7 Christmas gift ideas for people with sight loss
Coming up with thoughtful Christmas gifts can be a struggle at the best of times. Here’s a helping hand from us at Henshaws for anyone with sight loss.
If you have someone special in your life with sight loss, or if you have sight loss yourself and are wondering what to ask Santa for, read on for some Christmas gift inspiration…
1. Amazon Echo
£50 – £140 (depending on model)
Amazon Echo is a hands free speaker, connected to the internet, which you control with your voice, making it a perfect tool for any with sight loss. The voice is called Alexa and you can ask her to play music, make calls, answer questions, make and receive messages, provide news, weather, information and so much more. The Echo Dot is the cheapest at £49.99.
£20 – £100 (depending on model and number purchased)
Tile is a great little ‘finding’ tool, which links to an app on your phone or other devices. Designed to help people find often misplaced items, such as keys, bags and phones, it works brilliantly for people with sight loss and the app is very accessible. You purchase one or more Tiles and attach them to your items. They then use Bluetooth to communicate with the app, giving you the location of the item. Brilliant!
3. Bone Conduction Headphones
£50 – £140 (depending on model)
Bone Conduction headphones are headphones that allow you to hear sound through the vibration of your jaw bones and cheek bones. They don’t sit in your ear but on the jaw bone just in front of your ear. They were designed for people with hearing loss but are also great for people with sight loss, as it means you can still hear the world around you whilst you’re listening to music or speech navigational tools. Watch the video to hear Alice, who is completely blind, explain how valuable she finds them.
4. Liquid Level Indicator
This is an essential little device for anyone with sight loss. By sitting it on the side of your mug or glass it enables you to pour hot or cold drinks safely, by beeping when the vessel is nearly full. Watch Mark shows us how it works.
5. Apple Watch
£300 – £800
The Apple watch is a great device as it can be used solely with voice activation. They now come with a SIM card so you no longer need to have your phone with you when using the watch. Like a phone you can also set it up with Apple Pay, which is very secure. This is great if you’re visually impaired as you don’t need to risk messing around with cards or cash. Newer models have also introduced haptic feedback making them even better for the visually impaired user.
6. Synaptic TV
This is an all-in-one accessible home entertainment system, designed specifically for people with sight loss, which plugs directly in to your own TV. It enables you to super-size all features on the big screen and comes with in-built speech, magnification and voice control as standard. Operated by remote control, Bluetooth keyboard or voice control. It’s not cheap but does enable access to home entertainment features and is great for keeping in touch with friends and family.
7. Netflix Subscription
£5.99 – £9.99 a month (depending on plan)
Netflix is a great way to stream movies and TV shows. You probably already know that, but did you know audio description can be enabled for much of their content, just like choosing subtitles? Audio description is narration that describes what is happening on-screen, including physical actions, facial expressions, costumes, settings and scene changes. This helps to build a better picture of the programme for anyone with a visual impairment.
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Henshaws rely on voluntary donations; our work just wouldn’t be possible without people like you. Your support empowers local people living with sight loss and a range of other disabilities to increase their independence, achieve their dreams, and go beyond expectations.