Talking devices

Independence is the dream of any person with a visual impairment. We all want to feel the joy of being able to control our lives with the least assistance possible. It is amazing how technology served to achieve this purpose. So what are talking devices?

Talking devices are small adaptive technological devices that help blind and visually impaired in their daily life activities. Those devices are mostly normal devices like thermometers, blood pressure monitors, clocks, watches, scales, and many others; however they are adapted to the usage of blind users by installing talking software with them.

The talking devices added a great deal to the independence of all users with visual impairments in various fields of life. For instance, talking thermometers and blood pressure monitors decreased the health risks that anyone with visual impairment would face if they don’t use those devices. They also enabled blind users to take care of other family members independently.
I know a friend of mine who is blind single mother who has child girl; she used the talking thermometer almost every day when her daughter was a baby to monitor her temperature.

Moreover, talking clocks, watches, and timers helped blind and visually impaired to measure the time accurately and independently. A talking timer for instance is very helpful in cooking. It can be set to ring after any number of minutes; it is also equipped with a clock and an alarm…

It comes with a magnetic stick to be attached to the fridge for easy usage.

Talking kitchen and bathroom scales is another technological gadget that is very helpful for blind users. It enables them to measure luggage or food accurately and independently. However one of the set-backs of these technological devices is that they are expensive for anyone who doesn’t live in developed countries. The difference in currency and exchange rates make it difficult for blind users in developing countries to purchase such items. Moreover, because the blind community is not that large, and these goods are subject to the law of the market, demand is not high so the prices are also high.
I think the solution to this problem is either the developing countries have to attempt to find ways to locally manufacture those items, or these items may be purchased by associations to help blind and visually impaired use them for the sake of their safety and efficiency.


Independent Living Skills

Independent living skills is a big title for a whole set of courses or program taught in some of the centers for the blind especially in the more developed countries. The aim of such programs or courses is to empower any blind individual in order to be fully independent or at least he / she reduces the need for the sighted assistance on daily basis. A blind friend told me “some people think that we need somebody to feed us, assist us wear our clothes, or even help us use the bathroom.” One day somebody asked me “does your roommate cook for you?” so I replied “no she is only my roommate not my housemaid.” I still remember the funny reply that my roommate said when I told her about this weird thing “O! 🙂 I would charge a lot if I would do this job. “

What I want to say is that you can’t actually find 24/7 visual assistant to do your daily living activities such as: cooking, cleaning, and organizing your stuff, using home equipment and devices. On the other hand, I want to show how creative and efficient some blind people are. That’s why I also would like to call upon my friends to share their techniques in order to broaden our understanding and learn from each other. In fact, there are many people around the world or even here in the States who unfortunately don’t have the chance to join those centers to learn more about those skills but they are creative and talented enough to find their way and live more independently.

The point which I want to make here is that for a blind person to live independently is not an impossible thing. It just needs a talented and patient teacher, a creative thinking, maximizing senses, special training and sharing experience among other blind people.