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Top 5 Most Useful Tools for the Visually Impaired.

Being blind or visually impaired can be pretty difficult, luckily there’s a variety of tools and devices that can make navigating the world a lot easier. Before we get started I’d like to mention that most (if not all) of the items on this list can be obtained through your local center for the blind if you are registered with them. With that out of the way here’s our list of the 5 most useful tools for the blind and visually impaired.

5. Talking Alarm Clocks/Talking Wrist Watches: It’s hard being able to tell the time when you can’t read a normal clock, luckily talking time pieces exist to make life a little easier. The alarm clocks are basically just a giant button that speaks the time and are reasonably priced at about $30. The wrist watches look like a normal wrist watch but the clock face is in large print, so this is a good buy for those who are fully blind as well as those who are legally blind.  The wrist watches are also reasonably priced between $20-$60. 

4. Large Print Keyboards: For those who are legally blind and don’t know how to touch type, this is probably something you should look into getting. They’re on the cheaper end of things at about $25, so if you do a lot of computer work this is probably worth the investment.

3. Kindle Fire: This may seem like an odd one, but for those who are going blind and still like to read, or just want an affordable tablet with excellent accessibility features then this is great option. The text size is highly adjustable so you can make the text as large as you need. The Kindle Fire has Audible pre-installed for those who are fully blind or just find Audible easier. The 10 inch Kindle Fire normally retails about $150 but frequently goes on sale for $120.

2. Magnifiers: If your vision is worse than a 20/200 (legally blind) then having a magnifier is a must. Non-electronic magnifiers are normally fairly cheap ranging from $13-$25, while electronic magnifiers that can digitally zoom in are a bit more on the pricey side at around $150. 

1.Canes: This one’s a no-brainer, but it’s an invaluable tool worth mentioning. If you are legally blind, night blind, or fully blind and don’t have one of these I highly suggest you get one. They’re pretty cheap at about $20 on amazon, or check with your local center for the blind as they normally provide canes to those who need them.

If you think there’s an item that should have been on this list please leave a comment. Tanks for reading.

10 IOS Apps for the Visually Impaired

Despite smartphones being a huge part in our everyday lives not a lot of people realize that there are a ton of helpful apps for the visually impaired. With that being said here’s our list of the 10 best IOS apps for the visually impaired.


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10. Vhista

Seller: Juan David Cruz Serrano

Price: Free (In-App Purchases)

Stars: 5/5

What It Does: Vhista is an object Identification app that uses machine learning and your phones camera to narrate your surroundings. The app is also capable of describing other peoples appearances and can even predict emotions.


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9. Color Inspector

Seller: Aaron L’Heureux

Price: Free (In-App Purchases)

Stars: 3.8/5

What It Does: Color Inspector is a color identification app meant to help those who are color blind differentiate between different colors.


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8. Prizmo Pro Scanner

Seller: Creaceed SPRL 

Price: $9.99 (In-App Purchases)

Stars: 3.6/5

What It Does: Prizmo is a document scanner app capable of scanning and recognizing text based documents, business cards, and images. The app uses voice guidance to help those who are visually impaired properly position their phone to scan the document. Once scanned the app is capable of recognizing the text and reading it back to you.


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7. AIpoly Vision

Seller: AIpoly Inc

Price: Free (In-App Purchases)

Stars: 3.6/5

What It Does: AIpoly is an object and color recognition app that identifies and narrates objects in the environment to those who are visually impaired. AIpoly can recognize over 1,000 items without the subscription and does not require an internet connection to function.


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6. Talkler

Seller: Talkler Labs, LLC

Price: Free (In-App Purchases)

Stars: 4.5/5

What It Does: Talkler is a free app that lets you control your email via voice commands. The app can read your email to you, mark emails as unread, record a response, and delete emails.


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5. TapTapSee

Seller: Cloudsight, Inc

Price: Free

Stars: 4.3/5

What It Does: Taptapsee is an object identification app where you tap anywhere on the screen to take a picture and then the app’s AI will recognize the object and speak the identification back to you.


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4. Be My Eyes

Seller: S/I Be My Eyes

Price: Free

Stars: 4.8/5

What It Does: Be My Eyes connects those who are visually impaired and volunteers via video call, where the volunteer can provide assistance in completing simple tasks. 


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3. NantMobile Money Reader

Seller: IPPLEX Holdings Corporation 

Price: Free

Stars: 3.7/5

What It Does: Nant is a currency identification app that is capable of identifying 21 different currencies and then speaks the denomination back to the user. 


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2. Seeing AI

Seller: Microsoft

Price: Free

Stars: 4.5/5

What It Does: Seeing AI is an identification app that utilizes AI to narrate the world around you. The app is also capable of recognizing text and people.


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Seller: Library Of Congress

Price: Free

Stars: 3.6/5

What It Does: BARD is the national library service for the blind and physically handicapped, which provides over 100.000 free, downloadable books and magazines, as well as musical scores to those who qualify.

Microsoft Files Patent for Xbox Braille Controller

Microsoft has filed a patent for a Xbox One controller with a braille accessory on the back that would make it possible for those who are low vision or blind to enjoy gaming. The patent (shown below) appears to show a normal Xbox One controller with a device that hooks onto the back that can display in-game text and dialogue in braille via a touch-pad on the back. .The device is equipped with six paddles, (three on either side of the touch pad), this allows players to be able to read and react to things happening inside the game at the same time. The device also appears to have speech to braille capabilities which could prove useful when you receive messages from other players.

As someone who is going blind I’m ecstatic about this. I tend to spend a lot of my free time gaming which has become harder and harder to do as my sight goes. So hearing that there will be an easy way to at least play simpler, text based games makes me genuinely happy. There is the question of how many developers will support the controller and which games it will end up working with, as well as if it will only work with more text based games like the turn-based Final Fantasy games, or if it will work with faster paced games like first person shooters or fighting games.

Of course this is all just speculation since it’s only a patent, but it seems likely given Microsoft’s continued dedication to their accessibility controller they released last year.

An Introduction to Blind Resources

If you know of a resource that you would like to share with the community, please click here.

eSight Eye Wear

Hi Everyone,

I wanted to let you all know about eSight, which is a huge breakthrough for the legally blind. eSight is a versatile, wearable, hands-free solution that provides sight, without the need for any surgery. Recently, a good friend of mine, Andy Ogg, went and tried the glasses out, and was able to successfully able to read a 20/20 line with the zoom function of the glasses, which when you are low vision/blind is something you can’t even imagine doing again. He documented his journey and has shared this video with me, and I am honored to be able to share it with you all! If you would like to learn more about Andy, and his journey, he also has a blog, As The Light Dims.

eSight is doing some incredible things in the advancement of technology. If you would like to learn more about them, I encourage you to check out their website here and schedule a time for you or your loved one to go trial the glasses. Please know, they do not work for everyone depending on levels of vision, however, there have been many success stories.