Here are some great ideas for visually impaired people that you might not know about, particularly if your blindness has crept up on you, maybe in your older years.
Most people born blind or become blind in their early years will probably have been told about and supplied with many useful aids that will help them lead an active life. But as we become older and our vision deteriorates we aren't often aware of what is available and with modern technological advances prices are dropping so that the products are more accessible to all.
Being blind you can lose track of time and there are talking watches will keep you informed. But I discovered this table-top talking clock and calender which is really useful. It is self-setting, just place on a window-sill and it will pick up the radio Greenwich meantime signal. Its particularly useful when you are alone. For example in the night you will have no idea of the time, whether it;s daylight or darkness and whether you can afford another 5 minutes in bed. Just reach out, locate the clock and hit the big button on the top and it'll tell you the time. How easy is that.
For sighted people making a hot drink is simple. Put the tea bag or spoon of coffee in a cup, add sugar if necessary and add water. The top up with milk. But imagine if you are blind and can't judge how near the top you have poured the boiling water. This handy water level indicator is brilliant. Firsly it's magnetic so you could always leave it on the fridge door, for example, where you could easily find it.
Slip it over the side of your cup with the prongs inside and our in the water. When the level hits the lower prong it bleeps and vibrates and then when it reaches the shortest prong it bleeps and vibrates continuously. Great result. Now you could stop when it reaches the longest prong, then add mild up to the shortest prong and you'll get a perfect drink, no spills no burns.
For deaf people a useful device is the doorbell/telephone/fire alarm light flasher. This is installed by a competent electrician onto the main lighting circuits and operates on all the lights in the house. When the door bell or telephone rings all the lights in the house switch on and off giving different sequences for the phone and doorbell or even a fire alarm.
With regard to fire alarms the vibrating pillow is another useful aid and this does the same, it alerts you to a fire alarm, but can work off other devices too. The vibrating pillow works of noise and so doesn't have to be hard-wired into the alarm system.
A really simple system for the door-bell is a vibrating or flashing wireless free system, available from many shops. This replaces a standard door bell push. The receiver is carried and when the door=bell is rung, then the receiver flashes or vibrates
Many people with hearing aids still find it difficult to hear the TV without the volume being turned up, which can be a distraction for other people in the room or even neighbours. Fitting a low cost domestic loop system is easy. This is a simple wire that runs around the room, either at ceiling level or floor level. Its plugged into the TV. By changing the setting on your hearing aid to "loop", you'll pick up a clear signal and hear well without being distracted with other background noises.
Most people don't realise that hearing aids just magnify all noises and don't filter out background so its often difficult to use anyway.
Another good device is a portable hearing loop which will be battery operated. It either stands in front of the TV speaker or plugs in. It transmits to the hearing aid. Some people use these in meetings whether the look transmitter is placed on the table centre and picks up all voices.
Use disability aids to improve your life.
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