6 ‘Accidentally’ accessible products for sight loss

There are many products out there that can make things easier if you have a visual impairment. Many of these products have been designed specifically for visually impaired people, but there are some products that weren’t which are still just as useful.

Read on as we review 6 accidentally accessible products for people with sight loss including three high tech, and three low tech, products that could transform your life, all of which were not designed specifically with visually impaired people in mind.

High Tech Products

Apple Pay

Apple is very committed to the accessibility of its products. With features including VoiceOver and Zoom, Apple has really gone the extra mile to make their products accessible for their visually impaired users.

Apple Pay, although not an accessibility feature, makes life more accessible as it makes it easier for visually impaired people to pay for goods in store and online.

Apple Pay works on iPhones, iPads, Apple Watches and Macs. Once you have stored your card details in your Apple wallet, you do not have to re-enter them every time you use Apple Pay. Some banking apps allow you to add your card to your Apple wallet without the need to enter your card details, meaning you can set up Apple Pay in a matter of seconds.

There is no upper limit when you use Apple Pay, so you can use it unlimited times per day and you can make purchases of over £100, the standard limit for contactless payments when you use your card.

Apple Pay is also useful in situations when the card machine is inaccessible, for example some retailors use touchscreen card machines making it difficult for a visually impaired person to locate the numbers when entering their PIN. Despite these advances in technology, retailors should still be providing accessible payment methods, for example a tactile overlay if using a touchscreen card machine.

Here at Henshaws, we love Apple Pay and you can find out more about why in our Apple Pay video.

If you use Android, you don’t have to miss out! Android offers an Apple Pay equivalent: Google Pay.

Bone Conduction Headphones

Unlike regular headphones, bone conduction headphones sit on your cheek bones so sound is transmitted through your bones into your inner ear.

This means that the headphones never cover your ears so you can hear the sound coming out of the headphones at the same time as any sound around you.

Bone conduction headphones have impressive benefits for people living with sight loss.

Do you regularly travel independently? Bone conduction headphones are a fantastic solution for using your phone while out and about, as you can still hear traffic and essential sounds, but be able to use your phone privately and hear it clearly.

Watch our video in which Mark and Alice discuss bone conduction headphones to find out more.

Tile

Are you regularly losing essential items such as your keys or purse/wallet? Tile could be the perfect solution for you.

Tile works through Bluetooth trackers which connect to your iOS or Android device through the Tile app which you download onto the device you want to link the Tile trackers to.

Once you download the app and activate the Tile trackers, just use the app to ‘ring’ your Tile trackers and they will sound an audible tone. Alternatively, use your Tile trackers to ring your phone, even when it is muted.

You can also ring your Tile trackers using Siri (if you are using iOS 12 or later), Alexa or Google Assistant.

Watch our video to find out more and see Tile in action.

Click here for more about Tile

Low Tech Products

Snappy Caps

Snappy caps turn drinking cans into bottles. Just open your can, place the snappy cap onto the bottle and push down firmly until it snaps onto the can.

Designed for when out and about, snappy caps also can be beneficial if you have sight loss. The snappy caps come with lids so you will always have a lid to put on your can to avoid accidental spillages. Snappy-caps also make it easier for pouring the contents of the can into a glass as you can place the lip of the snappy cap onto the edge of the glass while you pour.

They are also reusable so once you have finished drinking out of one can, remove the snappy cap, give it a wash and you can then place it on your next can.

Click here to find out more and buy a snappy cap

Elastic Bands

Elastic bands are a simple, yet effective, way to distinguish between products.

If you struggle to work out which is shampoo and which is conditioner, or you have tins of different foods which feel identical, then placing elastic bands around products could be the solution for you.

You may place an elastic band around your shampoo bottle to differentiate it from your conditioner. You may have no elastic band around your tin of tomatoes, but have one around your tin of beans, and two around your tin of soup.

Elastic bands are an effective alternative to identification solutions designed specifically for people with sight loss.

Afro Comb

The afro comb is a fantastic product for chopping fruit and vegetables safely if you have a visual impairment. Just push the afro comb into what you want to chop, and use it as a guide for the knife as you cut between the afro comb’s prongs.

You do not need to have your fingers anywhere near the knife when chopping and it helps you to cut even slices. Watch our video to see Mark demonstrate using an afro comb on a range of vegetables.

Get buying!

This is just a selection of some of the products that happen to be accessible or make your life easier if you have sight loss. These products provide mainstream, and easily available, ways to help you to be more independent, which we’re all about at Henshaws.

Related Hints & Tips

Find out more about living with sight loss with our hints and tips.

  • Mark holding a Sm@art Technology Button with Text that shows Revolutionary Road Crossing and Henshaws Logo
    Blog

    Sm@rt Technology: Revolutionising road crossings

    Posted Feb 2024
  • Joanna, Henshaws counsellor
    Blog

    A guide to the emotional impact of sight loss

    Posted Jan 2024
  • The Be My AI interface, showing the Take Picture button in the centre of the screen. Along the bottom are the five tabs found in the Be My Eyes app: Get Support, Be My AI, Community, Learn and Settings.
    Blog

    Be My AI: Powerful visual assistance with AI

    Posted Dec 2023
Henshaws graphic with pink and purple shapes

Learn how to get involved

From fundraising events to volunteering, there are plenty of ways to give to make a difference at Henshaws

Accreditations & Awards