Almost two million people in the UK – approximately one in 30 – are affected by low vision, where glasses or contact lenses may not be able to correct the problem. The impact on lifestyles can range from devastating to inconvenient, but in either instance help is required.
One of the ways help is provided is in the form of products, or ‘aids’, that help eradicate some of the challenges people with low vision can face. Here are some of the most popular types of aids that can make a massive difference.
Talking watches and clocks – It can be extremely frustrating not being able to get an accurate time if your vision doesn’t allow you to read a watch or clock. Talking watches and clocks can therefore be a massive help. Many feature a button or require a simple tap for the voice to reveal the exact time.
Brailed salt & pepper shakers – If you worry about putting the wrong spices on your food, brailed food shakers are a great option. They’re an inexpensive and discreet solution to help you in the kitchen.
Driving glasses – If you’re concerned about eye strain, a pair of HD wrap around driving glasses could help to enhance clarity and colour for improved visibility.
Voice recorders – If you’re someone who likes to give yourself a lot of reminders and hand-written notes aren’t an option, a digital voice recorder could be extremely useful. Simply press the button, record your note and replay it later on. Many have been designed with people that have low vision in mind, making them easier to use.
Large print playing cards – Although they contribute little to any challenges you face in day-to-day living, they’re a fun product that can help you enjoy what may have once been a favourite pastime.
Big button mobile phone – If the tiny numerals that are used on other mobile phones are too small or too fiddly, there are a number of alternatives to make life easier. Big button mobile phones that use clear numerals and call functions can ensure you never misdial ever again.
Pocket magnifying glass – Magnifying glasses are obviously nothing new, but there are a number of discreet, pocket-sized versions that you can carry with you wherever you go.
Liquid level indicators – The kitchen can be a challenging environment if you have low vision, with numerous hazards that have the potential to cause you harm. Thankfully, this type of product exists to help you perform something as simple as filling up a cup or pot with hot water. When the water reaches a certain level, a tone sounds to let you know it’s full.
Written by Hayden Jones, a gadget lover from the UK.