People with vision loss need many tools to adapt their environments at home, at school, at work and at play. Because of these different environments, there isn’t one solution or product to meet these needs. Luckily, there is a wide range of low vision products, from vendors specifically creating low vision products to existing, off the shelf products that can be adapted to help compensate for vision loss.
This wide range of options can be daunting to approach, which is why we made this helpful guide to give you a starting point of how to identify the low vision products for your needs.
Learning and Adapting
Learning a new way of completing a task and adapting existing, readily available products is a wonderful place to start. It can allow one to improve their quality of life and can even enable aging in place for older individuals. A good example is marking existing home appliances within the home with tactile “bump dots”. Marking a microwave’s most common settings with a bump dot enables a visually impaired user to orient to the buttons by feel and select the correct setting.
Mixed Bump Dots, Mixed Sizes and Colors – 80 Count
- Convenient multi-pack allows for a variety of uses
- A total of 80 Bump Dots per package
- Different colors and sizes for any need you have
- For the blind, low vision and sighted
This concept can be expanded on with a talking microwave activated by the Alexa smart home standard. Instead of using tactile markers, the user can voice commands to control the microwave. Amazon makes their own AmazonBasics microwave, which you can learn about below:
Amazon Basics Microwave, Small, 0.7 Cu. Ft, 700W, Works with Alexa
An Echo device (not included) is required to use the voice control features and quick-cook voice presets.
One of the most popular new smart home devices is the Echo Show. This smart video display can not only control your Amazon Basics microwave and other smart appliances, it can also perform other “skills” helpful for visually impaired users. You can learn more about the “Show & Tell” skill and how it will identify products in your kitchen even if you cannot see them. Learn more about how can use an Echo Show product in the home.
Alexa Show & Tell: Accessibility on Amazon Echo Show
Alexa can help identify products with Show and Tell! Just ask, “Alexa, what am I holding?” on Echo Show devices.
“The whole idea for Show and Tell came about from feedback from blind and low vision customers,” said Sarah Caplener, head of Amazon’s Alexa for Everyone team. “We heard that product identific…
Expanding and Customizing
We like the idea of starting simple and going to complex, different options that allow the user to accomplish the same task. While you could use a Notes app on your smart phone that is also connected to a smart speaker, you could keep it simple and accomplish the same thing by using bold tipped pens with bold lined paper to take notes or make a list.
It is all about options. These options depend on several factors including budget, comfort level with learning to use new things, other co-existing impairments or health concerns, and degree of vision loss. Having a place and the right professionals to allow you to experience these products and get advice on what is the best solution to help you achieve your goals is what we are all about.