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 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.
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.
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.
Low Tech Products
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.
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.
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.
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.