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This month at Be My Eyes
May 2018

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How is everything going with you? Be My Eyes has had quite an eventful month and in this edition of our newsletters - we’ll give you the scoop on what’s been going on. First off, get to know Dr. Yusuf through his story about the local impact of Be My Eyes’ Android version in India. Read on about the exciting results of this year’s Google Play Awards, check out a museum exhibition where Be My Eyes is featured, and on top of that, our first ever Community Meetup took place in Hong Kong simultaneous to Global Accessibility Awareness Day. Enjoy the read!

Featured story of the month

Dr. Yusuf’s Story: Be My Eyes in Gujarat, India

YouTube video - Dr. Yusuf's Story | Be My Eyes in Gujarat, India

Dr. Yusuf is a physiotherapist with his own practice in the state of Gujarat, India. He is also completely blind. Dr. Yusuf has been using Be My Eyes since its Android release and it’s been a total game-changer so far. A local blind community email-service sent news about Be My Eyes and after a friend of Dr. Yusuf mentioned the app, he downloaded it to see for himself. He remembers, “I immediately installed it after knowing from my friend how [well] it helps us.”

Before Gujarati, Yusuf’s native language, was made available, Yusuf had English set as his primary language, but nevertheless he made his first call and spoke with a volunteer in the USA. He was very impressed with the help he received. Since then, he’s been especially happy with the update that added many Indian languages. He’s now able to connect with volunteers who share his native tongue.

A profile picture of Dr. Yusuf. He’s wearing a white hat with golden embroidery and a dark, red sweater.

A profile picture of Dr. Yusuf. He’s wearing a white hat with golden embroidery and a dark, red sweater.

Dr. Yusuf believes that Be My Eyes is a great help for people who have a visual impairment and that the app personally changed his everyday life: Whenever he travels or navigates down the street and even in situations that require more urgency. More recently, there’s one call in particular that stands out in his memory. When he dropped one of his medicine pills on the floor, it was nighttime and Dr. Yusuf was alone. Without hesitation, he pulled out Be My Eyes for some help. A young woman answered and the two of them strategized to scan the floor for the inconspicuous pill. Their efforts were successful; Within two minutes they recovered the lost pill, relieving Dr. Yusuf who was certain it would have taken much longer had he no choice but to search on his own.

Since its Android release, Be My Eyes can reach more users in more countries, like India. Dr. Yusuf’s story is just one of many that humanizes the impact of the app’s Android version.

Dr. Yusuf’s story is part of our Community Stories series. People all over the world use Be My Eyes in their everyday lives. Many of them write us about their experience with the app and folks they connect with. This feature lets us spread good vibes throughout the whole community. If you’d like to tell us about your experience or give a testimonial, send us an email at mystory@bemyeyes.com.

News & Updates

Be My Eyes Community Director, Alexander, accepting the Google Play award on stage.

Be My Eyes Takes Home “Best Accessibility Experience” at the 2018 Google Play Awards

April’s newsletter spoke only of how thrilled we were to be nominated for a Google Play Award. But as of May 7th, Be My Eyes wears the winning title of Best Accessibility Experience! We are so proud and sincerely honored for the recognition, and we will uphold the title by continuing to improve the app and its experience for both blind and low vision users and volunteers. Thank you for all the support that made this achievement possible! Be sure to check out all of the categories and respective winners at this year’s Google Play Award on Google Blog.

An image of colored sound waves with the text “Hey Siri, make a call with Be My Eyes” written above.

Welcome, Siri!

New feature for blind and low vision iPhone users

It is now even easier for blind and low vision iPhone users to make a call with Be My Eyes. Just ask Siri! Say: “Hey Siri, make a call with Be My Eyes”, or the equivalent in the language your Siri speaks, and Siri will open the app and initiate a call - no button-pressing required! This update is now available in Be My Eyes version 3.0.3 or newer. Go ahead and update Be My Eyes in App Store and put Siri to work!

Be My Eyes founder, Hans Jørgen, at the opening of the exhibit at Struer Museum.

Be My Eyes to be Displayed in Local Danish Museum

With only three-and-a-half years under its belt, Be My Eyes is already going to be displayed in a museum! Before becoming the global community that Be My Eyes is today, the app came to life in Denmark. In 2016, Be My Eyes won a Danish Design Award in the category “Share Resources” and a new exhibition at Struer Museum in Denmark is celebrating Danish design by showcasing selected winners of a Danish Design award from 1965 and 2018. Be My Eyes has been selected alongside many other extraordinary winners of the Danish Design Award, and Be My Eyes founder Hans Jørgen Wiberg was invited to speak at the opening of the exhibition on May 26th 2018.

The Be My Eyes Community

78,580
Blind

1,237,030
Volunteers

Illustration for the Global Accessibility Awareness Day with four icons depicting cognition, mobility, vision and hearing. Profile photos of Be My Eyes users in the background.

Global Accessibility Awareness Day

On May 17th Be My Eyes proudly celebrated Global Accessibility Awareness Day. GAAD’s purpose is to get everyone talking, thinking and learning more about how to make the digital world more accessible and inclusive. Be My Eyes operates both within and outside of this digital world, thanks to the profound power of our global community, and we strive for high standards of accessibility and inclusion.

On GAAD, Be My Eyes was honored to be featured in both App Store and Google Play, as an app that makes a difference for accessibility. Make sure to check out the cool things they said about Be My Eyes!

An image of the globe that is half lit up, with the lit up countries shining in gold. The image reads 1,000,000 Volunteers.

Be My Eyes Hits the 1 Million Volunteers Mark

May 17th did not only host Global Accessibility Awareness Day, but also marked the one-million-volunteer milestone for Be My Eyes! We couldn’t imagine a better way to celebrate GAAD than extolling that more than 1 million people from all over the world are committed to making a difference for people living with vision loss. We want to thank each and every one of our volunteers for joining the journey towards greater accessibility!

Participants at the Be My Eyes Community Meetup in Hong Kong. The image reads Hong Kong Community Meetup.

Our First Community Meetup

Our very first community meet up took place on May 17th in Hong Kong! It was a great opportunity for our members in Hong Kong to get together, share their experiences with the app, and learn more about the new features. Up to 30 people participated in a casual afternoon meeting. Those new to the app had a chance to take it for a spin, experienced users shared their first-hand stories and tips, and Be My Eyes Designer, Jozef, was there to answer all of the questions. Big thanks to Hong Kong Society for the Blind for providing the venue!

We’d also like to extend a thank you to the volunteers who helped us with translations. The app is now completely available in both Chinese Traditional and Simplified.

Selected quotes from this month

“It just makes me feel really good that I live in a time, when I can be of any service to anybody else - especially somebody that I’ve never met, will never meet, they’ll never meet me. You just know that something you did that was so simple could’ve changed somebody’s life that day.” – Jon, volunteer from United States

“The first time I would have used Be My Eyes would be for something quite mundane. And I think that’s the good thing about it - you can use it for day to day things.” – Warren, blind user from UK

End Note

Thank you for tuning in for our May newsletter! We’re pleased to get to share all these updates with you and hope you enjoyed the read.

Until next time,
The Be My Eyes Team

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