaluable," one person who is visually impaired said. "All you really need is a few minutes to help change/impact someone’s life for the better.”

“I’d say one of the coolest experiences I have had, is when a man stayed on the phone with me for almost 45 minutes, and I was able to upgrade the RAM on my iMac," one man who is visually impaired wrote. "This is a task that would be extremely difficult without help.”

[MORE: Users share their experience with Be My Eyes app]

With 4.8 out of 5 stars, the app has been a hit for users on both ends. In fact, sighted volunteers seem to be getting so much out of lending a set of eyes that the ratio of volunteers to blind people is abundant. To be more precise, as of March, there were more than 390,000 people who are visually impaired on the app, with more than 5.5 million sighted people volunteering.

“I love answering calls because it humbles me … to be able to make it easier for them means the world to me," said one reviewer who wrote about how she helped a man with narrowed vision who was volunteering to help homeless people get back on their feet. “I felt a part of it at the same time because I was able to help him find the resources he needed so he could give out to those he helps who are homeless.

Interested in signing up? It's quick and easy.

  • Download the Be My Eyes app and tell it whether you are blind/visually impaired or sighted.
  • Create a login via Facebook, Google or your email.
  • Read through directions on how to make or receive a call.

“This app really gives us a sense of what it means to be human, to give back to humanity, unselfishly. If more of us gave so freely of just a few minutes of our time each month, collectively, think of what else we could accomplish!” another reviewer said.

Have you used this app? Would you? Tell us how the app has helped you in the comment section below.

This article was first published in 2019. It has since been updated.

About the Author

Dawn Jorgenson, Graham Media Group Branded Content Managing Editor, began working with the group in April 2013. She graduated from Texas State University with a degree in electronic media.

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