Assistive Technologies Recommended by Legally Blind Editor

Zoomax M5 Handheld Video Magnifier Distance Viewing While Shopping
Daily accessbility is the must-have feature a good Assistive Technology should achieve

Today innovative technology is enhancing the lives of those who are visually impaired more than ever before. More companies are taking visual impairment into consideration when designing new products. Besides video magnifiers and CCTVs some of the best products today feature larger buttons, bigger screens and have the ability to talk and/or readto you.

Home phones and cell phones now come with bigger buttons and larger screens making it much more user friendly for those with low vision. Some phones have the capability of telling you who is calling and sport voice activation. Many people rely on handheld video magnifiers for a variety of tasks. They use it for reading the mail, menus, newspapers and at the grocery store on a daily basis. These too are becoming more diverse and offer more and more capabilities. You cannot imagine how much more they will be able to do in another five years.

While we are on the topic of talking products for the visually impaired and blind my favorites include talking watchesclockstimerscalculatorsmeasuring cupsscalesblood pressure monitorstape measures and money readers. I also like the musical liquid level indicators that alert you as to when you are reaching the top of a cup or glass. These products are available online at many low vision stores.

Canes have also come a long way. They now come in a variety of styles from the rigid long cane to those that fold for convenience. My newest is telescopic and fits perfectly into a pocket or purse when not in use.

When it comes to software and apps those designed to aid those who are visually impaired are getting better all of the time. Screen readers for the computer have come a long way in the last five years. Some of the most popular include JAWSWindow-EyesDolphin SupernovaSystem Access and ZoomText Magnifier/Reader. If you do not have access to these readers, I have listed a link that has 10 free screen readers.

The capability that some offer today is already amazing. Today’s technology has come a long way from five years ago and tomorrow is even brighter for those who are visually impaired or blind.