Faces of Patronus: A Guide and Companion
Working at Patronus means learning every day about what safety means to different people. We had a pretty good idea going in about the areas where we’ve collected personal experience — like campus safety, outdoors activities, and living in cities while female — areas where talking to customers has mostly strengthened our existing knowledge. Other audiences, on the other hand, we’ve been educated about along the way: for instance, realtors, long-haul commuters, and the low vision/blind community. We’ve learned about the dangers of open houses, the reassurance On My Way gives to the families of 2+ hour commuters, and the comfort of simply knowing one’s address as a blind person walking alone.
One striking example of a use case we’d never anticipated comes from the Consumer Relations Coordinator at the Guide Dog Foundation, a school that trains guide and service dogs. Jenine, who has been working in this field for many years, shared her insights on the unique dangers faced by blind people with guide dogs — and how Patronus can help. Here’s her story.
Some of the worst calls I’m involved with as part of my job have to do with a blind person whose guide dog has been attacked by a loose dog. I’ve worked with guide dogs for nearly 30 years now and have been lucky enough to never have had one of my dogs attacked. One of the biggest issues, though, is that during the attack, the person needs a quick and efficient way to get help.
When we all discuss these incidents, we say that gee, you can just pull out your phone and call 911. Though the iPhone with VoiceOver has made life much easier for blind people, dialing a phone number, or even asking Siri to do so when you are upset or panicking is a lot harder than it seems. An app that could just have a place on the screen to double tap for help would be so much easier. Also, something that would connect you quickly to 911 no matter where you were would be very reassuring.
Another reason for an app like Patronus that is easy to use, easy to set up and has great VoiceOver support is being able to notify your contacts about when you are leaving or arriving places. Part of being blind is learning to get around and memorizing street layouts, names and directions but sometimes, you can get off track. Being able to notify your contacts or have them watching your progress is very reassuring.
I have recommended the Patronus app to many of the graduates of the Guide Dog Foundation and America’s VetDogs because of its powerful yet simple interface. The current location feature serves as a memory aid too if you get off track during your walk or route to wherever.
Faces of Patronus is a collection of experiences our community has shared with us. In this series, we shed light on individual stories to create a collage of how we stay safe and connected in the digital age.
If you have a story to tell about Patronus or just want to chat, get in touch with us at email@example.com. We look forward to hearing from you!
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