Sunday, April 21, 2024

Assistive Technology For Low Vision

American Foundation For The Blind

The ONYX By Oxsight – A New Take On Wearable Assistive Technology For Low Vision

The American Foundation for the Blind was founded in 1921 by M.C. Migel. In founding the AFB, he wanted to create a service organization to help the many blind and visually impaired veterans of World War I. The AFB is an important service and advocacy organization. The website provides useful information for individuals who are visually impaired. It also gives information about programs and services offered by the AFB and partner organizations.

Systems For Optical Character Recognition

Optical Character Recognition systems are one the instruments that enable blind or visually impaired persons to access printed information.

Scanning, optical character recognition, sometimes known as OCR, and text reading through synthesized voice are the three main components of these systems.

Users will need a flatbed scanner, a PC with a suitable sound card, and a specialist OCR software package with voice output to utilize this technology. Users may scan printed text, but not handwritten text, and have it read back in synthetic voice or store it on their pc as a file that can be retrieved later using this technique. The scanner takes a photograph of the printed text and delivers it to the computer when users insert a printed document in the scanner and submit a command to start the scan. After that, the OCR program examines the picture, detects the characters, and turns the data into an electronic file. This file is sent to the built-in screen reader, which speaks the text using the computers sound card or a specialist speech synthesizer.

A portable notetaker is a compact handheld word processor built specifically for students with impairments. They can generally download text to a normal computer and often have text-to-speech and other useful applications.

Using A Feature Phone With A Visual Impairment Or Blindness

Some of us want a mobile phone to function primarily as a phone, giving us the ability to simply make or answer calls on the go. Some people may not be able to, or may not want to, afford the extra cost of a wireless data connection, which nearly all mobile phone companies insist upon in order to use any smartphone model. It is still possible to get a simple phone that will make and receive phone calls without all of the bells and whistles associated with a smartphone. These types of devices are called feature phones, and usually offer the ability to make and receive phone calls and send and receive SMS text messages. Most feature phones come in one of two configurations:

  • The flip or clamshell feature phone: these phones fold in half like a makeup compact and include a display screen on one half and a regular pushbutton dial pad on the other.
  • The candy-bar feature phone: these phones are usually longer and slimmer than flip phones, with the screen and dial pad on the same face. Some candy-bar phones also include a slide-out pushbutton keyboard that allows you to type faster than if you were to use the number pad.
  • Many feature phones include at least some accessibility controls designed to accommodate the needs of those with visual impairments. For some manufacturers these accommodations are limited to raised dots placed on the 5 number key to help orient your fingers on the keypad, and perhaps a few rudimentary voice commands such as “Call home” or “What time is it?”

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    Assistive Technology For Reading

    Reading is not only an important aspect of the English Language Arts curriculum, but it is also an important part of all other subjects. In science and social studies, students use textbooks, solve word problems in arithmetic, and complete text-based examinations. The degree of visual functioning, literacy development, and contextual and task demands should all be considered when developing assistive technology aids to enhance reading.

    The Good Life: What An Accessible Site Looks Like

    Pin by WonderBaby Resources for Paren on Technology Resources for ...

    Level Accesss principal accessibility architect, Sam Joehl, who is blind, explains it best:

    • A good site uses proper semantic markup to allow individuals to non-visually understand the page structure and hierarchy. This also enables individuals to navigate to section headings and document landmarks on the page.
    • Link text clearly identifies the purpose or destination of the link and does not use ambiguous phrases such as click here or read more.
    • Images that convey meaning are tagged with alternative text that gives an accurate description of the image.
    • Instructions are presented in a manner that does not require vision .
    • All controls are clearly labeled, easily identifiable, and can be operated from the keyboard.
    • Pages are not overloaded with content and they make performing the desired task easy.
    • Unnecessary information is not initially displayed and a progressive disclosure approach is used so the user can expose additional information through activation of a control such as a show more button.
    • When new content appears on the page, an announcement is made to alert the user and the new content is easy to locate or focus is set to it.

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    Understanding Assistive Technology: How Does A Blind Person Use The Internet


    Understanding digital accessibility challenges is easy if you know people with disabilities. But what if youve never seen a person who is blind use their computer or smartphone? Were here to help you understand a little bit about what its like to use the internet if you have a disability.

    The Bottom Line: Design To Include Blind People

    You can design your websites, software, and hardware with these blind people in mind and you can retrofit existing technology to be accessible. Its a win-win situation for your organization and people with disabilities . Some fixes, like auditing your content structure and alternative text, are quick to do and make a big impact on the user experience.

    Special thanks to Sam Joehl, Meaghan Roper, and Jaclyn Petrow for their contributions to this blog series.

    eSSENTIAL Accessibility has changed its name to Level Access! Read More

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    How Does A Blind Person Use A Touchscreen

    Well answer that question with another one:

    Think of your favorite app, one you use every day. Can you visualize the user interface for that app?

