About Us

The charity was founded in 1978 by Brian Payne (pictured left) and his wife Jane who are both registered blind. Over twenty five years ago they realised how important emerging technology would be for people with sight loss and wanted to help them achieve their full potential through the use of technology. They started by raising funds to provide Optacons (Optical to Tactile Conversion) with Brian teaching students how to use the equipment, then moved on to the provision of other specialised or specially adapted electronic equipment as it became available.

Our main aims are to: provide electronic equipment to people of all ages with sight loss to help them to communicate; carry out research and develop new services in areas where it is felt visually impaired people may benefit; ensure recipients receive back-up and support to help them to get the most benefit from their equipment.

Over 200 applications are received in a typical year and the cost of equipment ranges from about £300 to £5,000 or more depending on the level of access technology required. The gift of this equipment allows beneficiaries to retain as much independence as they can, gives them access to the written word and the world of information, increases their self-worth and greatly improves their quality of life.

Now we are also seeking to bolster our support role and intend introducing several new related services during 2004, these are described under the services link.

Electronic Aids for the Blind receives no statutory or government funding. We rely entirely on charitable donations from Trusts, Foundations, Corporations, Livery Companies and individuals. Because of this we are somewhat miserly when it comes to spending money. We regularly review our procedures to ensure they remain efficient and cost-effective and we are committed to ensuring as much money as possible is spent on the people we are here to help.

We also want beneficiaries to have access to as much support as they need to enable them to get the most benefit from their equipment and optimise the value of the charitable donations that made the gift possible.