There are many products out there that can make things easier if you have a visual impairment. Many of these products have been designed specifically for visually impaired people, but there are some products that weren’t which are still just as useful… Read on as we review three high tech, and three low tech, products that could transform your life, all of which were not designed with visually impaired people in mind.
High Tech Products
1. Apple Pay
Apple is very committed to the accessibility of their products. With features including VoiceOver and Zoom, Apple has really gone the extra mile to make their products accessible for their visually impaired users.
Apple Pay, although not an accessibility feature, makes Apple products even more accessible as it makes it easier for visually impaired people to pay for goods in-store and online. Apple Pay works on iPhones, iPads, Apple Watches and Macs, once you have stored your card details in your Apple wallet, you do not have to re-enter them every time you use Apple Pay.
There is no upper limit when you use Apple Pay so you can use it unlimited times per day and you can make purchases of over £45, the limit for contactless payments when you use your card.
Apple Pay is also useful in situations when the card machine is inaccessible, for example, some retailers use touch-screen card machines making it difficult for a visually impaired person to locate the numbers when entering their PIN.
2. Bone Conduction Headphones
Unlike regular headphones, bone conduction headphones sit on your cheekbones so the sound is transmitted through your bones into your inner ear.
This means that the headphones never cover your ears so you can hear the sound coming out of the headphones at the same time as any sound around you.
Designed for sportspeople, bone conduction headphones also have impressive benefits for people living with sight loss.
If you are out and about, bone conduction headphones can allow you to listen to your phone while you listen out for traffic and all other sounds you need to listen out for when travelling out and about independently.
Tile is the perfect solution if you are prone to losing, or mislaying, essential items such as your keys.
Tile works through Bluetooth trackers which connect to your iOS or Android device through the Tile app which you download onto the device you want to link the tile trackers to.
Once you download the app and activate the Tile trackers, just use the app to ‘ring’ your tile trackers and the tile trackers will sound an audible tone. Alternatively, use your Tile trackers to ring your phone, even when it is muted.
You can also ring your Tile trackers using Siri (if you are using iOS 12 or later), Alexa or Google Assistant.
Low Tech Products
Snappy-caps turn drinking cans into bottles. Just open your can, place the snappy-cap onto the bottle and push down firmly until it snaps onto the can.
Designed for when out and about, snappy-caps also can be beneficial for people with sight loss. The snappy-caps come with lids so you will always have a lid to put on your can to avoid accidental spillages. Snappy-caps also make it easier for pouring the contents of the can into a glass as you can place the lip of the snappy-cap onto the edge of the glass while you pour.
Snappy-caps are very cheap – you can buy a pack of six for just £3.99. They are also reusable so once you have finished drinking out of one can, remove the snappy-cap, give it a wash and you can then place it on your next can.
For more information and to place an order, visit the snappy-caps website.
They are also available on e-bay and Amazon – prices vary starting from £3.99 for 6.
2. Elastic Bands
Elastic bands are a simple, yet effective, solution for distinguishing between products.
If you struggle to work out which is shampoo and which is conditioner, or you have tins of different foods that feel identical, then placing elastic bands around products could be the solution for you.
Elastic bands are an effective alternative to identification solutions designed specifically for people with sight loss.
3. Afro Comb
The afro comb is a fantastic solution for chopping fruit and vegetables safely if you have a visual impairment. Just push the afro comb into what you want to chop, and use it as a guide for the knife as you cut between the afro comb’s prongs.
You do not need to have your fingers anywhere near the knife when chopping and it helps you to cut even slices. It can be used on a range of vegetables.
This is just a selection of some of the products that happen to be accessible or make your life easier if you have sight loss. These products provide mainstream, and easily available, solutions to help you to be more independent.