    Do you know, for example, where the Pay button is on your Starbucks app, the Play button on Audible, and what to do when the phone rings?

    When accessibility features are turned on, a layer of audio feedback is added to each tap on the screen. A blind person can tap on the screen in a particular area and hear information about what they have tapped. They can tap again to activate that area . Thus, even those with no vision can understand what is on the screen based on audio feedback.

    The image below shows someone opening the Gmail app on an iPhone using VoiceOver. A single tap announces that the person has tapped the Gmail icon. A double-tap opens the app. VoiceOver then reads the details for the top message in the inbox.

    Services And Resources For The Blind: Virginia

    Acesight VR – Zoomax | Assistive Technology Wearable Device for Low Vision #LiveAccessible
    • Virginia Federation of The Blind
    • Provide services and training
  • The Library and Resource Center
  • Inventory of adaptive equipment: braille textbooks, audiobooks, software, andcanes
  • American Council for The Blind
  • Activate for equality and resources to increase independence, equality, opportunity, and quality of life
  • MaxiAids and LSSproducts
  • Individual responsibility to find and pay for products and assistive Technology
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    What Are Assistive Technologies

    The Technology Related Assistance to Individuals with Disabilities Act of 1988 described an assistive technology device as “any item, piece of equipment, or product system, whether acquired commercially off the shelf, modified, or customized, that is used to increase, maintain, or improve functional capabilities of individuals with disabilities.”

    Assistive technologies can be “high tech” and “low tech:” from canes and lever doorknobs to voice recognition software and augmentative communication devices .

    Why Universities Need Assistive Technology

    While more students with disabilities are enrolling in college programs, the graduation rate of this population is significantly lower. Only 41%of students with disabilities graduate college compared to 52%of the general population. This 11% difference is referred to as the disability gap and often occurs as a result of educational institutions failing to provide adequate resources for learners with disabilities. To avoid this gap and potential lawsuits, it is vital that institutions implement assistive technologies to set their students up for success.

    Assistive technologies also benefit universities as they strive to present themselves as inclusive and accessible by providing equitable learning opportunities. Offering assistive technologies helps institutions meet the guidelines prescribed by the Americans with Disabilities Act and Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act, and also creates a welcoming environment for a diverse student body in the process.

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    Assistive Devices And Technology For Low Vision

    Are you having difficulty reading your mail or recipes? Would you like to see your family photos again? A CCTV could be just what you need!

    In macular degeneration, central vision is affected, while peripheral vision remains unchanged. You might experience a blurred area in the center of your vision or blank spots. Complete blindness does not occur from macular degeneration alone, but it can affect your ability to see faces, drive, read, and write, among other things.

    Adapting to vision loss

    While you can still do many of your everyday activities with macular degeneration, you might need to adapt them to your changing vision, using assistive devices and technologies. A trained OT or certified low-vision specialist can help you navigate the choices of assistive devices.


    There are a variety of handheld and household devices that can help make everyday activities easier with MD. Some people use one or two, while others might have many assistive devices. As your vision changes over the course of your macular degeneration, you might find yourself using some of these at different points of the condition.

    Some of these devices include:


    In addition to all of the assistive devices, there are also multiple technologies available that can assist those with low vision.


    This article was written and published by the To read the article in its entirety, you can visit this link

    Independent Navigation For The Visually Impaired

    China Ivt Vd600+ 5"  Electronic Handheld Magnifiers Video Magnifier ...

    Sighted people tend to take independent navigation for granted. Theres a map built into your iPhone, street signs and tourist maps to help find your way in new cities, traffic lights to keep cars from hitting you.

    For blind and visually impaired people, canes and guide dogs help avoid obstacles and alert others to your low vision. But those still require you to know where youre going.

    The previously mentioned smartphone apps can connect you with volunteers or AI to read street signs from your camera. Google and Apple maps do provide audio navigation. However, some blind individuals struggle with smartphones because they cant navigate the touchscreen.

    Assistive technology products exist to help those with visual impairment navigate their day-to-day lives. However, there is nothing quite good enough to help the blind navigate independently.


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    What Are People Saying About Us

    Returning to study was a daunting prospect, I wasn’t sure what I would need equipment wise to help with my studies. The staff at Pacific Vision have been so helpful and listened to what my concerns were before recommending any equipment. I recently purchased Magic software, a Ruby HD 7 inch and a Magic keyboard. This new equipment has changed my life, not only am I finding it much much easier to type up my essays and read notes and books, the Ruby helps me read menus and food packages as well as recently being able to play a board game with a little friend of mine, he is 3 and so can’t read the cards and without the Ruby nor could I. With the Ruby we were able to play our game and then read his books. The Magic software is easy to use, the only fault I’ve found is that it doesn’t magically write my papers for me. The staff at Pacific Vision are very patient and helpful I would suggest anyone who is looking for help with this type of equipment to give them a call.

