Internet first for blind Norwich resident

Internet first for blind Norwich resident

Donna-Louise Bishop, Local Life editor

Tuesday, February 8, 2011
11:15 AM

State of the art technology has revolutionised wireless listening for a Norwich woman who is registered blind.

“I operate it completely independently. It’s a hundred times easier than trying to find stations on a computer.”

Annabel Clifton

Annabel Clifton, a Braille tutor for Norfolk County Council, has become the first person in Norfolk to receive a Sonata internet audio player.

Miss Clifton, of Amderley Drive, off Newmarket Road, Eaton, is totally blind and explained why the product has made a difference.

“I like the simplicity of it. It’s the opposite of complicated,” she said.

“Once it’s set up, it’s so easy as you just have to press a few buttons. I never miss an episode of The Archers as I can easily access it via the podcasts.”

A lover of all kinds of music, Miss Clifton is also a singer and she and her partner John Bygrave, who plays the saxophone, often perform locally and record in Mr Bygrave’s studio.

Miss Clifton added: “I operate it completely independently and enjoy listening to country music from America and news and music from places as far afield as Mexico and Beirut. It’s a hundred times easier than trying to find stations on a computer.”

Fiona Pickett, British Wireless for the Blind Fund (BWBF) regional development manager said: ‘I’m delighted Annabel is getting so much enjoyment from her Sonata.

“It’s the first internet audio player specifically for users with sight loss and we’ve had a really good response to it.”

The BWBF charity spends about £475,000 per year providing audio equipment for blind and partially sighted people in need.

As an independent charity it receives no government funding or lottery money and it exists entirely on the kindness and generosity of its supporters.

For further information or to support the BWBF with a donation visit or call 01622 754757.

Have you received a life-changing product? Contact Donna-Louise Bishop at or call 01603 772438.

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