Disability Information for the Visually Impaired

Articles about Sight and Vision

Vision Aids

Until you or someone you know develops a serious vision problem, you may remain blind to the wide range of vision aids on today's market. Reading and playing on the computer have become more feasible with the advent of portable magnifiers and screen magnifiers. But vision aids go beyond the fun and into the practical; kitchen aids make it possible to cook, make phone calls and take medication without making errors.

Helpful Vision Products

  1. Low Vision Aids - Pocket Magnifiers, Talking Alarm Clocks and Low Vision Glasses.

Total Vision Loss

If you have nearly complete or complete vision loss, Braille learning equipment can teach you the system developed by Louis Braille for reading. Raised dots represent letters; a person who reads using Braille can achieve reading speeds of up to 125 words per minute or more. The process of learning Braille takes time; it may take up to a year of practice to become proficient. Books and household items that utilize Braille such as clock simplify life for a person with extremely poor vision.

Vision Aid Products

Vision aids can be quite expensive as an initial investment. A reader that scans text and then reads it back to you costs between $2,000 and $3,000. Hand-held magnifiers can cost anywhere from a few dollars to $600, depending on the sophistication of the equipment and magnification they achieve. Electronic screen magnifiers that enlarge television and computer screens can cost up to $3,000; some are portable magnifiers that can be moved from room to room.

If possible, find a store that specializes in vision aids so you can try out various devices in person. The equipment available includes common aids you may never have known existed, such as knobs that fit over regular stove knobs to make it easier to turn on a burner or set the oven temperature. Talking timers and even talking microwaves make it easier to keep from ruining food, while guards that fit over the front of racks in the oven help prevent accidental burns.

If you can't find a store near you that carries vision aids, internet stores carry a large selection of aids in a variety of price ranges. Make sure that expensive items are returnable if they don't work for you or don't give the results you need when they arrive.

For ADA related information regarding measurements and codes for vision disabilities in public and private buildings, check out their website at ADA.gov. For more information on handicap products, visit HandicappedEquipment.org.