Before I had the confidence to use technology I had a sister. When I heard about something I might like to attend I rang Kath. On the morning of the event she would ring me back and tell me where to go, how to get there, what to wear, what to take and most importantly, how to get back.  


When I got enough confidence to work some of this out myself I started to use technology. I began with some old stuff, a Dictaphone and a home Answerphone. On these I recorded messages for myself about future events, appointments etc. Replaying these frequently  transferred the information to long term memory.


Over time, I have moved on. I have a tablet and a Windows phone. These are not for show. I use them to accesss emails, send text messages and of course make calls. I can now understand material on websites, incoming emails and attachments using "text to speech" software on my tablet which translates written material into spoken word with incredible accuracy.


Another aid is Read-Right. This is a therapy developed by UCL for those stroke patients with reading difficulty caused by Hemianopia. Accessed online, the software uses moving text taken from a selection of published books. The speed, size and colour of the text and the background are controlled by the viewer and can be varied to suit individual need. It is available free from  


Also designed for people with hemianopia is a training programme devised by Durham University called Durham Reading and Exploration Training (DREX). This is  computer based and self adjusting, and allows people to train themselves at home. It involves a series of tasks which encourage visual exploration. These gradually get more difficult thereby promoting the development of more efficient eye movements and increased visual awareness. The aim is not to try and restore lost vision but to help people learn compensatory strategies which will help them overcome the difficulties imposed by a visual defect.  


And it is starting to work. Half of the training relates to visual field awareness, which in my case has measurably improved my ability to avoid obstacles and cross roads more safely. Half relates to reading which I intend to take up next. :



My ten top tips for stroke recovery

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