Assistive technology keeps intrepid traveller Jim Cobban snapping away

Blue lake in front of mountains, with trees in the foreground.VisAbility client Jim Cobban and self-proclaimed shutter bug embarked on a trip of a life time to travel the places he always dreamed of.

After he suffered a heart attack, Jim headed to the travel agent and with crutches in tow to book himself on a once in a lifetime journey while he could.

Jim’s failing health became a catalyst to see the world. His adventure took him from Australia, to the Pacific, Ireland, the US and Canada. The special assistance he received on his flights, transport and hotel accommodation made the journey trouble-free, especially passing through customs.

It was really good because they could fill in all the paper work for you.

Jim travelled solo for over three months by plane, train, taxi and bus. Staying in back packers and hotels, he documented his tour with his trusty camera to help retain his memories, making friends along the way.

Jim had his cataracts removed, but macular degeneration and diabetic retinopathy still inhibits his vision. Jim was able to acquire the correct lighting, magnification and other equipment with the help of our Assistive Technology Team. Now he can read, watch television and access his photographs. Jim still loves to travel, write poems and take photos. These days he uses an iPad to snap away so he can enlarge the images to still be able to see them.

“My parents used to travel and I guess I just got the bug.”Group of people stood on steps outside large building with columns

Travel is more comfortable with assistive technology. There are various apps available to help navigate new places for those with low vision.

IPads, tablets, pre-booked accommodation, transport, tours and notifying operators of any special assistance required all help to make long distance travel more enjoyable for adventurers.

If you need a bit more inspiration to get out there Lonely Planet have a regularly updated Accessible Travel Online Resources eBook (link opens in new window).