Assistive Technology Devices for Visual Impairment
Braille is a tactile code used by persons with visual impairment to read and write in any language, from English, Chinese to mathematics and music.
Braille devices allows persons with visual impairment to read and produce content in Braille.
Electronic magnifiers capture images with a camera, enlarge them on a screen and enhance the visibility, for example, by adjusting colours and contrast. This helps persons with low vision read text.
Some magnifiers may include additional features, such as Optical Character Recognition (OCR), which scans printed words and reads the text aloud.
Screen readers are software that convert the text on a screen into Braille or synthetic speech. Screen readers are particularly helpful to persons with visual impairment who do not know Braille.
There are two major screen readers for computers: an open source software called NonVisual Desktop Access (NVDA) and a paid software called Job Access With Speech (JAWS).
Smart phones generally consist accessibility features which includes screen reader such as TalkBack on Android and VoiceOver on iOS.
White canes allow persons with visual impairment to travel independently. They can be classified into three types:
- Long canes which are used to slide on the ground and probe obstacles to provide information on the path ahead.
- Identification (ID) canes can also be used to probe ahead, but its main purpose is to inform the public that the user has visual impairment
- Support canes are similar to ID canes but are designed more for stability to aid the user in walking
The Tech Able Web App provides more information about Assistive Technology (AT) devices that may suit persons with a sensory disability and their caregivers.
Users who are interested to purchase or find out more about the AT device may contact the vendors directly. Vendors’ details are listed within.