    I received wonderful treatment from the Pacific Vision staff when I decided to have a demonstration of a product with the Sera CE. It was no problem at all for Trish to come to my home and set it up for me and Trish’s patience was very much appreciated. Recommend this company to any blind or vision impaired person.

    I have got Chantelle for my training and she is a really nice teacher and a nice person as well. I am finding my braille sense very useful and love using it. Hope to here from you soon.

    Using A Computer With No Vision

    It is quite possible for someone with no useful vision to use a computer. Most blind computer users navigate through the system and control programs using the keyboard and a screen reader to read text from the screen by artificial speech. For those unable to use a standard keyboard there are adapted keyboards and voice recognition technologies available.

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    Apple Computers And Smart Phones

    Mac computers are accessible out of the box. Every Apple computer includes magnification software called Zoom, and a screen reader called VoiceOver. Moreover, every iPhone, iPod, and iPad comes equipped with the same Zoom and Voice Over features. People with vision loss enjoy these Apple smart devices along with their sighted peers. Here is just one example of a powerful app that you can download on your device. Microsoft Seeing AI app speaks text that you point the camera at, reads food package barcodes, identifies colours and more.

    Microsoft: Outlook And Word

    15 Talkback Navigation Gestures / Low Vision Assistive Tech Tips

    The Microsoft Software suite is commonly used in the workplace. Being able to navigate these programs and complete tasks such as sending and receiving emails and creating documents is important for anyone wanting to remain in the workforce. Our team can help our clients living with low vision or blindness to learn or relearn how to navigate these programs.

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    Daily Living Tech Aids

    There are many daily living tech aids such as talking watches, clocks, thermometers, glucose monitors, thermostats, bathroom scales and more. Many of these aids can be found at your local CNIB or the online CNIB SmartLife store. Smart speakers such as or are very popular as they allow individuals with low vision to simply ask them questions to receive all manner of information.

    Gerry will be back with more Tech Tips in future eNewsletters. Do you have a question about low vision technology? Send it to and Gerry will answer some of the most common questions in the coming months.

    Difference Between Low Vision Legal Blindness And Total Blindness

    The terms low vision, legal blindness, and total blindness may seem similar, but they are actually quite different. Doctors and government agencies define legal blindness as 20/200 vision in the best eye with correction from glasses or contacts, indicating a substantial deficit in vision. They define low vision, on the other hand, as 20/70 in the best eye with correction. While low vision can interfere with daily activities, the vision loss is not quite as profound is it is with legal blindness.

    Total blindness is the complete lack of light perception and form perception. In other words, people who are totally blind cannot see any light and cannot make out the form of anything in front of them. Total blindness is rare these days 85 percent of those with eye disorders have some remaining sight, and only about 15 percent have total blindness.

    eSights low vision electronic eyewear significantly enhances vision, empowering you to explore new possibilities in school, work, and home. See whats possible with eSight.

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    When Can I Get One Well It Might Be A While

    Dont rush to Amazon just yet.

    The as-yet-unnamed backpack was revealed on March 24, 2021, and still has a lot of development and testing ahead of it. Unfortunately, it could be years before this tech is readily available.

    The next step is for the project to raise funds and get more testing underway. So far, the researchers have a team called Mira, which is made up of visually impaired volunteers.

    We want this solution to be inclusive and as transparent as possible, Mahendran said. Our main motto is to increase the involvement of visually impaired people in their daily activities and reduce their dependency on others.

    Why Choose Assil Gaur Eye Institute For Your Eye Care

    Gallery of Assistive Tech for Low Vision â Maine CITE

    The doctors at AGEI offer world-class eye care and vision correction, specializing in emergency eye care, LASIK vision correction, treating cataracts, glaucoma, and a wide variety of cornea and retinal conditions, to name a few. At AGEI, you will experience state-of-the-art medical facilities that bring together revolutionary technologies with experienced ophthalmologists. Our goal is to help you achieve your personal best vision.

    Please call 866-945-2745 or visit us here to make an appointment online if you are experiencing any concerning symptoms to determine the best time to schedule an exam.

    At AGEI we take our patients safety seriously. Thats why our facilitys Covid-19 patient safety procedures exceed all CDC recommendations.

    We are conveniently located throughout Southern California and the Los Angeles area. Our ophthalmologists are available at locations in or near Santa Monica and Beverly Hills. We are conveniently located near West Los Angeles, Culver City, West Hollywood, Downtown Los Angeles, Marina del Rey, Pacific Palisades, Malibu, Manhattan Beach, Sherman Oaks, and Encino, to name a few.

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